by Stephenie Gardella.
(Dream Again Jewelry)
Gimp Photo Editing to Make Your
Jewelry Photos Look Professional
We all know how hard it can be for us, as amateur photographers, to get great, professional looking photos of our jewelry.
I have a few little secrets that have helped me with my photos immensely.
I am not someone who can take the perfect picture without needing to tweak it in a photo editing program.
I use a free, easy photo editor called Gimp. (Get the free Gimp download.)
Here are my suggestions on
how to use Gimp:
1. Take as many pictures from as many different angles, with as many different props, as you can.
I try to take two pictures of each angle and with each different prop.
I usually take 20-30 photos of each of my pieces. This increases the chance of taking a good photo.
2. Make sure you have some type of light box for taking photos.
You can find articles on how to make a light box. There are also numerous articles on how best to take photos with a digital camera. This is the best way I have found to create beautiful photographs of jewelry.
3. Remember that photo editing software is used to more clearly and accurately show your jewelry.
You don’t want to over edit the jewelry, as then the photo may look different than the actual jewelry.
4. One of the easiest tools is the auto white balance in Gimp.
You open your photo in the image editor and then select Color from the toolbar menu and then Auto, then White Balance.
It is that easy. The Gimp photo editing program does it all for you.
This really helps you to get true and accurate colors in your photos. It gets rid of the bluish or reddish cast on the photo that can occur with inadequate or the wrong light.
5. Next is the rectangle select tool in the toolbox.
It is the very first tool in the toolbox. You use this to drag and select an area of the photo. Anything outside of this rectangle will be cropped away.
After selecting the area you want to keep, go to Image in the toolbar menu at the top of the window and go down and select Crop to Selection. It automatically crops it for you.
This helps you to get rid of anything in the photo that is not absolutely beautiful. It also helps the viewer to zoom in visually on the jewelry piece.
6. Now you need to scale the image.
Go to Image in the toolbar menu at the top of the window and select Scale Image.
Up will pop a window with the image width and height in pixels. The width should be no smaller than 1000 pixels if you want the viewer to be able to zoom in on it.
Many sites like Etsy will resize the photos into thumbnails for you.
7. Saving your edited image.
Then another window will open up called Save as JPEG.
Check the Show Preview In Image Window. Then you can adjust the scale to show the quality of the image.
The greater the quality, the greater the image size. It tells you the image size in kilobytes (kb).
Most applications or sites want images sized under 100 kilobytes. I usually don’t go below 75 on the scale. Any lower and the photo gets too low on clarity.
So there you have it. Gimp photo editing, done the right way, turns an ok photo into a great photo.
The images in this article were edited just as I described here.
How to use Gimp
Thanks so much for taking us step by step through your process of image editing, Stephenie!
You’ve just speeded up the learning curve for a lot of jewelry artists who’d like to improve the quality of their photos.
Thanks so much for sharing your Gimp photo editing tutorial with us!
Powerful Portrayals Picture Perfect
by: Brother David, FOSF
Wonderful and practical advice. I had been finding my photo editing softward absolutely inadequate to the task of presenting beautiful pictures. I can’t wait to upload the great images that Gimp is letting me make with ease.
Br. David, FOSF
Rings Rosaries Jewelry and Things
Thank you for sharing your tips. It has been very usefull. I will try with Gimp 2.6.
by: Stephenie Gardella
Brother David and Isabela, I am glad you found my article helpful. Thank you for taking the time to comment. I really appreciate it!
30 – 40 images?!
by: Patricia C Vener
I wish I could take that many photos. After about six, my camera memory is full. And after I’ve done this about 4 times, my batteries need recharging. 🙁
by: Joan Williams
Can’t wait to try this out! My little laptop didn’t come with an editing program so all my photos are “as is”. The ability to make even small changes will be so helpful – thanks for sharing this info!
Thank you so much for your tips on using GIMP. I have it downloaded, but have not used it as it seemed so diffucult, well you have helped that. Thanks again
Work on a Mac?
Thank you, Stephanie:
Before I download Gimp, can you tell me if it will work on a Mac? I checked the website and the webmaster is composed of volunteers who don’t check their email very often. Thanks so much for your thorough explanation.
Gimp for Mac
by: Stephenie Gardella
I checked it out and it looks like you can download it for Mac OS X. Here’s the link.
Tried this right away, as I already had Gimp, just wasn’t sure what to do with it. The auto white balance thing works beautifully, thanks! My pics look better already.
soothing after frustrations
Thank you – Thank you – Thank you!
I have just started posting my jewelry on Etsy (gemsbyConny) and I am having a hard time with taking pictures that look good. After having spent several frustrating hours last night, God directed me to your photo shoot lesson which I found through a generic search for how to take pics of jewelry – and here you were! And – I never even considered using my scanner. I will try that tonight, too. I had also just downloaded Gimp photo editing software on which I could not find the white balancing -and – voila’ …. everything fell into place. God is good ! Thank you soooo much Stephanie. I like your website, too. Nice jewelry !!
(for God so loved the world that He sent His one and only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him shall not parish but have everlasting live!)
I’m so glad you found the jewelry photography help you needed here, Conny! You’ll have to share some of your new images with us when you have a chance – we’d all love to see!
And thanks again to Stephenie for helping so many of our fellow artists with this fantastic tutorial.