Product photography by Harminder Singh

Understanding Product Photography

The key purpose of any photograph is to grab your attention and compel you to pause and observe, take notice. Likewise in the case of product photography, the primary objective of the visual is to create a desire  to own it.

To create these compelling images, a professional photographer has to have a vast exposure and understanding of the subject, with thorough knowledge in dealing with it, on a technical level. An artistic flair is another most valuable and significant attribute that the photographer can complement his work with.

Understanding of the product and its applied function.

The photographer has to keep in mind the desired application of the image too. If the image is to be shot for packaging, then the image of the object has to be composed so that it meets the packaging designers layout. If on the other hand, the image is a part of a bigger library appearing on the same canvas as in catalogue, then the background and lighting should ideally match with adjoining images to create a more harmonious look and feel.

Key to lighting of the product

The photographer should having thorough knowledge of the properties of light such as color temperature, Behavior of light with different types of surfaces, color temperature of different types of lights and how to achieve true color for reproduction. 

White or silver objects reflect light very efficiently where as dark & dull surfaces absorb light and reflect very poorly. Normally, reflective objects should be dealt with using large source of soft light and light absorbing surfaces require the use of stronger and contrasting light to bring out detail.

Exposure should be maintained for overall product lighting in a manner that must not exceed 5 stops EV value for print media.

Then there are products that can pose further challenges, as they can be made of both, reflective, transparent materials.

A wrong approach in lighting can ruin a beautiful product … for example, expensive diamond studded gold jewelry, where diamonds appear as cheap pieces of glass and gold appears either pale yellow or have a copper tone. Steel / chrome should not look like silver.

Choosing the right lens (focal length) and viewpoint

One needs to ascertain a correct view point, to set the camera in relation to the product. At this point choosing the correct focal length lens is also a major contributor that influences the final visual outcome. A perfect viewpoint is one flatters the shape, form and material of the product.

Choosing the correct focal length can create or destroy the shape and form of the object. Long focal length, will compresses the perspective and a shorter focal length will enhance the perspective of the image/product.

Example:

Many times while watching a cricket match on T.V. when the camera shows the bowler’s side, the batting end appears very close to the bowling end, this happens because of optical compression due to the use of zoom at its long focal length by the cameraman.

Any camera system must comprise lenses of different focal lengths for various applications. Usually, the photographer chooses these as per his requirement. Smaller studio restricts the photographer to use appropriate longer focal lengths for large products as they have a narrower field of view thus restricting him to create a correct perspective of the product. This leads to distortion.

A large studio gives the photographer, flexibility to use appropriate lenses to do complete justice to the job in hand.

Exposure parameters

Correct exposure is the one that will render the image with proper detail, in the highlight and shadow areas.

Exposure calculation and tools of measurement is a separate reading. Ansel Adams has developed and explained the fine art of exposure techniques in the ‘Zone System”, this is a ‘must reading” for all photographers. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zone_System

Composition: layout & view point

Composition plays a very important role in product photography. It is an integral part of a good visual. The success of a good visual is its retention in your subconscious mind that lingers on long after you have moved away from it. A good photographer has an acute sense of composition where he can arrange the products in a very pleasing manner and at the same time prioritizing the most important features of the product.

Rule of Thirds

The most basic rule of thumb is Rule of Thirds. It means human eye is naturally drawn to the area that is about two thirds up from the bottom of the picture.

Dynamic Diagonals

What is Dynamic Diagonals? When you are thinking of picture frame, guess the diagonals of frame. Place the object on diagonals and there you are. Simple.

Using the right background

Another important element of product photography is the use of background. This is an area where your lighting skills and knowledge comes in picture. While planning for the lighting one must not forget the background against which the product will appear. Choosing the right background is very important as it s plays a role in bringing out the product, add character to the product and create an interesting space.

Shooting a product against white background or dark background demands different light treatments. The background should be lit in a manner that enhances the visual and should never be obtrusive or have reflections.

Shooting a product on glass without shadows requires good use of studio light sources. You can eliminate the shadows/reflections only when you understand how they are formed. Photographs without shadows/reflection are useful while working with editing tools for preparing product photograph for website and other communication materials.

Perfect Camera for product photography

35 mm cameras (Nikon, Canon, Leica etc) OR medium format SLR ( Hasselblad, Contax, Mamiya, etc.) that does not enable movements of lens and film plane as per the Scheimfluge principal, Will not produce perfect results.

The perfect camera choice is a view camera, that belongs to the family of technical cameras. A camera that features an unusual method of generating optical “shift movements”, based upon the principals developed by Theodor Scheimpflug, who lived from 1865 to 1911.

 

"http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scheimpflug_principle

  • Deterrents of using the view camera
  • Extremely high cost of camera system & Apo digitar lenses.*
  • Difficulty in mastering it’s use is the biggest single most reason why photographers shy away from using the view camera.
  • The image appears upside down and reversed from left to right on the focusing screen.
  • The image is not very bright and during extreme shifting of lens and film plane, the view-finder becomes very dark, making it difficult to see the image.
  • It is very time consuming to set up a proper shot.
  • Small errors in improper shifts will render an out of focus image area.
  • The camera is very heavy and requires high grade professional mounting systems and heads.
  • The camera requires the use of smaller apertures when compared to 35mm format. Hence longer shutter speeds for continues light photography OR high output flash heads for flash based photography. Slow shutter speeds are usually not desired for reasons of blurry movements in the subject. Smaller apertures beyond the golden aperture starts to effect the image adversely.

*Digital lenses are designed specifically for digital backs to outperform regular lenses.

 

http://www.schneiderkreuznach.com/knowhow/opt_quali_e.ht

Digital lenses focus in one single plane. Film is basically made up of 3 layers where each layer is sensitive to certain light spectrum (RGB). Thus film lenses focus incoming light at 3 different layers. Digital lenses on the other hand are designed to focus on one plane, as digital sensors are in one single plane.

Digital lenses offer a much higher resolving power.

Film lenses are designed to resolve information in proportion to grain size of silver molecules that are light sensitive and reside in the emulsion. CCD chips are an array of light sensitive devices that are very small in size. Hi end digital lenses made by Schneider and Rodenstock are capable of resolving power up to 5iu.

(Digital lens, term is misused by lens manufacturers to mislead the common man, just like rating small portable stereos with 1000watts PMPO output. Consumers rarely understand.)

In spite of huge investment deterrent, we did not give up our quest to provide our clients with stunning images by constant and expensive upgrades (starting from Toyo View, Sinar F1, Finar F2, Sinar X and now the Arca Swiss Monolith ), required to keep pace with constantly evolving technologies.

Final word

Product photography is not simply about camera and lights. Being in business for more than 25 years, I understand how various types of products should be photographed. I offer my clients valuable experience backed by top of the line leading edge technology to fulfil their need for top quality product photography covering subjects like Jewellery, food, automobiles, Industrial and engineering products, beauty and cosmetics and consumer electronics.

When you hire me for your photographic needs, you are assured of top quality images shot on the very best photographic equipment.

Along with photography, you are also assured of the best in - house system work services. We work on professional Macintosh computers calibrated by Spyder2PRO for consistent true colors and tonal accuracy.

Food Photography by Harminder Singh

Objectives of Food photography

Food photographs are used for various applications, ranging from recipe books, hoardings for a restaurant, food packing, menu cards and press ads.

The objective of the photographer is to take mouth watering photographs to allure the appetite of the consumer. This is achieved by the efforts of a team of expert chefs, food stylists, art director and an expert photographer who understands the delicate nature of food and knows how to bring them out in his photograph.

Colors and textures of the food rightly presented in a pleasing manner are the key to taking these shots. The photographer should also have a basic knowledge of cookery and many times he needs to chip in his or her knowledge during styling and layout.

Food styling

Food styling is an art mastered by some expert chefs. They understand how the food needs to be laid in a proper way, understanding also how the food will look the best to the camera.

If the food is properly cooked for consumption, it will loose texture and color. Some foods also loose their form rapidly. The food stylist and Chef, work together as an integrated team. Many times the food stylist and chef are rolled into one person.

Food stylists are usually required to carry a vast collection of dishes, bowls, cutlery, backgrounds and props. Many times these need to be hired or bought for the job.

For example:

  • Ice cream scoop starts to melt immediately one it is scooped and presented.
  • Thick soups tend to coagulate on the surface with heat trapped inside and they bloat on the surface.
  •  Certain salads will limp and loose their crunchiness.
  •    Properly cooked rice will not be photographed well as the rice grains loose their form.
  •    Fresh look of greens can be enhanced by different techniques.

Number of techniques and methods need to be understood and applied. This is a very special line of photography. I have just pointed to a few of them.

Lighting techniques

The techniques used in lighting any dish is to bring out the true color and texture of the food. In short, balancing the soft light for over all illumination with decent amount of cross hard light that will skim the surface textures.

Balancing exposure between each light source is very crucial to the final exposure. Highlights tend to kill the lighter areas and soft light on its own cannot bring out the details in the shadow and dark areas. To overcome these technical difficulties in the use of light, many type of fillers and reflectors are used.

If the food is lying on the table for long, it looses its form, texture and start to limp quickly. All the lighting and exposure checks should be finalized on a dummy dish. Once this is finalized, the actual dish has to be placed and shot immediately. The photographer can attempt to shoot more than one angle and composition if the dish permits him to do so.

Basic light shapers like soft box can be used to light the overall shot for a even soft illumination. Honeycombs come in different grid sizes and have different angular spread of light and have a hard character. These can be used to skim the food surface and add highlights. Reflector sheets of thermo Cole, crumpled aluminum foils can be easily placed to reflect shadow areas. One can experiment with these and develop the basic light from here 

The perfect camera

The ideal camera for food photography is a view camera with lenses like 75mm, 100mm and 150mm for use with CCD sensor size of 6x4.5 cm approx.

For close shots or macro shots you should invest in 100 or 120 Apo Macro lens. This lens comes in very handy when photographing close and small objects like spices etc. Their ability to reproduce fine detail and texture is unmatched.

I suggest you should read about view cameras and digitar lenses to understand further.

My personal choice of view camera is ‘Arca Swiss Monolith’ and lenses from Rodenstock and Schneider. Mounting the Arca Swiss on a Arca Swiss Cube head will make life very easy. Many fine adjustments in composing and recomposing are done very easily.

Happy Shooting!

Architectural Photography by Harminder Singh

Objectives of architectural photography

Architectural photography comprises photography of exteriors and interiors for the purpose of promotion and documentation. Many Industries ranging from IT, real estate, hospitality and commercial benefit from these images in numerous ways. The requirement of each industry is unique in purpose.

Hospitality Industry

New hotels require images of its exterior, different type of rooms, lounging areas, restaurants, spas, banquet halls, conference rooms, gym, pool etc. that exist.

Many international brands of hotels have a set rule and style in which their properties are photographed. Before undertaking such assignment, the photographer should visit their websites and understand the style. I have always paid attention to this important fact. Usually the headquarters of these hotels have a dedicated agency and favorite team of photographers who do their jobs.

Often virtual tours are also created. Virtual tours are very helpful in projecting the 360 view and can be used in their websites. The hotels use these images on hoardings for local publicity and print brochures for distribution amongst its corporate clients during presentations.

Open restaurants are a difficult to shoot as there is a lot of movement. Lighting can also pose a challenge as there are bound to be areas of illumination and shadows outside the acceptable curve suited for CCD sensor (Contrast ratio of more than 6). Hence shadows will have to be filled up with just enough light to bring down the contrast. Maintaining natural light effect is crucial. The natural feel of illumination is of essence in all interior photos.

Commercial buildings photography

Commercial buildings represent shopping malls, Information technology (IT) parks. These spaces are leased out to the various occupants of diverse or common activities.

The space provides great convenience to clients where all their requirements are met and are very efficiently maintained right up to housekeeping needs.

These are photographed to show the infrastructure, open spaces, parking areas, interior spaces and facilities. These are important from their client’s perspective who is in the process of investing huge sums of his money for running his business.

The infrastructure should be well built, pleasant for employees and visitors having all the comforts , conveniences and backup services.

Real Estate photography

Residential properties are places that people want to live in. These places require to project the size of the project with great emphasis on basic infrastructure and common spaces provided for children to play, health club, swimming pool, clubhouse, walkways, parking areas for residents and guests.

A great representation of the property has tremendous scope for global investors who are looking for a value investment.

Apartment sizes of different types, ideally that are furnished for show-casing called show apartments are mostly used now days. These should be photographed in a manner that projects openness, ample daylight and airiness., using open windows and exterior views. 

Fine overall finish in various forms. Quality fittings and well appointed kitchen space is an important part of good apartment. Vivid and inviting photographs of the apartment can stimulate the buying feeling in the buyer.

Understanding architectural photography

The core objective of the photographer is to project the structure through the mind’s eye of the architect and present the structure in the most flattering manner. Key characters of the structure should be covered without distorting the structure. Distortion simply means distorting the facts in the structure.

Important aspects of great architectural photography

Many times the architect is not present to guide you and highlight the key features of the structure. It is here that the unsaid communication between the two comes into play. It comes from regular interaction with the architect and self education. Self education comes from observing work of famous architects in books and journals.

Archis, Architectural Digest, Design Architect, Building, Metropolis are a few that are a great source to polish oneself.

All structures, interiors and exteriors present themselves differently at different times of the day.

Raghu Rai, the stalwart of India, has covered the Taj, in it’s beauty at various times of the day. It is a great study in itself.

The photographer should visit the location and study the structure at different times of the day from all the angles. He should make mental or written notes on various observations like camera viewpoint and lens selections, sunrise and sunset time with directions on the compass to plan the shots. In today’s day and age, any decent camera can produce decent photographs, but Camera is just a tool. Thorough knowledge of the subject with an artistic flair will set apart a professional photographer from an amateur.

Camera

Today the 35mm DSLRs are capable of producing excellent images but still, In my opinion, they simply cannot match the high quality images of specialty PRO equipment.

My advice to upcoming photographers who are limited in resources, is to hire PRO level equipment and learn to use it.

Architectural cameras such as view cameras are specially designed for architectural work and wide angle cameras like Horseman SW-II, Alba or Hasselblad X-pan albs a part of the kit.These are designed to give excellent results with great detail and no distortion.

The right lenses

For digital imagery one should use Apo digitars or digital lenses. For further understanding you can check this link http://www.schneideroptics.com/pdfs/Digitar.pdf

Lenses that are most common to use are short focal length lenses, though there are many visuals that require medium and long focal lengths.

Fast lenses- these are lenses that allow enough light to form a bright image on the ground glass for proper composition even in low light situations. Highly corrected lenses that give distortion free images from corner to corner. Cheaper lenses cannot capture images with details across the frame. Usually they create soft corners.Using cheap lenses against light causes flare and loss of detail.Lenses should have a very high resolving power.

The best lenses are from Schneider and Rodenstock from Germany and if you buy the digitar series or Apo series you will get all the above mentioned benefits. It is good to invest in top quality lenses as they can give you unsurpassed image quality in terms of detail, contrast and color.

Digital backs

Digital backs are manufactured by very few companies in collaboration with Kodak, Dalsa and Philips. These are the only three companies who produce serious CCD chips that are used by Phase One, Leaf & Mamiya.

All backs offer different minor differences. The most significant character in choosing the back for architectural photography is its ability to produce very fine detail during long exposures without any noise. In this case the King of the backs is P45plus from Phase One that produces a 40 megapixel image with incredible detail in low light and long exposures.

Use of a tripod - a must for all photographs

 It enables use of small apertures with long shutter speeds – to lend great DOF*.

  Low ISO setting – to get images without noise.

  Levelling by spirit level – for straight vertical lines.

Large DOF means small aperture. A small aperture with slow film demands a long shutter speed, too long for steady hand holding. Therefore a professional architectural photographer carries a tripod.

*DOF- depth of field, an area that is rendered near sharp in front and behind the actual point of focus.

It is prudent to invest in a high quality tripod and head. A cheap tripod and head combination will be shaky and create unsharp images during long exposures. The head should be smooth and lock precisely when locked in position even under heavy load of view camera.The most respected names are Gitzo (Italy) for tripod and Cube (head) from Arca swiss. I use these mainly for mounting Arca swiss, Horseman and Hasselblad.I also use Manfrotto 058 with pan & tilt OR ballhead head, when using lighter camera system. The ball head and panorama head are used with manfrotto for creating virtual tours.

Jewellery Photography - Part - I by Harminder Singh

Introduction

Jewellery photography is one of the most challenging of all photography. A specialty jewellery photographer is a master craftsman who understands jewellery and knows how to deal with the challenges of creating pleasing results. It requires very high levels of professional skills in photography, handling of sophisticated equipment, visualization skills to achieve fabulous looking images that can drive the sales and create extraordinary brand image.

Technical know how

The use of specialized, technical large format cameras that use movements for swing, tilt, rise and fall, at lens and image plane for controlling depth of focus, shallow or infinite. These cameras when mated with high resolution Schnieder Macro Apo-Digitar and Rodenstock Apo-Soronar optics having large image circles along with PRO quality digital back are the ultimate weapon of choice for a serious photographer to achieve great details in the diamonds to show clarity, cut and colour. The use of such cameras require study and technical know how.

These are very expensive photographic assets and only a competent photographer with years of experience can muster the courage to invest so much capital. It is very risky to venture into this exclusive club of rare photographers in an era where DSLR photographers are a dime a dozen to provide mediocre images dirt-cheap.

Lighting – The key factor:

Possession of these photographic assets alone does not ensure great images unless the photographer understands the use of correct lighting and has the patience and commitment, to create controlled highlights and shadows with sparkling diamonds. In technical terms, it is the use of different types of lighting (Soft and hard) both for metal and diamonds in proper ratio and conjunction that is required for high quality images. Fine-tuning the lighting to get glitter of diamonds with smoothness and graduating highlights on metal surfaces, for form and shape. The varying tones of shadows and highlights, on very small surfaces poses the greatest challenge to the photographer.

It is very time consuming and requires a lot of patience and dedication to execute great jewellery photography. Thus I insist once again that great jewellery photography go beyond equipment. Having visual sensibilities are the greatest assets of a professional jewellery photographer.

like in medicine, where you have a specialist doctors who have mastered in Ophthalmology, Oncologist, Ortho etc. Jewellery photographer is a specialist who has mastered the art of jewellery photography.

Master jewellery photographer is one who goes beyond the technical skills and creates enchanting images by intense visuals. He is an artist who understands the language of visual art.

Representation of the jeweller’s creation in full glory, creating mood, fashion and style by adding environment around the jewellery in a way that is minimalistic in nature is the challenge.

The jewellery  has to be arranged in a prominent and revealing manner. Showing the clarity, cut and colour of the jewels along with the fine finish, craftsmanship and design.

Knowledge to show the most important parts of the jewellery while hiding the inappropriate parts effectively is important.

For the jewellers - Part - I by Harminder Singh

Importance of great jewellery photography

Using poor quality images in the advertising media or website will not create a compelling impression on the prospective buyers. These images can do more harm to your brand than you can imagine.

I have 25 years of experience working in the industry and I consult various advertising agencies. Many agencies try to make do with the services of in-house photographers providing cheaper alternatives to their clients. During the course of my career I have also come across jewellers that have invested in light boxes and cameras to execute photography by employing the services of startup photographers.

It has to be understood that by following these routes, you will not be able to achieve high value image of the fabulous jewellery that you have invested in.

Jewellers invest heavily in designing and production of expensive jewellery pieces. The jewellery may be beautiful and precious, with high value diamonds, metals and designs but if it does not inspire the potential customer with a beautiful photograph the opportunity to make a sale is lost.

In the emerging marketplace this opportunity may be lost to your competitor with better and more compelling images.

If you are a jeweler who deals in expensive jewellery, you will require a professional jewellery photographer. There are not many to choose from even in bigger cities that are jewellery capitals like Mumbai. Jewellery photography is a very difficult and a challenging subject with astronomically huge investments. Photographers abound in other areas like fashion but not in Jewellery. Of course, you WILL find a lot of guys, but not the real specialists.

From the jeweller's point of view, the potential customer gets converted into a prospective buyer  through compelling images that appear on pages of newspaper, magazine and hoarding ads.

Jewellers are under pressure to sell the inventory before the designs become outdated and redundant. They have to reach out to the public in the most effective medium through advertising. The images used in the advertising have to be very powerful and attractive and help create a brand. If these images are weak, the jeweler looses on the media investment and opportunity cost. Thus from all angles, the jeweler should spend on good photography and consider it as a high return investment. It will pay back huge dividends.

I have seen this happen and my clients vouch for this reality.

Jewellery Photography - Part - II by Harminder Singh

Professional photography is best executed on a CCD sensor that is housed in Digital backs, unlike CMOS sensors in DSLRS.

CCD sensors produce crisp images when compared with CMOS sensors. Images shot on either of the sensors have an option to capture images in RAW format.

All professionals must shoot in 16 bit RAW because it gives the highest quality in tonal range and colour accuracy. The down side is that it adds a very time consuming process to convert these images from RAW to Tiff on very expensive softwares. Of course there are cheap converters available and some are even free with the DSLRS.

RAW conversion is a process where you can tweak the image to perfection in terms of tonality, colour correction and sharpness overall or to localized areas of the image. This is a lossless process as compared to using Photoshop for these tweaks. During this stage it is important that you use professionally calibrated display.

Great care should be taken to handle jewellery before it is photographed. Always clean the jewellery and handle with lint free fabric to move it on the set. Fingerprints and lint stuck in the prongs can ruin the perfect shot. In spite of all the care there still is a chance to come across these disturbances. It is to get rid of these problems that photoshop is used.

Retouching

Once the image has been converted to 8 bit RGB tiff format, it is ready for the next stage of treatment in photoshop.

Photoshop must be used to remove flaws and enhance the image, not to correct mistakes. Great care is required while retouching. Overdoing takes away the natural look and feel of the jewellery. This is why, the image originally should be shot to perfection, so that one does not later take the refuge, to painting the jewellery with a heavy hand.

Retouching of jewellery photographs is always required to fix the imperfections in production or crafting the jewellery, like poor setting of diamonds, pitting of metal, dust and scratches, that show up upon magnification once the image is blown up for full page advertisements or hoardings

The sharp  and detailed image that we strive to create can also exaggerate  the flaws.

Colour correction

Each image has to be colour corrected individually. Diamond surrounded by gold will appear to have warm colour as compared to a diamond with platinum or silver surround. This is because the surrounding colour is casting its colour on the diamond. Thus Rubies, emeralds, topaz and diamonds when fixed into a same area can play havoc. Colour from the backgrounds can very easily contaminate the colour of the product. This is the reflection of the background. Sometimes it adds environment and is very interesting, but sometimes it needs to be removed. It all depends from case to case.

In photo editing, the most laborious job is to do cutouts of jewellery pcs. for putting different backgrounds below the image.

Cut outs, are mostly required for web uploading with consistent and similar backdrops with gradation and believable shadows, reflections etc. for a uniform look. It adds value, pleasantness, cohesiveness and great character to the pages. These cutouts are also used for blending with creative backgrounds and spl. fx. etc.

One requires great amount of patience, time and hundreds of clicks to do a single cutout, imagine outlining an entire necklace that has very fine intricate weave. It takes about 2 to 6 man-hours.

There are many software’s that allow you to do these cutouts, but if accuracy is the objective, then there is no shortcut, but to use a pen tool in Photoshop.

Scaling images

When different images are brought together in one canvas, they have to have a proper scale in relation to one another. Example, when earing, ring and pendant are shot separately and require to be shown in one canvas, they should represent proper size and dimension.

For the jewellers - Part - II by Harminder Singh

Jewellers should use Common sense, if some photographer one is willing to do your job for cheap, be on the guard. It could mean, cheap photography. 

An undeniable fact remains that photography rates are on the decline and have become more affordable. This is due to the availability of cheap digital SLRS like Nikons, Canons etc. This has flooded the photography market with hordes of photographers. Some of them claim to be the best, just because they may have won an award for the best sunset photo of the year etc.

The problem is – lack of understanding and little information about the photography business by the client. The client’s primary concern is to get his job done at the cheapest rates possible. He often will pitch two or more photographers against one another for getting the cheapest rates. In such a scenario, non speciality  photographers will oblige and will try to convince the client that they can produce excellent results.

The image quality of DSLRS (where detailing is of essence), is poor and lacks definition, especially when it comes to diamonds.

Unfortunately this has made it very difficult for discerning clients to distinguish the real professional from the inexperienced ones. It is precisely for this reason that the jeweler should understand the business of jewellery photography in greater detail.

Instead of focusing on price, the jeweller should focus on the portfolio of the photographer. I have done top quality work for jewellers in India and abroad - you can see the quality of my work in this website.

Quality images result using a combination of PRO equipment and professional lighting techniques:

I use, high resolution digitar Apo Macro lenses made by Schneider and Rodenstock that have the resolving power of 5 iu. And these have to be ordered. These optics are not available readily off the shelf. The camera I always use is Arca Swiss Monolith 2 Technical camera with movements and Pro Digital back that can record fine detail produced by the lens without any fuzziness and noise.

A single professional digitar Rodenstock lens can cost more than an entire DSLR camera with lenses and you need at least 4 different lenses to cover all the desired results. A pro digital back alone can cost 5 times the cost of full 35mm DSLR kit and the technical camera can cost  as much. The cost implications for such serious set up are huge. 

 Rates

There are no fixed rates for jewellery photography and the reason for variation can be explained as follows: Every job is different and every client has different needs. Some times one type of jewellery has more challenges and will require more time in lighting and setup, some may require more "system work" or some require more "photography time" and "system work".

Corporate clients require more of the photographers time for meetings with business heads, their agency art directors, the marketing department and countless people to interface with. 

Large sized images for offset printing or billboards tend to cost much more as compared to small sized images for website usage. 

Pro Equipment by Harminder Singh

The work culture is to use the right equipment for the job. Large format and specialty camera equipment play a very crucial role once mated with the latest in digital domain.

All my studio photography is executed on Arca Swiss and Hasselblad while Architectural photography is executed on Horsemann and Arca Swiss.

The choice of Lenses is from Carl Zeiss, Rodenstock and Schneider...these are essentially high definition APO and digitar series. I use Phase One P45 PLUS CCD based digital back for all my work.

 

 This image was shot on Harseman with sliding back to stitch 2 images in vertical movement of the back.  Lens 35mm APO sironar F16 @ 1/2sec.   Light: available and LCC correction was done separately for both shots. Processing was in Capture One and stitching in PS.

This image was shot on Harseman with sliding back to stitch 2 images in vertical movement of the back.

Lens 35mm APO sironar F16 @ 1/2sec. 

Light: available and LCC correction was done separately for both shots. Processing was in Capture One and stitching in PS.

 Horseman SW-DII Pro for wide angle coverage

Horseman SW-DII Pro for wide angle coverage

 This image was shot on Arca Swiss  75mm APO digitar F16 @ 1/125  Front standard was in swing and drop (slide down)  Electronic flash 

This image was shot on Arca Swiss

75mm APO digitar F16 @ 1/125

Front standard was in swing and drop (slide down)

Electronic flash 

 This is the ARCA-SWISS-Metric 6x9S technical camera

This is the ARCA-SWISS-Metric 6x9S technical camera

 Phase One digital back on Arca Swiss

Phase One digital back on Arca Swiss

 Phase One P45 PLUS digital back

Phase One P45 PLUS digital back

 Hasselblad 503 medium format

Hasselblad 503 medium format

 This image was shot on Hasselblad in Jaipur for a jewellery client.  80mm @ f 8 and 1/30   Electronic flash with 6ft Chimera  Image processed in Capture One.

This image was shot on Hasselblad in Jaipur for a jewellery client.

80mm @ f 8 and 1/30 

Electronic flash with 6ft Chimera

Image processed in Capture One.