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  1. #1
    GJ
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    Lightbulb Tips and tricks...

    Maybe the time has come to make a thread on ''the making of'' pictures.
    Below I numbered a few tips and tricks to make some nice pictures.
    If anyone has something to add on this thread, please do so, we are all here to learn from each other..

    Tips and tricks to make great Photo’s…

    • get a tripod, they are cheap and give great result
    • clean up your watches/objects before taking pictures ( if possible)
    • try working with daylight, it gives the best results
    • Use a light box against difficult light reflections, a white plastic bucket will do fine
    • If the light is no good, try white sheets of paper to capture ‘’more’’ light
    • Clear the background, remove all distracting objects
    • Try shooting from angles, then you have less reflections
    • If you are taking pictures of watches, make them smile, 10 past 10.
    • Make sure that your white balance setting on the camera matches that of the light source to avoid yellow or blue tint on the picture(if that feature is on your camera)

    I would like to thank Chip for sharing his thoughts with me on this one..
    Kind Regards,
    GJ

    It's nice to be important, but it's more important to be nice.....

  2. #2
    Member BathysHawaii's Avatar
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    Re: Tips and tricks...

    Great tips Gerard! I wanted to add a couple more suggestions to this impressive list...

    • Use glycerin if you want to give the watch a "wet" look...It stays put, forms nice round droplets, has higher refractive index than plain water so it "pops" more on a photograph. But beware..it gets all over everything..including your camera gear, so pack a special towel for cleaning up.

    • Without moving the watch, widely "bracket" your exposures - from as much as +2 to -2...this will create different images, some very dark, some very light. By using the "masking" tool in Photoshop, you can pick though the images and combine them to make one "perfect" image. Doing this allows you to get a much better detail in both the shadows AND the highlights. This is the way almost all professional studios get the killer shots. I do this using early morning daylight (so there aren't shadows on the dial) down at the beach. What you will find is that the darker exposures are good for keeping reflections off the crystal to a minimum, while the overexposed images are good for showing details of the case, crown, etc. I will try to add more to this post later to show an example of how this is done, but if you understand how to use Photoshop, you can probably do this on your own....*

    • Shoot using a LOT of depth of field (i.e f22 or so...), this will make sure ALL of the watch is in focus, and then using Photoshops "blur" you can throw the band, etc out of focus exactly as much as you like later on....

    • Try to use a polarizing filter to further reduce reflections. In my studio I actually have studio flashes that have polarizing gels over them to create polarized indoor light, then when I use a polarizing filter on the lens, reflections are cut to nearly zero. I still prefer to use daylight though....

    • Of course, don't forget to set the time to the industry standard of 10:08:38 to allow the logo, watch model to be seen clearly on the dial.

    • Although they ARE expensive, for anyone who is watch-crazy enough to be reading this, I would suggest a dedicated macro lens. I use a Tamron 90mm 2.8 on a Nikon D70, and this is a pretty good set up... But as someone who really digs using older equipment, you could easily get a dedicated macro lens on a 35mm camera on eBay for pretty cheap and get just as good results. I have a $250 4x5 Speed Graphic from 1958 that can take pictures WAAY sharper than my Nikon....So it's not a matter of having the latest/greatest gear...much more a matter of....

    • ....PRACTICE! This is the #1 best way to get better. The first time you try, you'll see so much dust, spots, fingerprints, reflections, etc. etc. that you'll be embarrassed. After just a couple tries, you'll be shooting like a pro no doubt.

    OK, well here's two images that were done this way. The silver Bathys was done by a professional graphic artist. The UV Bathys was done by me (and in fact it's still not really done yet, maybe about 80% done..). Each image already has 3-6 hours of work in it.
    You can also see how the artist made the cool fake "shadow" as well...I've got to ask him about that!



    Compare these to a "plain" image using tripod/macro lens/daylight and no retouching....


    So you can get a nice image without all the retouching, but it lacks that final "jump off the page" look.

    Now that I've let the cat out of the bag, go look through WatchTime, etc and look very carefully at things like the dial ring, the numbers, the shadows, and I think you'll start to see the little touches that have been added later on....I'm looking now at this Breguet ad with Winston Churchill - look at the areas at the periphery of the dial and you can see the retouching..it's just too perfect - the crystal would cause small distortions and reflections that have all been removed. And of course, look carefully at that shadow...it's not real..it's the Breguet "B"! Tricky bastards!

    Hope some of these suggestions prove helpful. Let's hear more since learning is a lifetime thing....

    * ALL the women (and men too btw) we see in magazines, fashion, Playboy bunnies, etc. are extensively retouched in this way (besides all the hair/makeup/body makeup). They do stuff like "blend" away every blemish on the model's skin then go back in and ADD back in moles, fuzz, beauty marks...exactly as many as the client wants to make her look (cough) "natural"....

    So if your girl don't look like dat...no blame 'er! NOBODY really looks like that!
    Last edited by BathysHawaii; August 25th, 2006 at 22:40.

  3. #3
    Member 200m's Avatar
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    Thanks for the tips, but...

    I have been trying to find good info about photographing watches on so many sites, so much of the info seem to be false fixes. I want to shoot a black face diver straight on, without reflections or shadows in or on the face.

    Many people have told me i have to have a lightbox, so I made one.

    Well, I should have noticed that all the photos i liked had White of Silver faced watches, not dark or black!

    Why you ask, does that make a difference? Well, with light colored dials you can get a nice photo, with a dark face the crystal turns into a wonderful mirror. and you see everything going on. Lightboxes are not a Cure all.

    Does anyone have a way of shooting a dark faced watch without reflections?

    Thanks 200m

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    Re: Tips and tricks...

    For photographing my KHS Shadow Blue Mk II watch with Tritium tubes in, there's a good challenge - the exposure needs to be long enough in a dark environment that the tritium tubes show up, but there needs to be enough light to expose the rest of the image properly.

    I have available my Canon 20D, a non-macro lens, my canon speedlight, and a tripod. I waited until about 02:00, so it was as dark as it's going to get, and used to following setup:

    Self-timer, because I didn't have a cable release.
    ISO 100 - I'm doing long exposure anyway, I may as well get the best capture possible
    Long exposure noise reduction - turned on in custom functions. Same reasoning as above
    30 second exposure, f/4.5 - I would have liked to have used f/17 or up, but the camera didn't have timings for beyond 30 seconds. Since the face was pretty much flat on to me, with no external light sources to get glare from, and I didn't care about the background, I got away with it, I think. Now I have a cable release, I could try again for a higher f-stop and longer time.

    On the Speedlight, I used second curtain flash. Second-curtain flash is where the flash fires at the end of the shutter being open, instead of at the start.

    Why did I use this technique with my watch? There's a tritium tube in the second hand. With first-curtain flash, the second hand would be exposed correctly, and then it would be invisible to the camera, except for the tritium tube. It would continue to tick throughout the exposure. The hand would appear, and the "ticks" would appear in front. With second curtain flash, the "ticks" where the hand has been appear behind it, like the outline of a cartoon character it sleft behind when they run away really really fast. See the full sized version and you can see the ticks left behind by the second hand as it goes.

    It looks odd using first-curtain flash.

    Unfortunately, my photo looks odd because it also looks blue. That's just my lack of other skills. Bringing up more light meant that I lost the green tritium tube in the bezel, due to the reflection off the metal surround, so I left it looking "cool blue". I suspect that I'll re-do this one, now I have a cable release.

    The final image is below. It's a link to the flickr page, so click on it to go there, and click "All Sizes" above the image to see the high-res version.



    I hope this was helpful, and if not, I hope someone else can point out what I did wrong :)
    Last edited by rikrose; April 21st, 2007 at 01:21.
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  5. #5
    Member McKenzie's Avatar
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    Re: Tips and tricks...

    Hi,
    Ref; the unwanted relections.... might be worth trying a polarizing filter??? I have not tried tis yet but it may do the trick.

    Steve

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    Re: Tips and tricks...

    Quote Originally Posted by McKenzie View Post
    Hi,
    Ref; the unwanted relections.... might be worth trying a polarizing filter??? I have not tried tis yet but it may do the trick.

    Steve
    That it could well do. i haven't got one, but I'll borrow one and give it a try.

    In the meantime, I got a new one, and took a photo... :)

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    Re: Tips and tricks...



    This is the new one - serial number 42 of 199 (yes, I know where my towel is). It's a Titan Commander Pro, again from KHS. It's all Titanium, and looks awfully good with my suit. :)

    For this one, I angled it back, used f/10 instead of f/3.5 and manually fired the flash on 29 seconds. The flash was away from the camera body, up near the ceiling to create a big general whiteness, and managed to avoid reflections on it. The added depth of field was really worth doing, and had I been more awake, I'd have attempted at f/14 or higher, and manual shutter with the remote release.

    The touching up was adding some fill light in Picasa, but that's all I've done. I should have tweaked brightness/contrast too.
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  8. #8
    G-Shock & Sales Moderator DragonJade's Avatar
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    Re: Tips and tricks...

    Quote Originally Posted by rikrose View Post

    This is the new one - serial number 42 of 199 (yes, I know where my towel is). It's a Titan Commander Pro, again from KHS. It's all Titanium, and looks awfully good with my suit. :)

    For this one, I angled it back, used f/10 instead of f/3.5 and manually fired the flash on 29 seconds. The flash was away from the camera body, up near the ceiling to create a big general whiteness, and managed to avoid reflections on it. The added depth of field was really worth doing, and had I been more awake, I'd have attempted at f/14 or higher, and manual shutter with the remote release.

    The touching up was adding some fill light in Picasa, but that's all I've done. I should have tweaked brightness/contrast too.
    Very nice. What's the difference between this and the MKII?

  9. #9
    Member whachudoin's Avatar
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    Re: Tips and tricks...

    How do you take lume pictures in the dark? I have a Canon Powershot A620. What setting do I use?

    Thanks.

  10. #10
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    Re: Tips and tricks...

    Hey all, I am new to this forum, but I figured I would comment on this thread... as I LOVE photography. So far, the comments have been interesting, but I thought I would throw out a few modifications and extra suggestions.

    When people talk about shooting at an angle, and how it reduces reflection and what not... something even more important is that if you use a flash, that its light wont bouce directly into a lens. Most often this will take anything shiny, and turn it black.

    And when shoot really tight apertures... you really should look into using just the right amount of depth of field that you think the shot can get away with. If you have it, try using a depth of field preview and you will get an idea of what is in focus. Why do this instead of just as closed tight as you can? Diffraction. At a certain point, any camera starts losing quality in its photos due to the light just not hitting at the right angle. Each format is different. Life Fourthirds, APS-C or 35mm. But you just need to look up your format.

    Oh, and if you are using a tripod... turn of image stabilization if you have it:)

    And now back to your regulary scheduled program.

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