A Guide To Photographing Watches
 

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Thread: A Guide To Photographing Watches

  1. #1

    Default A Guide To Photographing Watches

    A while ago I spent a few days writing a long and detailed Guide To Photographing Watches. It's since been posted on several watch forums and many members seem to have found it useful so I'll post it here, too, if no-one minds and hope it helps some members here capture the beauty of their beloved timepieces.

    It's designed for beginners but others may find the odd useful tip, too. It talks you though equipment, basic technique, lighting, set-up, shooting, post-processing, uploading to the net and finally posting on a forum. I hope it helps a few members get into a fun hobby and for others to stay in it and maybe even improve the photos posted daily on the forum.

    A Guide To Photographing Watches

    If you need to find it in the future there's a link towards the bottom of the right sidebar menu on my blog.

  2. #2

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    I'm going to update this guide soon with some pics of how to set things up and also info about a new lighting setup I've just bought in which should work very well and, for most, won't break the bank, either.

  3. #3

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    Nice write-up. Thanks for sharing.

    One suggestion though:
    (not sure if it is my monitor or your WB settings), but that 18K Yacht-Master looks too red, IMO.
    It looks more like rose gold which we of course know, Rolex does not make.





    Not to say that this image is perfect as it was shot outdoors and hand-held,
    but as one can see, the metal is more yellow:

    Last edited by WatchFan1; 11-03-2012 at 03:10 PM.

  4. #4
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    What about recommending 2 or 3 affordable lens for these kind of photos?

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeyt_53 View Post
    What about recommending 2 or 3 affordable lens for these kind of photos?
    What camera body do you have, Mikey? And what would you feel to be affordable?

  6. #6

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    WF, that was taken on a sideboard without the benefit of a tent so it's catching a little reflection from our red sofas.

    This one was done in a tent:

    Rolex 16628 18k Yachtmaster « thirtyfivemill

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    Quote Originally Posted by WingTsun View Post
    What camera body do you have, Mikey? And what would you feel to be affordable?
    Doh! Nikon D3000. At this point i have an 18-55 VR AF-S lens and a 55-200 VR AF-S lens. I also have a Neewer 0.45x Super wide angle lens w macro that i understand fits onto the 18-55 but i've never tried to use it. I also have a Canon EOS Digital Rebel with a Canon 100mm EF USM 1: 2.8 Macro lens that i haven't used in quite a while now because i like the ease of use that comes with the Nikon. Under $300 would be 'affordable' at this time of year.

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    IMHO, your writeup does a disservice to the beginners by impressing on them the "need" to use manual mode. I believe this is prevalent on the internet as a holdover from the pre-digital age (maybe even the pre-autofocus age), and there is a perception created that to be a "serious" photographer, you will only use "M" mode, when nothing could be further from the truth with today's cameras. "P" mode stands for "Professional" these days, as M mode carries a significant risk of a totally blown shot.

    Beside which, at this level, most people are just going to set the settings where the built-in metering says to, anyways, so why not let the camera do it and have one less thing to worry about? I think the time would have been far more valuably spent discussing exposure compensation, and how the camera wants to make everything "grey" - and therefore the need to dial in a bit of +EV for light subjects, and a bit of -EV for dark ones.

    Lastly, f/8 - f/16 is going to put practically all the cameras your readers are using into diffraction with no additional DOF benefit. f/4-f/8 is sufficient for m43 and APS-C sensors, compact cameras can shoot wide open and have sufficient depth of field in most cases (and a HUGE exposure advantage because of it)

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by ~tc~ View Post
    IMHO, your writeup does a disservice to the beginners by impressing on them the "need" to use manual mode. I believe this is prevalent on the internet as a holdover from the pre-digital age (maybe even the pre-autofocus age), and there is a perception created that to be a "serious" photographer, you will only use "M" mode, when nothing could be further from the truth with today's cameras. "P" mode stands for "Professional" these days, as M mode carries a significant risk of a totally blown shot.

    Beside which, at this level, most people are just going to set the settings where the built-in metering says to, anyways, so why not let the camera do it and have one less thing to worry about? I think the time would have been far more valuably spent discussing exposure compensation, and how the camera wants to make everything "grey" - and therefore the need to dial in a bit of +EV for light subjects, and a bit of -EV for dark ones.

    Lastly, f/8 - f/16 is going to put practically all the cameras your readers are using into diffraction with no additional DOF benefit. f/4-f/8 is sufficient for m43 and APS-C sensors, compact cameras can shoot wide open and have sufficient depth of field in most cases (and a HUGE exposure advantage because of it)
    Hmm.. I think many who use that guide have just bought a DSLR and are confused as to how to use it. Point and shoot cameras can produce fantastic images and for the most part you'll use them in Auto mode with auto-focus. If you want the best results from your DSLR that's not the case. If you want to just use your DSLR as an expensive point and shoot then that's fine but that's also what the guide is aimed at helping you avoid.

    P stands for Program mode, not Professional mode. I think if you speak to most pro photographers you'll find 99% of them produce macro or close up images using manual focus. Why? Because then I, the photographer, get to decide exactly what part of the image is in focus and not the camera.

    The guide is meant to help both DSLR users and point and shoot users but it's those who are trying to get to grips with their first DSLR that really need the help so the emphasis is there.

    But if you ever want to return the guide for a full refund then just let me know.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeyt_53 View Post
    Doh! Nikon D3000. At this point i have an 18-55 VR AF-S lens and a 55-200 VR AF-S lens. I also have a Neewer 0.45x Super wide angle lens w macro that i understand fits onto the 18-55 but i've never tried to use it. I also have a Canon EOS Digital Rebel with a Canon 100mm EF USM 1: 2.8 Macro lens that i haven't used in quite a while now because i like the ease of use that comes with the Nikon. Under $300 would be 'affordable' at this time of year.
    Well, I'm not well up on aftermarket so I'll recommend from those I know. For the money you're talking you can get a new Nikon AF-S DX 40mm f/2.8G Micro Nikkor which is a very versatile and tack sharp little lens that is designed for macro photography. I think you'd find that a very useful lens for what you've described. Be sure to get a sturdy tripod and a cable release, too, though. This type of macro photography depends on everything being perfectly still.

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