Okay, here’s with new lights:
No color tweaking, just lightening it a little. These bulbs are significantly better (30 watt and 5000K), the color is good, but I want a whiter background than this. Part of the problem is that these tabletop light stands are 17″ above the surface of the table. In previous light tent setups, I’ve had the lights directly against the side of the light tent — in this, the bulbs are 6″ above the tent, pointing diagonally downwards. I have the camera set to slower shutter speeds to brighten it further; I tried slower than this, but there was no significant difference.
I think I have a couple of options: to elevate the light tent (this is still my temporary one made of paper, until I make a new one), or to find new fixtures. I just bought these fixtures and I don’t know if others tabletop ones will be shorter. Here’s a picture of a single earring, except the light tent elevated nearly 6″, only lightening and no color tweaking:
A little less shadow under the earwire shows the lighting to be closer to what I want. Weird angle on the picture!
Raise the light tent another 5″ so the lights are coming in the side, again only lightening the photo:
And finally, taking the reflectors with their bulbs off the stands entirely, so the bulbs are as flush to the tent as I’ve done in the past:
Maybe this will be my solution. The simplest one is often the best. As far as the flash of the Swarovski (or not), I can fix this somewhat with earring, camera, and/or lighting angle in any of the setups. Same setup as above, just changing the angle:
I still would like a whiter background. These earrings are a good example of why selecting the background and cutting it away isn’t a good solution, as these light transparent beads are hard for the computer to differentiate from the background.
The earrings? Size 15s around a 9mm Cosmic Delta Aquamarine. These are flatbacks, so I used herringbone and peyote to make a back and basic bezel. Simple and pretty.