Setting up beautiful macro shots can be easy with the right kind of sparkly light & tripod.
Of course diamonds are glittery and delicious but when you mix that with a dark room, Christmas tree lights and an awesome setup - come on now! It's perfect.
Here is my setup
- Christmas tree is approximately 8 feet from the setup
- Sparkly candle (or other sparkle goodness) 2-3 inches away from ring
- Room lights are dimmed
- Umbrella Light turned on - this is constant light which I love for macro photography
- Macro lens - 105mm 2.8
- Turn off auto focus. You will be doing this manually.
- Settings (yours may vary) F5.6, ISO 500, Shutter 1/100
Why is the tree so far away?
The farther away your lights the more soft the bokeh will appear
Why the extra sparkled candle?
I wanted to create multiple dimensions of bokeh
Why are the lights dim?
So that your light focus is in front on the ring. The darkness falls the farther away from the ring it gets.
Why a constant light source rather than flash?
Because it allows you to watch in Live View where the light is falling on the diamond. This helps you to find reflections that aren't working with your image and change them. If it were a flash you would only find out after the photo was taken.
Why a macro lens?
Lenses that are not macro do not allow you to get up close and personal with the diamond. They have a hard time focusing after a certain distance.
Why a tripod?
A tripod is necessary because you need to have stability. Your room light is low so your shutter will be lower than normal.
This will create camera shake if you do not have a stable surface. Also you want to be able to have the camera in View Mode so that you can move around the objects in the image and find the perfect bokeh.
View Mode will be your best friend here because you can change things around behind your bokeh to get the perfect shot. Tip: When doing ring macro shots have your camera in Live Mode, zoom in on the diamond on your LCD screen so you can see it clearly (this doesn't mean zoom in using your lens - the screen on the back of your camera) then turn your focus ring slowly to get the diamond in focus.
Zooming in helps to ensure you have perfect focus. It's extremely hard to rely on the auto focus to get this shot.
How was this photo edited?
Every ring shot I edit there is some extra sparkle and shine added to the diamond. I used Colorvale's Make Jewelry Sparkle Photoshop Action (Below are iPhone pictures of the setup)