Diamond Rings Jewellery Photography

Reflections ruining your ring shots? Discover this tried-and-tested technique.

Whether you’re looking to photograph a $50 dollar pair of handcrafted earrings or a $15,000 diamond ring for an advertising campaign, knowing how to photograph jewellery is a valuable skill for any photographer. And in this class, you can learn how to do it like a pro!

You’ll find solutions to some of the most common challenges associated with jewellery photography, including controlling reflections on shiny surfaces and working at close magnification.


  • Controlling reflection on shiny surfaces
  • How to light small objects on a white background
  • Getting sufficient depth of field at high magnification
  • Best camera settings for product photography


  • Create a light cone to remove reflections
  • Gradient light with pockets of light to highlight key areas
  • Use focus stacking to get the whole image sharp
  • Select a small aperture for maximum depth of field, low ISO and highest sync speed

To watch the retouching and focus stacking process, check out Diamond Rings | Post-Production (Focus Stacking).

To overcome the problem of unwanted reflections, I created a light cone, which I placed over the rings. This blocked out any reflections and allowed me to create that graduated lighting that is so great for jewellery photography. 

Need to use a light cone on a regular basis? We’ve partnered up with V-Flats and developed a significantly more durable heat-resistant Light Cone modifier. Learn more about Light Cone here.

Creating a light cone for jewellery photography

Creating a light cone to reduce reflections on the rings.

The next step was to light the rings. I started with my fill light (a bare bulb point light source), before gradually adding a few more to highlight key elements and add some extra sparkle. Although I used picolites with projection attachments for this shoot, you could achieve the same effect with a tight snoot.

Lighting setup for jewellery photography

The effect of each individual light.

The final stage of the shoot was the focus stack. Even though I was shooting at a small aperture, I couldn’t get sufficient depth of field due to the high magnification. Before I could start my focus stack, I had to finalise my lighting and ensure my camera was locked down (I use my Manfrotto Super Salon, but any sturdy tripod will work). Working in manual focus, I then took a series of images shifting the focus from the front (the diamond) to the back (my background surface).

Here you can see the first image of the focus stack, with the focus on the front of the diamond ring:

Focus stack for jewellery photography

The first image in the rings focus stack.

And here is the final image of the focus stack:

Focus stack for jewellery photography

The last image in the rings focus stack.

In the above image, the last of the focus stack, the focus point is at the base of the ring. I took a total of 12 images to ensure my whole image would be sharp.

Once I’d completed the focus stack, the next step was to put it all together in Photoshop. You can learn how I did that here.

The final image:

Rings photography final image

The final image of the rings jewellery shoot.

If you enjoy this class, check out Gemstone Necklace Photoshoot, Diamond Necklace Photoshoot, and Zenith Watch Product Shoot.

Questions? Please post them in the comments section below.


  1. Hello Karl,
    Is there a way to get high quality on a production shoot? Where I am shooting high-voulume for e-commerce, let’s say 25 – 40 rings per day.

    1. Hi, no not easily unless the rings are absolutely perfectly made which would reduce the retouching time. The big problem with jewellery is that when it is viewed closeup there are lots of faults unless it is of the highest quality and has not been handled a great deal. Alternatives are to use CGI versions of the jewellery by making 3d models from the jewellers 3d models if he/she was using 3d.

  2. Hi Karl, following your advise from yesterday i watched your lightning series and that helped a lot, but still a question left. For this setting it would be also possible to use steady lights and no flash, as there is no motion in the photo? I just would have to ensure that i have enough light to be able to use a sufficient f stop and shutter speed.

    1. Hi Fabian, yes technically that is correct you could use continuous light but you would need to work in a darkened room to ensure that no other light pollutes your image. Also you would need to ensure that your shutter speed was sufficient because at high magnification the ring may move just from vibrations or because the glue isn’t holding or the camera is shaking etc etc.

  3. NeilPhan960

    Hi Karl,
    I’m struggling to keep the ring in the stand-up position. I tried double-sided tape, but it didn’t work. Can you show me how you prepare the ring for this angle? Also, I’m trying to take a ring shot stand-up in the box, but I can’t get rid of the reflection of the edge of the box. I’m using 3 lights at the moment, and 90mm macro lens. What would you suggest for this setup?
    Thank you.

    1. Hi Michelle, it depends on the software you are using and the camera combination. Not all cameras/software can do this. Otherwise just carefully adjust the focus manually with the focus ring on the lens but be careful not to knock the camera position as it will make it harder if you are creating a focus stack to line the images up.

  4. Hello Karl, ik have a question about reflections in a perfume bottle. I’m photographing perfume bottles dayley but in a cabin from “Orbitvu” I Don’t know if you are fermiliar with that… The problem is dat I have to photograph them from the front and all of the features in the cabin aswell the lens of the camera are in focus on the bottle, I tried to make some photo’s at home but got the same problem. do you yo have any tips for that ? I tried at home with the “Daisy” bottle from Marc Jacobs. Would you do this with a cone also or do you use some other methods ? With kind regards , Johan

    1. Hi, I don’t know what you mean by a cabin. Can you send some of your example photos by email (with the problems indicated) and then we can review.

  5. Hello,
    This only shows you taking a top view of the rings. If I needed to photograph the rings from another angle, what’s the best way? With your cone you can only shoot from the top of it. Do you ever make a hole in the side so you can shoot that way?

      1. I’m trying to picture what you mean by putting the cone on an angle on a block. Do you have a photo example of this? I would need to photograph the same ring at 2 angles (top and side). What would you suggest would be the easiest way to do this without having to do an entirely new set up for each angle. Thanks

        1. Hi, you should be able to see what I mean in the video links I sent you? It involves either putting the product at an angle on some bluetac or a block or putting the cone at an angle by tilting it be placing something under the edge of one side of the cone.

Leave a Comment