THINKING OF BUYING QUALITY
YOU ARE NOT THE ONLY ONE!
Advertising agencies, jewelry designers and Internet
jewelry retailers are rethinking their approach to the use
of 'internet' imaging and are prepared to allocate and
spend more money on better digital jewelry photography.
How much are you prepared to pay a jewelry photographer to take the best photographs of your jewels?
It depends on your budget and the end use for the image.
A number of years ago catalog and advertising photography
was produced strictly from images photographed
on film. There was no alternative but finding a good photographer
who would produce excellent images. A photograph
had to be sharp, well lit, well exposed and properly
There were no shortcuts - the quality of the image had to
be very good. A full-page cover was the limit of what
35mm film could usefully deliver. In the beginning of
the digital evolution, there were problems in maintaining
quality images through the process of shooting, cropping
and color correcting. Today, digital technology has not
only surpassed the quality of film - it has made film
unproductive for commercial use! And yet, many companies
seem to be cutting back on their jewelry photography budgets. Why? Because they don't see the point in spending good money on an
image that will end up two
inches wide on a web page. Internet images are about
250 pixels wide. Even images that are slightly fuzzy
hold up well at this resolution. The images are so small,
perhaps you don't feel you can justify the cost of hiring
a professional jewelry photographer to take photographs.
This isn't because digital imaging makes jewelry photography easier to take - a good 35mm camera is just as
capable and costs less. But with the lower resolution
images that are displayed on a monitor, someone, somewhere
in a factory, design studio, or retail store has
decided that lower quality imagery is totally acceptable!
However, photography is still a skill and an art. Buying
a food processor doesn't turn you into a cook, and investing
in a digital camera doesn't make you a jewelry photographer.
It is now even more important for web images to be well
photographed, large, sharp and true-to-life in order to
turn a web page into a sale-closing tool. Advertising
agencies that created Internet presence for many leading
retail jewelers in the past are now rethinking their
approach. Why? Because good images, originally photographed
for the Internet, can also be used for a multitude
of other advertising purposes such as catalogs or
magazine advertisements. There is also the consideration
of improvements in technology, and the resolution of
computer monitors. At the moment, computer monitors
average about 15-17 inches in diagonal width.
is about 72-96 dots per inch, and a 250-pixel
image appears to be about three inches wide.
WHY WAIT FOR THE FUTURE?
But monitor technology is improving, and will ultimately
be comparable with print resolutions. When we have
300 dpi monitors, that three-inch image is going to have
to be much better. In effect, we will have gone full circle
and will need to put the same amount of thought and
consideration into our online jewelry photography as
we do for print. And all those grainy, blurry 250-pixel
images we have in our archive are going to be useless.
Why wait for the future? Improve the way your images
are taken and presented now and your 'online presence'
will thank you for it. Make sure that you receive from
your jewelry photographer a high resolution version of
the image you are paying for. Archiving those images
will safeguard your investment and save you from additional
expense in the future.
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