Photographing Jeweled Elegance

During this Time of COVID, it’s become very clear how fortunate and grateful we should be that the desire for our work in jewelry photography and corporate portraiture continues.  We are wishing all of our clients – especially our friends in the restaurant business – the very best and a speedy recovery.

Speaking of jewelry, here’s an exquisite and recently photographed piece, front and back.

Showing the rich details of fine jewelry is our passion

Symmetry and Beauty in Jewelry

The wonderful symmetry in the placement of the diamonds coupled with the graceful curves in the design make this piece a favorite among my recent work. The side benefit is, my favorites are constantly evolving with the never ending variety of jewelry we get to see.

Up close reveals the beautiful detail work in this pendant, front and back

Jeff Behm Photography, located in Frederick Maryland, serving clients from Boston to Roanoke. Fine jewelry, photographed in our location or yours. Call 724-730-8513 now to discuss your needs, or email jeff@jeffbehm.com

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Headshots on Location

The Challenge

The occasion was a new partner at a chiropractic office who needed to have location photos taken.  These needed to match the existing motif for the office’s website.  This can be a challenge.  For starters, the original photographer and I may not approach photography the same way, let alone the questions as to how types of gear and ways of “seeing” impact results.  Nearly 4 decades of experience can be an excellent resource to call upon.

Doctor’s chosen portrait

I’m a big believer in location scouting whenever possible, even down to the same time of day to see the effects of the ambient light. By getting the lay of the land I may spot potential challenges in executing the assignment.  It’s a much more efficient way to work on location, and makes it far more likely I’ll have everything necessary to complete the assignment to the client’s satisfaction.  When this location was scouted, it was a bright and sunny early November day with 70 degree temperatures – fully NOT the usual for the time of year.  By the day of the assignment, normalcy had returned.  It had rained heavily all morning and was incredibly dark and dreary.  All the gorgeous light flooding in through the windows the day of the scout was nonexistent, but that look of beautiful ambient light was still required.

Flashpoint/Godox lighting to the rescue! 

Because I had seen the effect of window light on the rooms when sunny, I knew additional lights would be needed to recreate what nature had since removed.  I already knew I’d use the 31” Glow Lantern as the main, whether it was sunny or not.  This would be on an AD600, hand metered and set at 1/8 + .3 power.   Not only does the lantern light the subject beautifully with a pleasing shadow gradient, it also spreads a soft natural fill all around, reducing the need for additional lights and reflectors to be brought into an establishment; a real inconvenience in some spaces.

Because the subject would be standing in the archway between two rooms, the light from the Lantern main would be cut off by the wall and not reach the second room.  A second light would be needed to emulate the daylight that would not be flooding the room.  For this I used an AD200 with the bare bulb head and the reflector cone with the diffuser on the front, set about 5’ high at 1/2 power and bounced up into the corner of wall and ceiling above the windows, or about 10’ high.

The lighting setup to create the daylight look
Testing to determine the background lighting

Finally, there was a third room – a small reception area beyond the second room, dark as a tomb at normal exposure times without bright sunlight.  For this room, a second AD200 was placed on the reception counter, standing on end and aimed straight up, also at 1/2 power.  To help spread the light within the room, I used a MagMod Sphere.  A few test shots were required to avoid annoying shadows, but once those were complete, I could see that the look of natural light I had been asked simulate was well and simply done.  All that was left was to bring in the new doctor and proceed.  

First frame

Canon 5D MKIII on tripod, Tamron 24-70 G2 lens at 70mm, f4.0, ISO 100  1/50 second to gather some ambient light.

When you need to put your best foot forward, call Jeff Behm Photography 724-730-8513 or email jeff@jeffbehm.com Nearly 4 decades of professional experience focused on your needs

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When You Need the Best for Your Money

How do I take a tiny item like this:

One quarter inch, life sized is all that is

and turn it into something you can easily see and appreciate, like this?

demo of focus stacking
Many times life sized garnet

Wizardry!! That’s how!

Seriously, though…. I’m blogging about jewelry a lot these days, because it’s the business that’s coming in the door.  I love photographing food, too, but with the restaurant business being so restricted by COVID 19 compliance, there’s less call for what I do in the food industry right now.  With dining establishments on restricted hours or days, there might be more time, but the restrictions have impacted the potential budgets for new marketing.

Earlier this year I created a Facebook post about some of the special techniques I bring to jewelry.  Other fine products I photograph require special techniques as well, but jewelry, being so small, is very specialized.

Tiny details help lend scale.

To show your work to the best of it’s ability, call 724-730-8513.  Or email jeff@jeffbehm.com Serving the eastern United States

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When Only the Best Will Do for Your Jewelry

Photographs Created for Colonial Jewelers Ad in Frederick Lifestyles Magazine

Jewelry is a chosen area of specialization for Jeff Behm Photography.

I selected jewelry specifically because it is one of the most challenging subjects to photograph well.  With very small objects like jewelry, we use close focusing macro lenses, specialized lighting setups, mirrors and other tools.  The problem is, macro lenses working at close distances on tiny objects have an extremely shallow depth of field.

Images created for Winter Fine Jewelry and Dominion Jewelers

Keeping it all in focus is part of the challenge

It’s not uncommon to have only about 1/16 to 1/8 of an inch in focus at these magnifications.  Problem is, if we’re photographing a ring, it can be anywhere from 3/4 of an inch to an inch and a half in depth.  If we’re photographing a necklace or bracelet, that becomes anywhere from 3 inches to 6 or 8.  How to keep that all in focus is just part of the challenge.

To add to that, the type of gem, how it’s cut and the many facets impact how gems photograph.  For instance, it’s not uncommon for diamonds that are perfectly photographed to appear somewhat blurry at these magnifications, even though they are properly focused.

Depending upon the white balance and quality of light used in making the photograph, it’s possible for yellow gold to appear as if it were rose gold, or vice versa; neither of which are desirable.  Or, for silver jewelry to look too white; clear white diamonds can take on a yellow cast, which can be due to problems with white balance, or possibly as a result of picking up a color cast from a gold band. Resolving these issues is part of our job.

The bottom line is just this:  If you’re in the business of making and/or selling jewelry, give Jeff Behm Photography a call.  When “Only the Best Will Do” remember, we take your art seriously.

Jeff Behm Photography, located in Frederick, Maryland, and serving Virginia, Washington DC, Baltimore.  Call 724-730-8513 or email jeff@jeffbehm.com

All Photographs © Jeff Behm Photography.

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See the Light

Mother reading to young daughter
Tablets, the new reading light.

My job as photographer is to see the light

Without making references to an old song in that title, my job as photographer is to see the light, whether that’s sunlight, moonlight or artificial light.  A long time ago, I learned I prefer to make the light I need in order to create the images I see in my mind.  Most of my photography is of the commercial and advertising persuasion, which suits my preference perfectly.   The mother and daughter above are lighted by the tablet from which mom is reading. This image was created for a book cover.

Abicor-Binzel robotic welder in action close up
Robotic Welder for Abicor-Binzel

The robotic welder, above, was created for Abicor-Binzel USA. It required a combination of multiple flash exposures from 6 different strobe heads to freeze the fast moving arm, plus two long time exposures; one to capture the welding itself, and another for the blurred movement of the robotic arm. Another example of our seeing the light needed to tell your clients about your products and services, and then creating the light necessary.

For your company’s new photographs, let Jeff Behm Photography assist you.  We specialize in visual communications tailored specifically for you. Jeff Behm Photography, serving the greater Frederick, Washington DC and Baltimore area and anywhere clients request.

Call 724-730-8513 or email jeff@jeffbehm.com


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