Photo Tip: Photograph All Sides of Your Rings

Have you noticed that besides the top of a high school or college ring, there are two sides? You should take time to photograph both sides to preserve the family history nuggets contained therein.

The Power of Photographing All Sides of Your Rings

In a previous post, I discussed the value of photographing all sides of my Texas A&M Aggie ring. That ring is rich in history and symbolism.

Another view of the Columbus South High School 1996 Senior Ring

Columbus South High School 1996 Senior Ring

Yet, unlike my Aggie ring, I do not know the significance of all the symbols for my mother’s high school ring. I have made a few educated guesses

  1. The “S” on the shield represents South High School in Columbus, Ohio.

  2. The 66 represents the year my mother graduated.

The remaining symbols have no meaning for me.

However, the ring is a treasure for both my mother and me.

My mother gave me her senior ring when I was old enough to wear it without losing it. I wore this ring throughout high school until I could order my own senior ring.

Columbus South High School 1996 Senior Ring

Columbus South High School 1996 Senior Ring

In high school, we could choose our ring design from a bevy of options. I chose to mimic my mother’s ring. By so doing, my high school ring symbolically connects my mother and me in more ways than blood.

How to Photograph All Sides of Your Rings

To photograph your rings, do the following:

  1. Place your rings in the center of a lightbox.

  2. Use a white background. (I haven’t had much success with a black backdrop.)

  3. I have purchased a Table Top Studio. (Affiliate link)

  4. You could use the Shotbox studio as well.

  5. Mount your camera on a tripod.

  6. Turn Your Flash Off!!!!!

  7. Switch to Aperture Priority (AV) mode on your DSLR camera.

  8. This is ideal for high quality still images.

  9. If your tablet or the camera on your phone has this setting, use it.

  10. Play with your camera settings. I started around:

  11. An f-stop of 7.1

  12. The ISO was set to 100

  13. I added an Exposure Bias of +1.7

  14. The metering was set to “Pattern”.

  15. Focus your lens (using the viewfinder) on the key elements of your ring.

  16. If portions of your ring are blurry, reset the focus of your lens.

The settings will vary depending on your light source and your camera skills. The key is to play with your settings until you like the resulting image.

Photography Enhances A Ring’s Story

After photographing my mother’s ring, I noticed a chip on one side.

  1. Did my mother do that?

  2. Did I chip her ring while wearing it?

I didn’t notice this chip until after her death. All I can tell from the chip and other details is that the ring was worn often. And doesn’t that tell you more of the jewelry’s story?

↪️ Are you new to genealogy? Grab your copy of this FREE Beginner Guide:

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Take time to photograph all sides of the rings in your family history treasure chest. They deserve to be spotlighted.

When you’re done photographing the ring, take time to record the story behind the possessions and enhance your family history further.

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