Critique my watch shots please

Started Nov 11, 2012 | Discussions thread
Riquez
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Re: Critique my watch shots please
In reply to cwood, Nov 11, 2012

Hi Cwood,

I do a lot of watch photography for my job. Im not a pro photographer, but I have been doing it for 7 years.

Here are some tips I would give.

• Try to take shots with the watch on a stand upright, with the strap equally balanced above & below the case.

• For "on the side" shots, try to get a slight angle so that the 12 o'clock position is slightly higher - if the watch is leaning toward upside down its hard for the viewer - although this said, an artistic shot can be good enough to break this rule.

• Always take a moment to think about the position of the watch. How is the strap lying - some odd bend or curve might look strange. You can take a strip of paper & curl it inside to help keep a smooth curve.

• concentrate on getting the lighting perfect. The strap links should have as few dark or light spots, in fact they need to have a gradient. So each link should be dark one side & fade to silver - this helps to capture the shine. You can photoshop this after, but the best you can do to start helps a lot.

• get a few small reflective boards to help with this - its like setting up a mini lighting set.

• Location shots on a old log, rocky wall etc can give a great artistic feel. Pick a sunny day, get the sun behind you - try to capture a bit of lens flare from low angle.

• Macro lens works well quite often if your lighting is right.

• the lens will always cause problems. Your first shot is very good. Some links are white, the dial seems a bit grey instead of black - but otherwise its good. The second is starting to go the other way, but the dial is better.

• B&W is a great photoshop tool for this type of watch... If you take a pic of a watch on a table, you get the brown table colour reflecting on to the watch. Photoshop has a DESATURATE tool you can use to paint over the watch to remove any brown tint, now you get a more natural silver.

If you want to take this further - & you might have to - draw a path around the watch & make a new layer from it. Then draw around the dial & make a new layer again of that. The watch layer can be B&W, the dial can be adjusted to bring out the best contrast.

Edit* I did these last week

http://www.tokyoflash.com/en/watches/kisai/maru/

& at the foot of that page is a link to Flickr pics - those are almost untouched just to demonstrate how sunlight rock/wood can help you.

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