Background too dark

edited January 2016 Posted in » Nikon D3100 Forum
I have Nikon D3100 with DX 18-55mm lens. Can you please help me fix the problem of the background being too dark while photographing jewelry? I tried many settings and each time I have problem with the background being too dark. I use some programs on my PC to make the picture and the background lighter, but the object is also too light and that makes the object look unreal. I calibrated the light using the function in the camera with a white paper sheet, but that doesn't help too much. I used a SANOTO 12"x 8" light box, which has plenty of light, but the photo comes with grey background instead of white.


  • edited January 2016
    I'm not anywhere near an expert on this, but since nobody else is coming forward, I'll throw in a bit.

    I think you have set yourself a very difficult task, and part of the problem will be due to the difficulty of getting a surface that is sufficiently bright without blowing out your subject.

    It might help to spot meter the subject, so that only the subject is within the metered area. Spot metering ignores all that is not in the focusing spot. Often this will provide a proper exposure for the subject and a blown out background, which is basically what you want. In any case, you must make sure that whatever exposure you use is not keyed to the background. Unless the subject is very large in the image, the background will always be a major part of the image, and the meter will seek to turn it gray. From the meter's point of view, you must overexpose.

    Even with a light box, you might find this difficult, and I think one solution is to place the object on a lighted surface of white plexiglass, similar to a slide viewing table.

    Here is one site that deals with underlighting an object:

    Essentially, what you need is to get the white background enough brighter than the bright elements of the subject so that you can blow it out to white without blowing the highlights of the subject.

    As I say, this is not my forte at all, and I suggest a diligent Google search for the subject, where you may find tutorials and hints. Jewelry presentation is a specialized art with its own techniques.
  • edited January 2016
    Thank you so much for your very helpful response.
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