Help, I'm photographing Opals

I am having trouble taking photos of some crystal Opals I want to post for sale on this site. I regularly sell gems online and have learned macro photography. I have a clear crystal opal with major color-play with lots of warm colors. The reds aren’t coming out in the photos, they are showing up orange. I took photos of a Welo Crystal opal with a slightly apricot body color and the reds came across just fine. So I’m thinking it’s a light balance issue. I have tried to customize it but so far, not helping. I have a Digital SLR camera hybrid, meaning it has macro and super macro capability but not changeable lenses. It has more settings and options than I know what to do with but if someone could point me in the right direction I would go from there. Any suggestions for getting those reds to come through??

Hi, I too photo gems & it can b a task-I have a crystal opal & had the same problem-a remedy is to use incandescent & led lights at the same time, experiment but as u move the stone in the light, view thru the camera slowly-when u c ur shot, take it. Digital cameras are a dream to use & easy to reset-takes time & patience-if u want I will post pics of my opal to show what can b done with patience & a few lights-a tripod will help-steve…

Thanks Steve, I’ll play with the light source some more.

Hi Terry, Try going for a colour Temp of around 4300k-5500k keeping in mind there is such a thing as too much light volume. Thats what Ive found for Australian Opal but nothing beats sunlight.

Im currently trialing different combinations of 4300k and 6500k led fluro battens diffused with their own light covering followed by the light box material before the Stones when I photograph. You can also try Diffusing with UV Filters if theyre still used now things are digital.

I actually found my Galaxy S5 Took better photos than my Entry level Nikon DSLR did in the way of capturing colour in Australian Opal. Maybe give that a shot - I havent done too much with Welo really. I bought some lovely rough about a year ago but found it very unstable which resulted in it going in the garden with all my other discards (My 4yr old son loves fossicking out the back hahaha) although I did keep a little 1.0ct Trilliant Cut thats still in the cupboard that is gorgeous when you hydrate it!!

Dear fraserstones, Thank you so much for that info, it is really helpful. I had already figured out the part with the kelvin lighting, my 7500k were too blue, I’m pretty happy with my new 5000k. Then I have a set of incandescent, the run on the warm side, about 3500k and then the set of reveal which are somewhere in between. Mostly I use the incandescent lights for the opals and a very low lighting on the camera, almost like a shadow, even though the opals are bright in regular room light, the colors just don’t come across in the photos correctly. Also I have only had luck with a single light source. Thanks for giving me some ideas!

Sometimes it helps to diffuse light-- even when the light source is perfect, and perfectly placed, you may need to try bouncing it off a white or cream umbrella. Opals are so tricky. Just don’t wind up tearing your hair out!