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  1. voere pawn brokers are all about $$$ Dec 31, 2016

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    Getting close to good results just a bit more tweaking and I should be getting close
     
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  2. Interstatetime Dec 31, 2016

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    The lighting is pretty good. Looks like you are having a white balance issue. One of the most difficult details in photography is getting a gray to be gray...a neutral to be neutral.

    JohnCote
     
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  3. Deafboy His Holiness Puer Surdus Dec 31, 2016

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    As John mentioned, the WB is off. I adjusted it with PhotoScape. I used the background in the watch's shadow as the reference.
    Another way to do it is is adjusting your camera's WB using a neutral grey card.
    324749-9f390d5919e1ddc12ac65d15f661bee1.jpg
     
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  4. WatchVaultNYC Dec 31, 2016

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    Can't find the pic to mine anymore, but it was a big box with trash bag plastic, like this:


    [​IMG]

    5500K light bulbs will get you closest to white
     
    Edited Dec 31, 2016
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  5. voere pawn brokers are all about $$$ Dec 31, 2016

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    I have a very crude setup a hanging file folder rack with poster board and muslin fabric covering the file rack
    I am getting closer with the white balance
     
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  6. Interstatetime Dec 31, 2016

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    Voere,

    It is difficult to photograph watches. Shiny objects are the most difficult things in the world to render correctly. The way you light them is, without a doubt, the most important aspect of doing it right. I am not convinced that a light box is the absolute best way to light a watch but it will get you at least part of the way there. Having said that, there is camera stability, color balance, depth of field...all of the camera control crap...then there is post processing. Don't ever think you will get perfect pictures right out of any camera. Everything you see that looks perfect has been post processed to some extent. The better the image is...right out of the camera, perhaps the less post processing is needed. If you want to make great watch pix you will have to work on all of it.

    Your last Eterna pic is nice. Here is what I did with it in a couple of minutes in PhotoShop. I hope you don't mind.

    JohnCote

    [​IMG]
     
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  7. voere pawn brokers are all about $$$ Dec 31, 2016

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  8. marcn Enough space to say witty Dec 31, 2016

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    (Bit of a hijack here, and sorry for that, but this is a topic I love and one that I know a lot of photographers struggle with. Software to the rescue though!)

    Your lighting -- whether direct, bounced, or passed through filters and diffusers -- will be all about deciding where to place highlights and shadows on your subject and its background. Only you can decide what looks best, and it's totally dependent upon the subject. It's my opinion that shiny objects need to display transitions from highlights into shadows. You need both to convey the shape and volume of the object (and you've done that nicely, especially in the bracelet). Ideally your shadows shouldn't bottom out to black in too many places, nor should the highlight blow out into pure white too often. It's fiddly work, to be sure.

    Number one tip, actually: always use a tripod, and if you can, use a good ball-head mount that lets you easily move and fiddle. Having a cable release is also a good investment.

    White balance (color correcting) is very easy to do in a photo editor. You can totally do it in-camera too, but here's a tutorial for anyone using a Mac with the in-built Photos app. The concepts will be similar in other software, but the steps will differ.

    Step 1: Click Edit Photo, top right:

    WhiteBalance_1.jpg

    Step 2: Click Adjust, right side near the bottom of the icon stack:

    WhiteBalance_2.jpg

    Step 3: Click the blue link Add, and on the menu choose White Balance:

    WhiteBalance_3.jpg

    Step 4: One: click the eye-dropper icon to decide where in your photo you want to sample Neutral Gray. Two: I chose the background shadow below the bracelet for this example. Three: Click Done.

    WhiteBalance_4.jpg

    Corrected Image:
    Clicking in other parts of the image will adjust the image differently. The white balance has a drop down that lets you choose Temperature/Tint or Skin Tone instead of Neutral Gray. Lots to experiment within just this one adjustment.

    WhiteBalance_5.jpg

    Now, it can be argued that this sample is too cool in overall temperature, so you'd fiddle around until you get it to the place you feel best represents what you want the image to communicate. I personally think it's a good "master shot" image of the watch. The dial is more or less the warmest part of the whole shot, and I think the pose you have the watch in speaks to it's personality, if you will. Looks better than like 90% of images on ebay, if you ask me.

    Marc
     
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  9. WatchVaultNYC Dec 31, 2016

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    Very interesting topic because I have taken a lot of time studying how to take nice photos with minimal post processing.

    After a long process of trial and error, I have settled on a diffused lightbox with a grey background. This I believe provides the most visual contrast between watch and background. The lights are 5500K in temperature, which is closest AFAIK to daylight.

    Removing reflections is very, very tough. The white lightbox and a white shrouded camera removes most of the reflections. What you do see reflecting off watch are the corners of the lightbox as well as the actual camera lens (which cant be colored white). Because of reflections, you can't get an accurate head-on shot of a watch with reflective indices. This AT for example, if you shot it head-on, the hands and indices would look black.

    Until recently I also used a polarizer, which helps remove unwanted reflections off the crystal. But I decided that the cons (the small loss of overall sharpness) was not worth having a somewhat clearer view of the dial - as you can see in the example below.

    Finally, to capture sunburst finish effects, I use a pinpoint LED light.

    The pic below was taken using a point-and-shoot (white balance set to "CFL daylight"), has no post-processing except cropping, watermarking, and "auto adjust". If you move lots of watches, you can't spend a lot of time editing pictures.

    [​IMG]
     
  10. voere pawn brokers are all about $$$ Dec 31, 2016

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    I am getting a little close with the light balance. I set the camera white balance to custom using 2700k which is close but no blue chips. I am going to pick up adobe light room and play with that. Here is a shot first picture at 2700k getting closer. Last time I really played around with cameras was in the 35mm world of film cameras. Over the holidays I picked up a Sony RX100 camera as a back up travel camera so far so good pretty neat little camera. The picture is straight from the camera no post editing
    Thanks everyone for all the tips
    The second picture the light balance was set to 5500k in white balance
     
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