Photigy Studio Photography Where Passion Meets Profession

The Beauty and Sadness of Jewelry Photography Retouching.

This is a re-post about jewelry photography from our retoucher’s blog, with some additions I’ve made to make things more interesting:-)

 by Genia Larionova:

This is the before and after post production and 100% crop from one of our commercial jewelry photography assignments last year. Posting to show the  amount of work required from a jewelry retoucher, when the jewelry is worn and not clean. Sometimes I had to almost completely re-create part of the item: it appears to be faster than trying to restore lost finish and colors.

Note: Most of the “before” images came from pure RAW files with default raw converter settings, before any adjustments.

We made about 50 images for a talented jewelry designer Elizabeth Dupree Lynch for her Fine Jewelry collection. All jewelry was hand crafted by an Italian jewelry master; therefore, retouching was not easy. It took us many hours (big thanks to my helper Anna Yenina:-) to do it.

All  “before” objects showed as-is (Camera RAW default settings) photo without focus stacking applied. The first image from a sequence is what you’ll see. Images “after” have a  focus stacking applied.
I am going to do “focus staking in Photoshop cs5″ post next time, but for now you can check out this photography video tutorial how we do a focus stacking.

Some images may look overdone, (especially at 100% crop), but this is what we were able to do considering the items’ condition (not new) and an extremely tight schedule for post production.

Jewelry Photography Heavy Retouching: Before and After


Diamond ring retouching.Diamond ring retouching.

This shot (above) was composed using the focus stacking technique, and “before” is a single shot from the sequence. See 100% crop from the stacked version before the cleaning and after below



Jewelry photography retouchingJewelry photography retouching


Another example of jewelry and how to use digital background in jewelry photography. Note the additional contrast and “over sharpening” on the small gemstones around the large one.



Jewelry photography post production.Jewelry photography post production.


100% crop from the image above. Again: cleaning, adding contrast, and smoothing scratches without killing the details.


Jewelry photography retouching, before and after.Jewelry photography retouching, before and after.



This image was combined from two different shots in one, below:

Jewelry post production, before and after.Jewelry post production, before and after.


100% crop for the above. Crazy amount of work to make this earring look shiny and new:-)


Jewelry retoucher Genia Larionova, Atlanta GAJewelry photography retouching



Hope this post was interesting. If so, most likely you’d like to check out the rest of our jewelry photography projects:

Jewelry Photography tutorials, and behind the shot videos.


Also, take a look at Jewelry Photography Masterclass Alex has recently, right now I am working on the post-production part of it. Soon we’ll have it released, stay tuned!

Genia Larionova


More Jewelry Photography Tutorials and Courses
Jewelry photography post-production course Jewelry photography course

10 Responses on The Beauty and Sadness of Jewelry Photography Retouching: Before and After"

  1. MikLSP says:

    Very impressive processing but I must say that I disagree with this amount of work on images. Given that they are no longer representative of the actual items, they could just as well be fully CGI.

    • Leah says:

      I couldn’t agree more MikLSP!!!! I shoot/edit vintage pieces and if I cleaned them up that much clients would be sending items back as fast as they could!

      Not to say these images aren’t beautiful, this page has been very helpful!

  2. EC says:

    Hi Alex, we are building a rather intensive jewelry site, the work posted here is some of the best I have seen on the net. We need some high-end retouching done, could you point us in the direction of the artist who completed this – would be very keen to book them.

    Thanks so much.

    - EC

  3. Wow ! Genia, that’s just fantastic…i just bought the Jewelry photography essentials pack and can’t wait to see your tutorials. I am so thankful to you both that you make this knowledge available to me and others who really want to learn this craft. It’s worth every cent :-)

  4. Al Xvost says:

    Hi Alex,Genia,
    Really amazing retouching job.
    Where I can watch/buy tutorial about actual photoshop work,step by step?

  5. Steven Greene says:

    I am amazed at the difference from before and after. You should make more videos on postproduction. The one I did see on this site was not very clear and difficult to follow.

  6. Jamie Short says:

    I have been coming to this sight for the past year to get pointers at work. Your work is amazing. I shoot everything here at work. Everyone says my fragrance shots are the best. I have trouble with jewelry. Maybe its the light box I use. I think I need to change my setup for jewelry. Light boxes sap all the life out of silver, gold and diamonds. I really want to start shouting bottles and wine. I use a canon 7D with a 100mm macro L lens at work. At home I just have the 50mm compact macro (need to upgrade). I want to start my own studio. Slowly building my set up with cheap strobes and make shift light boxes.!home/c206b

  7. I have just started experimenting with Jewellery photography and have realized that it is far more complex as compared to other products photography. Armed with a Canon 450D and Tokina 100mm Macro, this is the best that I can produce:

    Any suggestions are most welcome, to enhance the final results.[img][/img]

    • @pashminu mansukhani, yes, I can suggest plenty of things on how to improve your result on this, but i need you to submit your shot to photigy forum, “Q&A” thread. I’d be glad to provide your with feedback

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