Monday, January 18, 2016

Behind The Frame: Photographing Rings

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I love shooting rings, but they can definitely get a little repetitive.   It is always a creative challenge to make a ring shot feel new and unique.  And a good ring shot should really be unique to each bride and groom.  This bride's engagement session was on the beach and their wedding was going to be too, so using this shell, which was actually a gift from the groom, was the perfect way to make the photo personal.  I've used invitations, velvet boxes, macarons, and even a Mickey Mouse doll to get a personalized ring shot.  Rings are a little harder to shoot with the Contax because you have to use the Hoya Filters to turn the lens into a macro to get the closeup shot of the ring and it's really easy to miss focus.  I usually shoot most of my photos at F2, but for a ring shot with a macro filter on I'll stop down to F4 or 5.6 so there's a wider plain of focus and more of the ring can be in focus.  The macro filter will help create lots of bokeh and a very shallow depth of field, so there's no need to be at F2 most of the time.  My assistant always laughs at me as I rock back and forth in micro movements as I take these shots watching through my lens to make sure my focus is tack sharp where I want it to be.  Ring shots are all about composition because their such simple detail shots so the styling is very important.  I tend to not like a really crowded ring shot with a ton of different elements that distract from the beauty of the diamond.  I may add the ring in as a smaller element into other detail shots like the invitation or all of the bride's accessories, but when it comes to the ring by itself I think a simple uncrowded composition lets it shine and creates a beautiful piece of art the bride can enjoy.

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