A Note About our Photography
I enjoyed photography briefly in junior high school. I also enjoyed it for a short time in the late eighties until my camera was stolen and then toward the end of the nineties until my camera was once again stolen. These were both 35mm cameras.
After that it was all point and shoot digital and cameras on phones. Now there are a few point and shoot cameras out there that might be good enough to use to photograph jewelry, but for the price you might as will get a DSLR.
I use a Nikon D5100 with extension rings on a standard 18-55mm lens. I shoot with three 5200k CFLs on round reflectors through white sheer cloth over an aluminum frame. I shoot on white paper with the aperture wide open and for anywhere from 2.5 to 5 seconds in RAW format. My camera is connected to a computer with dual monitors. I use a great program called Control My Nikon. It's inexpensive and allows me to view my shot on my computer monitor and use the spacebar to trigger the shutter. How cool is that?
Yes, I edit my photos, but I do not change color, only exposure, light balance, contrast and brightness. I will, when I need to, remove background garbage like streaks from the silver on the paper, bits of sticky, hair, and bits of eraser left over from continually trying to clean the paper. I try to not edit the jewelry itself, but there are exceptions. Hair and other organic things not intended to be on the item are edited out. On a very rare occasion, when shooting a translucent or seemingly transparent stone, the camera may pick up an inclusion that the naked eye cannot and treat it in such a way that magnification does not. For instance, a void in a stone might not even show unless lit from behind when it might show on camera as a dark speck that cannot otherwise be viewed. These rare imperfections might be removed with software. But that is the extent of it. Oh, and cropping. Cropping is essential.