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How do you make jewelry shine in Photoshop?

Jewelry Photo Editing

By Jonathan EricPublished 2 months ago 3 min read

In the competitive jewelry industry, impactful product photography can make or break sales. Yet raw images straight from the camera rarely showcase pieces at their radiant best. That's where professional jewelry photo editing comes in. Software tools like Photoshop empower specialists to digitally enhance lighting, polish away imperfections, intensify facets and truly make fine jewelry shine.

This article reveals insider techniques for dramatically improving jewelry photos through processes like texture refinement,brightness balancing, selective sharpening and gleam effects. Follow these editing essentials and watch pieces dazzle even more brilliantly.

Subtly Soften Textures

One key to making gemstones and metals shimmer lies in very lightly smoothing overarching details. Why? Because most jewelry possesses intricate etched patterns vulnerable to catching shadows that undermine luminosity. By gently softening the piece overall, you allow brightness to reflect more evenly across the entire surface.

In Photoshop, use the Surface Blur filter. Dial settings no higher than Radius 5 and Threshold 20 to retain crisp edges around stones and filigree while muting darkened elements. Recheck sharpness and locally re-sharpen if needed.

Balance Bright and Dark Areas

The next step - strategically lightening and darkening specific sections enables jewelry to truly spotlight. Dodge and Burn tools serve as digital equivalents of studio lighting technicians, illuminating then toning down spots as needed.

To balance out a ring image, for example:

- Dodge (brighten) the region immediately under gemstone edges to define facets.

- Burn (darken) background areas encroaching on the bottom of the band pulling focus.

- Dodge side areas to open up shadows obscuring engraved etching.

Such precision boosts dimension.

Intensify Contrast & Clarity

For pieces to shift from flat 2D images into vivid viewable products, contrast and clarity require enhancement. The High Pass sharpening method addresses both elements.

High quality product photography is crucial in the jewelry industry to attract customers and make sales online and in stores. However, without professional post-production editing even carefully crafted photos can fail to bring pieces to life. Subtle imperfections like dust or scratches distract consumers, and inconsistent lighting can leave certain gems looking dark or yellowed.

After softening and burning, create a duplicate layer. On that new layer apply a High Pass filter, like 5 pixels. Change the layer’s blend mode to Soft Light or Overlay (experiment to compare). Lower opacity if sharpening becomes overcooked. This globally yet subtly crisps definition across the entire jewelry image to spotlight brilliance.

Add Light Effects

No discussion of jewelry shine in Photoshop would be complete without mentioning light effects. Using Layer Styles in the FX menu, you can digitally recreate studio lighting glows. Try applying the default Outer Glow effect. Adjust sliders including size, opacity and noise to mimic the refractive gleam of diamonds and delicate twinkle of gold or platinum chains. Get creative blending multiple effects like Inner Glow or Bevel Emboss to inject light magic!

Showcase through Cropping

Framing pieces thoughtfully also greatly maximizes perceived shine by eliminating competing background elements. The standard Rectangular Marquee tool facilitates basic crops, but the Pen Tool enables intricate custom isolation shaping. Trace along the contours of bracelets, rings or necklaces. Right click the path then select Make Selection from the pop-up menu. With the jewelry silhouette selected, Content Aware Fill will replace the background entirely when you hit Delete. Presto - the newly superstar solo piece dazzles!


Like a panel of music studio engineers mixing tracks, photo editors take all visual elements present and artfully amplify some, carefully suppress others until the image composition strikes perfect harmony. Through techniques like subtle surface smoothing, precision dodging and burning, high pass sharpening, light effects and strategic cropping, jewelry images shift from flat raw shots into irresistibly eye-catching works of wearable art in Photoshop. Dazzle clients by making their pieces shine digitally!


About the Creator

Jonathan Eric

I am an innovative graphic designer with 5+ years of experience translating clients' visions into engaging visual communications across print and digital media.

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Jewelry Photo Editing

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