A reader commented on my previous post on How to Use Your Smartphone for Jewelry Photography  -  she uses her iPhone 5S for her Etsy pictures even though she has a high end dSLR camera.  Why?  It's so much easier and quicker!  If you don't have a dSLR, that will save you a whole bundle and justify a smartphone! Never mind the steeper learning curve using all the bells and whistles of a dSLR.

iPhone 5 with Modahaus TS320 (natural light photography)
The iPhone 5 and 5S are particularly good camera phones.  I previously recommended the camera + app ($0.99) for iPhones.  They have since updated the app which will make getting white backgrounds even easier.  The goal is to do as little as possible in post editing.

So here is a quick look at how I did the photoshoot for some tagua earrings earlier this week.

There are just a handful of things to do - select the WB, Timer, Focus/Exposure and (drum roll please!) the new EV setting! Tapping on the selections takes all of a minute or so. Seriously.

When you click on the EV setting button, you will get a slider where you can adjust to get brighter backgrounds.  The screen capture below shows the slider low down so the picture looks dark. So move it up until you get a white background like the photo above.  Don't overdo it as you don't want the jewelry to look washed out.

Tap the gear button to select the timer and the default crop shape.  Square looks best for online listings.

Tap the WB (White Balance) to lock it (not shown).  Then tap anywhere on the screen to bring up the focus and exposure square.

See the + sign on the top left of the square? Tap that and it will display the exposure circle:

Place your finger on the circle and move it around the screen until you see where the best spot for it is - usually a brighter look.  Next move the square to where you want to have the sharpest focus. 5 seconds is plenty for the timer but if you want a longer time, tap on the 5 to cycle through more options. Then take the shot!

When you check the lightbox part of the app, you can do some editing if you wish.  The final picture is pretty good with the new EV setting so all you have to do is crop it closer (less white space around the earrings). You can now share it directly to social media and/or save it to the camera album of the smartphone.

Best part?  No fiddling with post-editors like Photoshop! Who's got time for that?  Below is the actual as is final photograph I took with my iPhone 5.  All I did was crop it closer and resized it for this blog post. Otherwise the unresized photo is perfect for Etsy.  Note : never zoom in using your phone.  Digital zooms are not the same as optical zooms and will affect the quality of your photos.

An alternative to the timer is to use the volume setting on your phone's headphone to trigger the shot. Good tip to know if you prefer another phone app which doesn't have a timer.

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Original Post by THE BEADING GEM
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