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Using Polarized Light in Jewelry Photography: Research and Results

Using Polarized Light in Jewelry Photography: Research and Results

This is my experience with polarized light in jewelry photography. First impressions, first results. Hope the video will explain everything:

Before and After examples.
Before Рis where polarizer was not blocking the light, After Рwhen it was.




To be considered:

I am not 100% sure that the After is good enough, as many little gemstones look too dark, which is not good.


To be considered:

Despite the odd look of the ring, polarized light works the best here, eliminating the huge spot from the diffuser on the metal surface.




To be considered:

The gemstones are too dark after I cut off the polarized light. The polarized diffuser can be larger, creating more internal sparkles on gemstones.

Plus, it is cool to be able to manipulate with the reflection from the top diffuser on a glossy black surface with the CPL filter.

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5 responses on "Using Polarized Light in Jewelry Photography: Research and Results"

  1. This video doesn’t seem to play for me. Has it been removed? It behaves like a still image when I click on it. I am definitely interested in watching, so any assistance will be appreciated. Thank you,

  2. Alex

    A excellent demonstration! How much did the polarising films cost?

    Instead of setting the lighting level/exposure of the whole item, would it be better to expose the gemstones and the metal separately and then
    combine the two in photoshop?

    It would be good if you do a perfect product shoot like this and also show us the photoshop techniques used.

  3. I may not be a jewelry photographer, but I think this is brilliant! And definately gets the mind thinking.

    I wonder… what would happen if you put a polarizing film (of different angle) on the background diffuser. And try shooting with 1 circular polarizer on the lens to see the results. And see (if it is possible), to shoot with a 2nd circular polarizer on the lens. Maybe even more precision and control is possible?

    Stacking filters like the LEE filter set could be of use. I have everything for the set except the adapter ring has been on backorder from manufacturer for 3 months! :(

    Anyway, awesome tutorial!!!


    • @Chris, if you put 2 polarizers on top of each other, you will get (depending on the angle between them) one of the following:
      1) same result as with one, only darker
      2) moire pattern (big dark spots) over the photo
      3) a totally black photo
      Speaking from experience :) I was trying to create a DIY vari-ND filter, with no success (see here)

      But if you use just one polarizer and make sure to have the two light sources polarized DIFFERENTLY, you will be able to balance the two sources at the camera by rotating the CPL.

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