I want to do more "How To" stuff, so let me talk about my favorite sing shots so far. For all of these shots I have used my 60mm micro f/2.8 lens from Nikon. I usually get in pretty close and manually focus... but sometimes you have to be careful not to get in the way of your own light hehe!
When I get a ring, I first look for a surface that has texture. I love texture. That's what happened in this frst image. I was at a bookstore and saw this table..
ISO 3600, f/9, 1/50 sec
And this bookshelf..
ISO 1600, f/4.5, 1/50 sec
My shutter speed here is pretty slow for handheld. I wouldn't suggest going this slow unless you really have a steady hand, and in the future, I probably would not do this either, instead I'd raise the ISO a bit so my shutter speed could be faster. Since I was indoor, my ISO was pretty high to begin with. I decided to go with black and white to focus more on the textures than the colors.
For my next shot I started with this shot of a treasure chest that contained an engagement ring. This was outdoors on a table in front of a cafe.
I was pretty happy but now I wanted a compelling ring shot. I placed the ring near the edge of the table, several inches in front of the treasure chest, and composed my image so that the ring was in sharp focus. That caused the treasure chest to make some interesting bokeh in the background.
ISO 200, f/5.6, 1/500 sec, 60mm
Make sure your aperture is small enough that the whole diamond is in sharp focus. For me, f/5.6 was able to do the trick. It gets more tricky when you have smaller diamonds surrounding a larger one, you might have to go to f/7.1 or smaller if you want them in focus as well...
Lastly, I found a shiny surface that was actually the hotel's brochure/book thingy. It was like a spiral notebook with a shiny textured surface as seen below. I placed it by the window for natural light and this was my initial image...
But.. what can I do to make it more interesting?
I started looking for something to use as bokeh and found the garter:
So... I did the same thing as the previous example - I placed the ring a few inches in front of the garter and was able to come up with some interesting bokeh.. especially because the garter was reflected by the surface of the hotel book. I decided I liked the smaller diamonds being out of focus in this case so I just kept the aperture at f/4.2.
ISO 400, f/4.2, 1/400, 60mm
So yeah, just wanted to share :)