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November 1999


DIY Imaging

Jewelry-specific systems help you photograph your merchandise

A major rule of photographing jewelry is also a favorite adage of mothers everywhere: if you can't do it right, don't do it at all. As jewelers compete with e-commerce Web sites and catalog and TV retailers, though, the latter no longer seems much of an option.

Several companies with backgrounds in the jewelry industry have built digital- or video-imaging systems – all-in-one packages with hardware and software – to help you take professional-looking pictures of jewelry you can download to your computer, e-mail to customers, place in desktop publishing documents or include in Web pages. The systems may seem expensive, but if you produce catalogs or photograph custom designs, buying an imaging system may pay off. Here's an overview of a few systems.

Gesswein Image System

Gesswein Co. distributes this computer imaging system designed for catalog production. Once a piece of jewelry is positioned in the system's light box "studio," a digital video camera takes eight pictures of the subject and creates a composite picture. Using the accompanying Picture.Perfect software package, you can print information on each picture, lay out the pictures in a catalog template or create a slide show of products. The package includes the light box, camera, four lenses, software and video capture card. It's compatible with a Pentium processor PC.

  • Gesswein, Bridgeport, CT; (800) 243-4466, fax (203) 366-3953,


GemVision's digital imaging system has a digital camera designed to produce high-quality images for brochures, catalogs, Web sites, record-keeping and appraisals. It features an electronically controlled lighting chamber with custom holders to position rings for optimum lighting. The RGB camera and its zoom macro lens are modified for jewelry photography. It's compatible with GemVision's jewelry design software, Digital Goldsmith.

  • GemVision, Bettendorf, IA; (800) 357-6272, fax (819) 355-8181,


GemVision's newest digital camera system, released this month, can shoot subjects as small as gemstones and as large as several inches long and wide. The camera can be positioned to shoot straight down or at an angle inside
the 16-inch dome-shaped studio. Adjustable lighting produces the appropriate reflections to make jewelry sparkle. Accompanying software allows you to place digital photos into catalog templates or adjust the image's contrast and brightness.

  • GemVision, Bettendorf, IA; (800) 357-6272, fax (819) 355-8181,


The software for this system automatically documents and categorizes each piece of jewelry you photograph, allowing for inventory control and creating computer catalogs that customers can browse. A digital camera and customized light box create high-resolution pictures that take up limited hard drive space (about 25K per image), which can be placed automatically in flier sheets and printed; the small file sizes are suitable for Web images also.

  • Studio-in-a-Box, Chatsworth, CA; (818) 700-9504, fax (818) 700-8961,


This digital camera system by Gem of the Net includes a color-balanced light box with full-spectrum and shadow-free lighting and software for recording and editing images. SharpCatalog, a drag-and-drop software program for creating color brochures and catalog pages, also keeps a
searchable database of images. The system is compatible with the company's inventory management software, Gemsoft Treasure.

  • Gem of the Net, Los Angeles, CA; (213) 622-6622, info@gemofthenet .com.

by Stacey King


Gesswein's Picture.Perfect plugs digital images into automated catalog and sales sheet templates.

Copyright © 1999 by Bond Communications.


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