I've read through several threads similar to this, but I'm looking for a comparison of two options here.

I currently take photos on a raised glass platform against a white foam board background and run about 300w of lights (3 100x LEDs @ 5000k, Home Depot Specials in softboxes and umbrellas). As you can imagine, it takes me about 15 minutes of post processing to achieve a perfect white background, and sometimes I have a particular photo that I am unable to get there.

I want to upgrade to either a photography table with a translucent background that I can place a speedlight under, or a cyclorama infinity background such as the MyStudio MS20. The latter option may require an upgrade to my lighting, which I am planning to do anyways.

The idea of course is to get a blown out 255 background with no post processing, other than color correction on the jewelry or product as needed. This would cut my time after the shoot to a ridiculously small amount of time.

Which option would make my life easier?

For reference, I currently use a D5300 with a Tamron 90mm f2.8 macro lens.

This is the best shot I got after quite a lot of effort, before and after processing:



Note that the silver is not shiny like it should be, and the sparkle on the gems is lost.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Perhaps you aren't properly lighting your background? If the white background is very well lit and you expose properly for the item you are shooting, these things tend to work out themselves most of the time. Could you show us a photo of an unprocessed photo? I could better get an idea of how to help you then. \$\endgroup\$
    – codedude
    Commented May 8, 2014 at 3:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ I just spent about 3 hours mucking about with my current setup. I added in a speed light pointing at the background. I quickly found out that my raised glass was far too close to the background, I was using cans of corn for risers. I switched to some rather tall candles, and things went better, but the amount of finagling necessary is ridiculous. I think if I had double the wattage of lights and one additional speed light I could make this home grown studio work. But it's a hassle. I'll post the last picture I took pre and post processing in a moment. \$\endgroup\$
    – Dakine83
    Commented May 8, 2014 at 8:29
  • \$\begingroup\$ I ended up pulling the trigger on a translucent photography table due to the price point and the need to have it by Saturday. I'm not opposed to purchasing the other option as well, should the consensus be that the cyclorama technique works better/easier. So my question still stands, despite my purchase. \$\endgroup\$
    – Dakine83
    Commented May 8, 2014 at 8:49
  • \$\begingroup\$ possible duplicate of Why can't I get a decent white background with product photgraphy? \$\endgroup\$
    – mattdm
    Commented Jun 12, 2014 at 8:01

4 Answers 4


Using only whiteboards will make silver look flat like tin or aluminum. Place some black cards off-frame to the sides or suspended above the jewellery. The silver will look more lustrous with some black reflected and the glass beads will also gain additional contrast in their facets.


Use a shooting tent. This should create you a lot of bounces and very even diffused light. You usually use two flashes from each side, and that should do it.

Tents for tabletop shooting, e.g. check this link. (Google "shooting tent" for photos of example uses and results.)

Shooting tent


While a photo tent is highly advisable if you're looking for a quick fix you can try this:

  • use a white backdrop (a piece of paper would do, vertical)
  • hang the jewelry several inches in from the backdrop with the thinnest fishing line you can find. Don't put knots in the line, but instead suspend it across and hang the earrings by their hooks
  • use two light sources (or more) for the jewelry, one (or more) just for the backdrop. the more powerful ones
  • step back away and zoom in. The goal is to capture a large image of the piece without shadows overlapping with it in the back. Expose for the jewelry
  • photochop
  • share your result back here :)

Did yo try a lightbox? Maybe it's a better solution.

Can be easily home made, try this quick tutorial

  • \$\begingroup\$ might be a bit flat, but he can then add a spot light from a direction to sparkle the gems and silver. \$\endgroup\$ Commented May 8, 2014 at 12:22

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