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Old 14 November 2017, 08:06 AM   #1
yannis
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SLR DSLR Watch Photography Guide: Tips and Settings

Since i cannot find a relevant thread i thought that i could post this so that people with an interest in watch photography and an attitude of sharing the knowledge, share techniques and settings for watch photography. Anyone who wants to share the knowledge with the rest please feel free to post photos and mention
1. camera/gear
2. settings/tips and
3 lens used
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Old 15 November 2017, 08:48 AM   #2
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I'll bring up gear later. But, a nice technique I've learned is focus stacking. Especially helpful for small parts and when a lot of magnification is used. It helps to get more of the subject in focus. A single shot will not have as much DOF as multiple shots "stacked" together that were taken with multiple points focused on.

Here's a method I used
https://photography.tutsplus.com/art...p--photo-12621

Single shot:


Focus Stacked shot:
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Old 15 November 2017, 03:31 PM   #3
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That is one fantastic technique and great end result; thanks for posting!
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Old 15 November 2017, 03:47 PM   #4
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Handy photoshop trick :)

Without photoshop we'd have to increase Depth of Field by moving camera further & using a longer lens, then get the longest possible exposure by cranking down the aperture... pinhole cameras have great DoF.
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Old 15 November 2017, 10:50 PM   #5
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Nikon D7000 with 105 macro lens f. 4
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Old 16 November 2017, 09:31 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tamiya View Post
Handy photoshop trick :)

Without photoshop we'd have to increase Depth of Field by moving camera further & using a longer lens, then get the longest possible exposure by cranking down the aperture... pinhole cameras have great DoF.
Technically yes. But, in practice it doesn't work that well.

Just a quick DOF calculator with some random numbers.

1.6x Factor Crop Sensor
Aperture - f/32
Focal Length - 200mm
Focal Distance - 60inches/5 feet

Nearest Acceptable Sharpness: 58.76in
Furthest Acceptable Sharpness: 61.3in
Total Depth of Field: 2.56in

So, still only a 2.56in area will be sharp, although at F/32 diffraction is going to seriously degrade image quality.
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Old 11 December 2017, 09:43 AM   #7
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Great article. I'm a fairly new photographer and was curious about watch photography.
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Old 16 January 2018, 01:00 AM   #8
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Helpful hint (from doing it wrongly): polish/clean watches before shooting. By polish, I mean "shine," not machine polish, haha.

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Old 16 January 2018, 09:12 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by jhunter3 View Post
Helpful hint (from doing it wrongly): polish/clean watches before shooting. By polish, I mean "shine," not machine polish, haha.

Sent from my Pixel XL using Tapatalk
I did this too. Fingerprints on a watch.
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Old 16 January 2018, 10:16 PM   #10
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I use a simple light box made from sheets of photocopier paper and with a standard lamp above. The paper disperses any shine or shadows so you get a crisp dial/glass.
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Old 23 January 2018, 04:50 AM   #11
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Or use a tilt/shift lens and keep the plane of the object sharp.
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Old 24 January 2018, 04:06 AM   #12
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I guess there are many techniques with getting the perfect shot, but I personally believe in a few basics: lighting, depth of field and composition. You need to understand how the watch reflects or absorbs light, and you need to find an interesting placement. After that, you can even start to layer with objects to make it more interesting.

Here are some of my attempts, taken with a mobile phone camera (Huawei P10). All handheld shots (with exception of the wristshot which was taken in my car, at the lights) but with a small, wireless LED lamp which I can move around to manipulate my lighting. All the images below were captured on the phone and also edited with basic image editing apps that are available on Google Play/App Store.

My humble opinion is that in photography, the most common limitation is the person behind the picture, rather than being a device or hardware limitation.

Comments & feedback always welcome











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Old 15 May 2018, 09:46 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Valenciawatchrepair View Post
I'll bring up gear later. But, a nice technique I've learned is focus stacking. Especially helpful for small parts and when a lot of magnification is used. It helps to get more of the subject in focus. A single shot will not have as much DOF as multiple shots "stacked" together that were taken with multiple points focused on.
...
Great tip! I know that focus stacking is used in landscape photography, but did not even think about using that technique for taking pictures for the objects as small as watches. Will definitely try it. Thanks!
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Old 7 November 2019, 12:39 AM   #14
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For me, the thing I struggle with are the reflections off of the crystal. Most of my shots are real world type shots of watch on a table or a wrist.
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Old 18 November 2019, 10:00 AM   #15
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I've got a Sony A6400 (4k video is nice for my business) and of course the photography is only limited by my skill as well.

About to get a pixel 4 as well.

I don't have any settings tips as I am an extreme novice, but the dramatic difference when you frame a shot by adding items in the foreground and background to be out of focus while focusing on a target in between the two is a great first step imo to anyone taking watch pics for the first time.

In simpler terms, put something close to the camera and something away from the camera and then focus on an object between them. I don't have any with watches on my computer right now so these will have to do:

Before:
https://imgur.com/7SLjcAy

After:
https://imgur.com/3XkXg94


A good way to do this with a watch would be a shot focused on the watch with the watch box or something else with the watch logo in the background slightly out of focus.

Before anyone asks, I was at a friends house and I drink much better beer haha
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Old 16 December 2019, 12:05 AM   #16
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As a newbie, I’ve found that using natural light on an overcast day is a great way to get great shots fast. Tripod is a must. Once set up, move the watch in tiny increments to find best reflection and shadow composition.

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Old 16 December 2019, 12:18 AM   #17
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Now with photo
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Old 16 December 2019, 01:04 AM   #18
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Digital photography evolution will offer much more control over images in post production. In the future I foresee 1-touch edits to remove reflection, fingerprints and dust spots. All can be done today but is a multi-step process.

But poor composition is still a few technical generations away. I expect focal length stepping will soon become an image control in post production. We see it now in smartphone portrait modes but that still requires setting prior to making a shot.

I can also foresee reframing as well. In other words, no matter what the photographer chose in their viewfinder, the camera will be smart enough to actually shoot multiple, wider angles and save them for expert post processing and image reframing.

What I routinely see lacking in watch photography by-and-large is a lack of contrast and choice of light control (exposure) in the original image.


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Old 17 December 2019, 03:17 AM   #19
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The most important is to control the light and it's very tricky sometimes when it comes to watches because of the crystal
and the polished parts. One watch is not so hard to get good but several watches in different distance from the lens is the
hardest you can try to do.

Here is a few pics of that kind I'm pleased with.



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Old 19 December 2019, 01:11 PM   #20
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Jocke- sweet photos
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