From big time investors to everyday diamond enthusiasts, we have all felt the inclination to take a perfect diamond picture of our prized possession; be it for selling, artistic, or just “capturing the moment” purposes. Most of the time, we don’t have a high quality camera lying around, instead we look to a device that is always in our pocket, our phones.
In this article, we will be going over important photography tips when using your mobile’s camera in order to take the perfect image, capturing all the beauty and magnificence of your fancy color diamond.
The quality of the image becomes a crucial element to set the selling process in motion. One of the biggest selling point in a fancy colored diamond is its color. Since buyers are motivated quality and authenticity of the stone, you'll want to make sure the photo truly encompasses this.
The vast majority of all fancy color diamond images we encounter in our everyday work – such as websites that exhibit inventory, mobile phone images, or even auction catalogs – do not faithfully represent the actual look of the diamond.
These images, in most cases, are over processed. This creates disappointment for the buyer once the stone is presented.
In any case, low quality images that do not do justice to the stone will not motivate the buyer to even ask to see it.
The Ideal Background
Most phone cameras today have a sophisticated color balancing system that appropriately balances exposure in order to accurately portray a small object. This helps the object stand out, especially in front of a darker background.
While cellphone cameras are excellent for daily picture-taking, it is far from ideal for capturing a precious stone, as it will often result in the diamond being much lighter than it actually is.
Generally speaking, a light, neutral background will show most of the diamond’s real colors. This is precisely why gemologists use white surfaces to inspect and grade naturally colored gems.
The Perfect Lighting
As with every photo ever taken, lighting plays an integral role when trying to take the perfect picture of your diamond. You might assume that a standard diamond lamp would be ideal, in actuality, it is not.
If you have ever tried taking a photo under a diamond lamp, you'll notice black horizontal stripes on your mobile’s screen. This happens because the shutter speed is slower than the frequency of the light from the florescent diamond lamp. (This is especially true when recording a video.) So it is best avoiding taking pictures of your diamonds with such lighting.
Another form of light that should be avoided is the yellow halogen light.
While it'll add great sparkling effects to your stone, it will severely hinder the clarity of the picture. Your best bet for a great picture is to stand with your back to a window and let the natural light shine on the stone.
If it is night time, or if you're in an area that doesn’t have windows to access natural light, try standing between spotlights next to a white wall. This will essentially cause the light to scatter and be evenly reflected off of the large white surface.
If the recipient (or any other viewer) is a nonprofessional, in most cases carat weight as a number will not help them understand the how big the stone physically is. Therefore, you should take a picture of the diamond as it would lie on the back of a woman’s hand.
Note: While this will give a true feeling for the stone’s size, remember that different skin tones will often create a skewed hue for the diamond.
That’s why these photos should always be accompanied by pictures taken using the methods mentioned above.
Have You Considered Video?
Oftentimes, our photo might turn out blurry, slightly out of focus, too dark, too bright, etc. If all else fails, why not try taking a video of your precious stone?
Recording a short video could actually eliminate some of the frustration that comes with taking a still photo. You could move in closer, move around the stone, and capture the diamond’s true sparkle as you are constantly recording it from different angles.
Keep in mind, in order to truly capture your stone’s beauty, you must still follow the tips mentioned above. And remember to always have a clean lens.
The Diamond Loupe
This is a more “advanced” technique, but if done correctly, it can produce the most authentic results. To pull this off you will need a phone with frontal camera (aka the selfie camera), a diamond loupe, tweezers, and someone to hold up a white background.
With your phone situated screen up on a flat surface, place the loupe on top of the front camera, and proceed to bring your diamond into focus by holding it with the tweezers in front of the loupe.
Usually the white color of the ceiling is fine for revealing the stone’s true color, however if you have lighting fixtures or a colored ceiling, it would be best to have someone hold a white background behind the diamond. (There should be adequate space between the white background and the diamond, ideally 40cm.) Finally, optimize the exposure and you should be set to capture the perfect image or video.
- Always select a white background, preferably.
- Use video mode for a closer view and a more realistic feel of the stone.
- Create an extra video showing the stone on the back of a hand to demonstrate actual size.
- Correct lighting with the on-screen exposure slider.
- Use the selfie-loupe technique to create best results.
For more reading on colored diamonds, check out the link below:
- Should I Invest In Loose Or Set Colored Diamonds?
- The Pink Diamond Investment. Is It In Your Portfolio?
- Where Do Colored Diamonds Come From? - The Largest Contributors & Their Top Mines