Jewelry Retouching Guide

The Jewelry Retoucher aims to make jewelry look good through the process of retouching images of jewelry. From removing dust on a ring to making a necklace shine, the team makes sure your jewelry shines out the way it’s supposed to using light and color correction tools. Our jewelry retouching guide will show you how to make your jewelry pop out in images.

Shooting The Jewelry

Before anything else, we have to take a photo of the jewelry we want to retouch. Take note of a few things before shooting the jewelry. Earrings would shine differently depending on the environment. You can be outside and your earrings would shine one way and your other pieces such as your necklace could shine in another way. Bracelets would sparkle differently if it was under daylight compared to studio lights.

  • Make sure you have a clean background
  • Lighting: Studio lighting can be extreme so, you want to adjust the lighting in a way that the jewelry's shine won't be affected by light bouncing back or other factors.
  • Lighting: Studio lighting can be extreme so, you want to adjust the lighting in a way that the jewelry's shine won't be affected by light bouncing back or other factors.
  • Use a good camera

Whether it’s a necklace, bracelet or ring, the jewelry you see online usually has an object keeping it in an upright position so that the object looks like it’s floating. The trick to cleaning up the background is by removing objects so that it would look like they are standing upright without any support holding them up.

Working with Lighting

One of the biggest challenges to shooting jewelry is the lighting used on the object. Sometimes the lighting may be too bright and other times, the lighting may be too dark. The different levels of lighting may cause unwanted details to pop up and give you a less than ideal image of the jewelry. Bad lighting could also cause the stone’s glimmer to be dulled down or even reduce the luster of aluminum, gold and, silver.

Jewelry can also gather a lot of dust even when brand new. The camera simply captures all the details you may not be satisfied with. Diamonds shine differently based on the environment. Under daylight, diamonds may display a rainbow-like pattern while it could turn into a bluish color under UV light.

  1. Now that you have done the preparations, it’s time to take the photo.
  2. After taking the photo, you will notice that the jewelry still looks raw with a few parts that can be cleaned up through editing.
  3. Shooting jewelry won’t give you the ideal image that you are looking for because of the environment used to shoot in.
  4. This is where retouching comes in.

For 77 Diamonds, our goal was not merely to make beautiful jewelry photos but to have high-end product images that entice audiences to buy.

Before

after

Retouching The Image and Cleaning The Background

Like any proper cleanup, we have to remove remaining impurities of the jewelry such as fingerprints, scratches, and dust. When we take the picture of the jewelry, the camera will capture everything. From the scratches to the dust, the camera will capture the fine print of jewelry. The dirt will be visible so you have to clean it up as much as possible prior to shooting. When the jewelry is cleaned up, you’re giving yourself an easier time to retouch the image for the customer.

After cleaning up the image, the jewelry should look as clean as possible and the customer will see a major improvement over the image that was shot.
We also have to remove anything in the background. You want to remove anything that is blocking the image such as price tags or the platform keeping the jewelry in place.

  • Making the background plain white will keep the focus on the jewelry.
  • Separating the jewelry from the background is critical to make the image stand out.
  • Even the best cleaning efforts won't guarantee that the jewelry will look its best in photos.

The Jewelry Retouching Team starts with creating a clipping path to separate the jewelry from the background. What we are trying to do is remove the object from the original background and placing it on a plain white background that is free from obstructions. Using the pen tool, we are able to create paths that can place the jewelry on a plain white background without making it look as if it was forcibly removed from the image.

Creating Shadows for Jewelry

After clipping, we can place the jewelry on a white background and make it look like it was floating. However, we don’t want to make the image look like it’s above the air. The solution to the floating jewelry is simply adding shadows under the item. Creating shadows requires a good amount of experience with software such as Photoshop and Lightroom. We can draw the shadow manually but, we need to know where the light is coming from and draw the shadow on the opposite side.

Having a shadow makes the jewelry look like it is grounded and natural. After all, everything has a shadow. Editing the jewelry would ensure that the image still looks a certain way:

  • Realistic despite the details that are visible prior to editing
  • The ring would look natural with the help of shadows and editing tools.

Color Correction

The next part is making sure the colors look the way they want to be after shooting. You want to make the color pop out. After shooting, most images of jewelry would look a little dull at first. Avoiding a dull tone is important to retouching jewelry.

  • Certain colors would appear to the human eye but, not to the viewer on their computer.
  • You have to make the colors come alive with photo editing tools.
  • One way of making the colors come alive is by adjusting the color balance.
  • Adjust the drab colors and improve them by playing with the brightness and contrast of the image.
  • With the colors standing out, we only need to make a few more modifications to make your jewelry look the way it intended to be.

Repainting The Shine

Sometimes, the shine of jewelry could be less visible after a photoshoot. Many different factors can cause the jewelry to lose its shine such as faulty lighting. The metal part holding the jewelry together could also show reflections of the photographer, the background or anything nearby. The silver pieces used to hold the jewelry together such as the ring or cuff can look different in the environment they are in. Instead of having something look shiny, you end up with a mirror.

One way to bring back the metal’s shine is by repainting the shine again into the metal. When we repaint the shine, we can remove the unnecessary parts such as the dull colors of the jewelry. You can make the jewelry shine by creating a clipping path using the pen tool.

  • After creating the clipping path, we can mask the unnecessary areas and make the proper fixes for the diamonds to shine.
  • Creating paths to remove the unnecessary parts helps bring out the best in the jewelry.

Enhancing Jewelry through Editing

There are some details of jewelry that are only visible with the human eye. Showing images of jewelry online requires a lot of enhancements. Cleaning the dust is one of the many things that photoshop can do to edit jewelry. We can adjust settings such as:

  • Curves
  • Hues
  • Levels
  • Selective Color

The important action in enhancing the photos is to push these settings to the limit. We can achieve the most ideal version of the image without ruining it.

The cuts of diamonds aren’t always visible on-camera so we need to enhance the jewelry by choosing sections to brighten or gently paint over the area. Jewelry has so many shapes that you have to carefully look through to make it sparkle as it would to the human eye.

Speaking of the human eye, look at real jewelry and, you’ll notice several colors popping up. Jewelry can reflect different colors depending on the type of jewelry you have. Due to the various colors that pop out in jewelry, the team needs to manually color the different parts to show the different colors you will find.

There you have it. Jewelry Retoucher’s guide on how to retouch jewelry. Now you know a bit more on how to bring out the shine that may be covered up by regular photos.  Compare the original photo to the edited photo and you will notice major differences between a raw photo in an environment with uncontrollable factors and a jewelry photo that was edited with the help of editing and retouching tools.
You won’t see the holders keeping the jewelry upright. The jewelry will shine the way it’s supposed to like it does with the human eye all on a screen.

Looking at jewelry with the human eye and seeing the object in person is one thing but, the viewer’s perspective changes when they only see an image of the jewelry and not the jewelry itself. Impurities such as dust marks and fingerprints would be visible.
The drastic change between seeing jewelry in person compared to seeing the image online shows how important jewelry retouching is to appeal to the customer.

For more information on jewelry retouching, you can contact the Jewelry Retoucher.