One of the most frustrating parts of shooting details is nailing the ring shot and making sure that first, it’s in focus and second, you can see enough of the ring for the shot to make sense.
I admittedly have such a hard time nailing the ring shot because I have incredibly shaky hands. Like. REALLY shaky hands! Getting the ring shot to be perfect and crisp is hard enough without shaky hands, but I feel like it’s 100x harder – especially on wedding days when things are moving quickly!
Four Tips to Nailing the Ring Shot
Use a macro lens
I use a Nikon 60mm 2.8 Macro lens. I have the 105mm & sometimes use it, but I honestly prefer the output of the 60mm better. If you don’t have the budget for a macro lens, you can buy macro filters for a budget friendly option!
This photo below is an example of a ring shot taken with the 105mm lens. The settings were not ideal, I would’ve changed them to accommodate a lower ISO by lowering my shutter speed. I did want my f/stop at 8.0 because I wanted to make sure I got a lot of good detail of the peony.
Adjust your F/stop
Typically, I keep my f/stop anywhere from 1.8 to 2.5 on a wedding day. Except when shooting rings. For ring shots I bump my f/stop up to 4.5 and sometimes even a touch higher. This is definitely style preference! I like that deepening the depth of field helps the viewer see more of the ring in focus. It’s not always just about the the diamond.
Focus on the prong, not the diamond
Focusing on the prong nearest to you makes the shot much crisper and gives your camera a definite focus point. If you’re trying to focus on the diamond itself, your camera will not be able to nail down one specific focus point.
Support yourself & take a lot of pictures
I have realized that if I support myself (my elbows) on something that helps steady my hands to not move too much. I have thought of using a tripod, but the hassle of adding that to my details bag keeps me from it. So I just try to set up the ring shot in a way that allows me to steady myself. And take a lot of shots! I’m not talking 100 of the same setup, but take enough (10-15) that you know you’ve got a couple of perfectly focused shots!
So next time you’re in the position to photograph rings, I hope you can use some of these tips to help you nail that ring shot!
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