Picture advice sought.

Even though I’m an expert in neither, I like to make jewelry and take pictures of it. Here are a couple of examples.

Thanks to my imaginary internet friends who speak slowly and hold my hand while explaining things to me, I learned that a fast shutter and lots of light will get me a sharp image up close. This works well with earrings that are little but I’m having a problem with necklaces.

How did these photographers get such fine details on the necklaces from far away enough to get most of the chain in the picture?

http://butterflips.com/jewelry/copper/totalCopper.jpg

So crystal clear and sharply in focus! I would love for all my pictures to come out that way. What alchemy do professional photographers use?
P.S. I don’t know where or even if I’d wear it, but that last necklace is a beaut!

You want a lot of light and a slow shutter speed. Or, more precise, a small aperture, giving the deepest depth of field.
If you have a point-and-shoot camera, set it to landscape mode.

I’ve done some jewelry photography for ebay, and my stuff turns out pretty good. I am no expert, seriously, but here’s what I do:

  1. I bought a light cube and lights from here
  2. I use the “macro” setting on my standard digital camera (it’s represented by a little flower symbol
  3. Profit!

It really was that easy for me. Except for the “profit” part, but, oh well ;). I love that photography equipment website - they have all kinds of tips on there as well.

ETA: I did not buy any of the fancy “jewelry photography” kits. Just the light cube and some lights.

Ooh! Those lights would be a whole lot better than the table lamps I use. The question is: should I take that step from two $5 table lamps to $120 specialty lamps? Especially considering below.
gary, I put my camera on ‘s’ and set it at, like 1/30, when I should be on ‘a’? Should the f be a high number or low number? These things have been explained to me countless times but it just does not sink in.

Yeah, put it on “a” (or “Av” for a Canon) and set it to the highest number you can set it at. You will want a tripod. A remote shutter release (aka “bulb”) would also be useful. You may also want to try using manual focus if it’s available.

(Weren’t you in my photo class over at DoMeBo? The one that I completely abandoned and feel bad about doing so.)

Yes I was, imaginary friend. I stopped posting long before you did.

Use the two-second timer feature on your camera, that feature you never use. When you push the button, you move the camera a tiny bit, whether it’s in your hand or on a tripod. Can’t help it, it’s just physics. With the two-second timer, you push the button, then you can steady your hands, or move your hand off the camera entirely with a tripod, before the shutter opens. The two-second timer is awesome for macro photographs.