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The Beauty and Sadness of Jewelry Photography Retouching: Before and After

The Beauty and Sadness of Jewelry Photography Retouching.

Ā 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 ā€œbeforeā€ images came from RAW files with default raw converter settings, before any adjustments.

We made about 50 images for a talented jewelry designer Elizabeth Dupree Lynch’sĀ Fine Jewelry collection. All jewelry was handcrafted by an Italian jewelry master; therefore, retouching was not easy. It took us many hours to complete. ManyĀ thanks to Anna Yenina for helping me with this project.

All ā€œbeforeā€ objects showed are as-is (Camera RAW default settings) photo beforeĀ focus stacking was applied. The first image from a sequence is what youā€™ll see as a “before” shot. Images ā€œafterā€ have focus stacking already applied.
I am going to do ā€œfocus stacking in Photoshop cs5ā€³Ā in the next post.

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


Jewelry Photography Heavy Retouching: Before and After


Diamond ring retouching.Diamond ring retouching.

The shot above was composed using theĀ focus stacking technique, and “before” is a single shot from the sequence. Below is the 100% crop from the stacked version of before and after the cleaning.



Jewelry photography retouchingJewelry photography retouching


ThisĀ is 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, andĀ 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 to 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 thisĀ earringĀ look shiny and new:-)


Jewelry retoucher Genia Larionova, Atlanta GAJewelry photography retouching



Hope this post was interesting. If so, pleaseĀ check out the rest of our jewelry photography projects.


Also, take a look at theĀ Jewelry Photography Masterclass Alex had recently, right now I am working on the post-production part of it.



More Jewelry Photography Tutorials and Courses

Jewelry photography is easy! Do not believe it? Find hidden secrets that professional jewelry photographers are keeping back from everyone. Start today and win the best customers!

Jewelry-photograhy-advanced-course-online-1 Jewelry-photograhy-advanced-course-online jewelry-photography-course-bundle

13 responses on "The Beauty and Sadness of Jewelry Photography Retouching: Before and After"

  1. I know this post is quite old now, but I have only just joined photigy and having great fun finding amazing articles like this. However, I’m now confused :o) reading this would lead me to think that more emphasis is needed on photo-shopping skills and not necessarily on photography skills.

  2. Interesting article but sadly on iPhone the photos are not possible to view. They are cropped to a rectangle of appr. 1ch by devices width. Would be good if you manage to fix that for future posts:-).

  3. 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.

    • 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!

  4. 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

  5. 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 :-)

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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.


  9. 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: http://digitalstudio.in/jewellery-photography-mumbai.htm

    Any suggestions are most welcome, to enhance the final results.[img]http://digitalstudio.in/images/jewellery-photography/jpeg/1.jpg[/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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