Experiment: Low Light + No Time

So in my “extra time” (whatever that means), I did an experiment with my rings.  Please disregard how they haven’t been cleaned in about a year and the table I placed them on is scratched up & dusty!  Who has time to dust?!!

My experiment consisted of shooting my rings in terrible light and seeing what kind of difference a little flashlight could make.  No fancy professional lighting equipment.  No reflectors, no strobes, no tripod, nothing.  Just me, my camera, my rings…and a flashlight.

In addition to no extra equipment and icky light, I wanted to see what I could produce in a short amount of time.  That is what’s realistic anyway!  Whether for wedding photography or product photography, I don’t always have time to walk around to find the best location for shooting one image, like rings at a wedding.  So I intentionally shot my rings on an old table.

The results were drastic!


To shoot in extreme lighting conditions, I used a lens suited for this.  A lens that goes down to f/1.8 or 1.4 is perfect.  But since I was shooting tiny rings, I chose my macro lens, which goes to f/2.8.  That works great too, plus I can get super close to the rings.

So even though it was indoors at 7pm, I was able to produce a nice shot with my macro lens.

However, the soft, even lighting is a tad BO-RING for me.  My bling-bling has no zing!



This time, it was the same dusty old table, the same uncleaned rings, the same lens, the same time of day…

But I added the light from a small flashlight that you can find in any house or car.

The result is staggering!  WOW!


Here is another set of images, so you can see the difference side-by-side.  Again, the only difference is that I held a simple flashlight with my left hand while I shot Image 2 (below right).


With the use of a simple flashlight and no extra ‘product fluffing time’ or special equipment, the rings look more expensive!  Even the table looks better.  A nice bonus!

Just do me a favor and pretend you don’t see the lint and dust on the rings! <:)

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I also did a comparison between a color image vs. a BxW image of jewelry.  I never see BxW photos of jewelry, especially diamond jewelry.

I know it is because the color images show off the beauty of diamonds, but I wanted to test this out.


In the color image, I couldn’t get the table to look as reddish-brown like the images above, but I did get a rainbow sparkly reflection from angling the flashlight just right.

Here is the same image in BxW…


I actually like the BxW version of the rings!  I think a jewelry booklet with mostly color images and a few BxW would look pretty sleek.

But that’s just me.  I love the timeless feel of BxW.  What do you think?

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  1. I love the rings in B&W and most of all, I love those rings! So classy. Amazing what a flashlight can do – I’ve never tried that! Cool post!

  2. Thanks, Meghan! Yea, I like the BxW too!

    Those rings were presents from my hubs — both for different occasions. Now all our money is spent on diapers and preschool! 😉

  3. I really like the BW, it’s timeless. The difference the flash light made is amazing.

  4. The shots with your flashlight are pretty sick. I always carry a crank-powered flashlight in case opportunity strikes and/or a blackout happens.

  5. RIa

    Amazing! I’ve been meaning to figure out how to take a photo of my ring so I can show it to my family/friends that are far. WOW! You are simply brilliant! My vote is for Image 2 and the black and white 🙂

  6. Nina

    I definately like the blk and white!

  7. Emily

    I love the blak/while one. It’s classy and “last forever” type of feeling.

  8. Thanks, Everyone! My $5 flashlight and I are ready for more jewelry photography. Jewelry business owners, I’m ready! 🙂

  9. I like the B&W photo too! =)