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If you have never really photographed anything before and want to learn as much as you can about digital photography then this is the site for you. It delves into cameras and equipment, as well as photography tutorials. digital-photography-school
A fantastic DIY lightbox can be made using the irreverant instructions from Strobist. This blog has everything you ever needed to know about on the cheap lighting that produces incredible results welcome-to-strobist
Tabletop Studio has a great site with instructions on how to shoot jewellery. You can also buy complete kits to get started shooting small items. I should know, I have purchased one of them! Tabletop studio
If anyone has found other great sites please list them for us!
Thanks for posting those tips, i really need to build a lightbox!
Thought i'd add a little more info about photography,
To those of you who are in the market for purchasing a new camera - DP Review is a wonderful site. www.dpreview.com
It combines the thoroughness required to satisfy any professional photographer and simplicity to help the average artist make the right choice. I take my photos with a little point and shoot Panasonic Lumix DMC FX 33. It works great in the studio and on the road. I've used a couple of Panasonic Lumix DMC's and i would strongly recommend them to anyone who needs versatility. Cannon's are good as well (but much more money) and so are nikons (but i find them to be slow and not macro friendly). What do you use?
Some things you should look for when buying a camera for small object photography:
MACRO Capability (must be at least 10cm, 5cm is better and 3cm is fantastic)
White balance (must have custom setting so that your work doesn't look yellow or blue)
Exposure Compensation or Bracketing (so you can over/under expose your image)
Before buying a camera, go into a store and give it a test drive. Bring a SD card and do some experiments - take photos of your keys, your fingernails and coins to check macro. Do this with a couple different cameras, trying to recreate the identical shot each time. Try manual white balancing under mixed light (halogen/fluorescent and daylight). Then thank the store clerk and view the images on a computer -do not trust the LCD screen on the back of the camera! (SONY- Cybershots look beautiful on the back of the camera but not so hot when printed!) Maybe even have a couple photos printed if you really wish to see what the quality is like.
well that's about it for now, hope you found it helpful.
In April 2006 I wrote an article for The Lapidary Journal on Gem Photography.
It applies to jewelry photography as well.
The copy of the article with all the relevant images as well as some instruction on making your own light box are posted on my website at: http://www.artisticjewelrydesign.com/news.htm. Just click on the image and it will take you to the article.