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HELP!....I know 'nuffink' about taking photographs!

  1. nonuffinkbloke

    nonuffinkbloke Apr 29, 2019

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    Despite the fact that I know nothing about photography, I find myself in a situation where I have to take some very clear shots of my vintage watch for an Omega Forums sales post. I don't have a dedicated, digital camera but I do have access to a couple of phone/cameras. A Samsung and an iphone.

    Most of the pictures I've taken, and posted on this forum, have been taken in artificial domestic light or just out in the sun light. That's OK for everyday shots, but for a sales post I need to show the detail of the case as it really is and also I need to try to demonstrate how different the brown dial appears depending on the light.

    I had a chat with a friend of mine (who is a photographer) he just said " for you, without training, it's going to come down to trial and error" ::shy::

    He gave me a portable light box and said "see how you get on!" :D This is what I have.

    151967c8-812f-4ae5-9c2c-46017488cbc8.jpg
    I am aware that we have one or two members (such as @ICONO) who are experts in this field. Any advice would be much appreciated. Thankyou. :)

    Jonathan.
     
    Edited Apr 29, 2019
  2. ICONO

    ICONO Apr 29, 2019

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    Jonathan…I have used a version of a light box before…Before academia, I was a Advertising / Fashion Photographer, shooting across Europe for 30 years

    Without knowing the digital constraints of your phone camera…

    Put the light box on a window sill…with the back facing towards the actual window

    Try and avoid direct sunshine…go for a more ambient light… from a bright, but overcast day

    Just sit down and play…practice, practice, practice…until you achieve the effect you want

    I would also add that for a ‘black dialled’ watch…because of the very nature of a lightbox…it can be very difficult to avoid reflections on the crystal.…that subsequently cloud / conceal the actual dial

    Therefore I would suggest …Find a nice piece of aged leather ( but not distracting ), as a background and just use folded sheets of white paper as reflectors…and try shooting some images without the lightbox first ?

    Pm me if you get stuck ?
     
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  3. JanV

    JanV Apr 29, 2019

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    Hi.

    I use almost exclusively an iphone X for all my pictures. And for closeups i use an app called Camera+. This has a macro function, and sticking a loupe in front of the camera lens in this mode gets me the ability to take some real closeups if needed. Just on my mobile.

    Take pictures outdoors, closer to when the sun starts to set, not at high noon, and you get great results.

    Here are a few samples of the above:
     
    BA942EE9-C765-448C-A824-D11936C46784.jpeg 0FB847B7-A56F-4817-978A-8A14E44AF2CA.jpeg 1793E3FC-92CA-41EE-88DC-D0D6AA4C2335.jpeg 7D48B7BA-20B7-4714-B250-E9DAFC21140B.jpeg F85F62B8-99B4-4EA7-BF87-C521D049D075.jpeg 95C19CF8-286D-4181-8CA6-8103B32213AF.jpeg
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  4. JimInOz

    JimInOz "Helpful Hints from Heloise" of bracelet cleaning. Apr 29, 2019

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    Using a phone without stability can also be a PITA.

    I use bits of wood and rubber bands to make a DIY iPhone holder to take shots. I also use the earphone cord as a switch so that after I get it all set up and focussed I don't have to touch the actual phone body, just press the volume button on the headphone lead.
     
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  5. nonuffinkbloke

    nonuffinkbloke Apr 29, 2019

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    Wow that was very good timing. I was just editing my post to tag your username and I think you responded just before I completed my edit.

    Thankyou very much @ICONO. When my mate handed me the light box in it's circular bag, I wasn't expecting it to emerge as a small 'pop up' tent. :D

    I think I could describe today in Dorset as a "bright, but overcast" day. I do have some leather so I shall make a start using your suggestions. Very kind of you to offer additional advice. Much appreciated. :thumbsup:
     
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  6. ICONO

    ICONO Apr 29, 2019

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    Very, very sound advice

    Personally, I would avoid Quartz as a ‘resting’ back ground…hence the leather suggestion

    However, other people have different thresholds, of impending danger…
     
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  7. ICONO

    ICONO Apr 29, 2019

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    Also be aware that light has different ‘colour temperatures’

    It is ‘blue’ in the morning …and ‘yellow’ in the Evening…that colour temperature affects the final image

    If you shoot in the evening you may dramatically over emphasise the ‘brownness’ of the dial…without intending to do so

    Try late morning / early afternoon ?

    ( you can see the effect of the ‘yellow’ cast on the image of the ‘Speedmaster on quartz’, above )
     
  8. nonuffinkbloke

    nonuffinkbloke Apr 29, 2019

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    Thankyou very much @ICONO, @JanV and @JimInOz. I had a feeling there would be much more to this than just pointing the camera at the watch. I feel quite inspired to 'have a go' now.:)
     
    noelekal likes this.
  9. STANDY

    STANDY schizophrenic pizza orderer and watch collector Apr 29, 2019

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    Just take it to a Time 4A Pint and throw it on the table and say highest offer takes it home. :whistling:

    PS I would stand back once you put it on the table ;)

    GLWS
     
    Edited Apr 29, 2019
  10. padders

    padders Apr 29, 2019

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    Its a shame you are considering selling Jonathan, I hope this doesn't mean you will be leaving us. I am sure the money will come in handy though and it may be a good time to get off the merry go round.
     
  11. GordonL

    GordonL Apr 29, 2019

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    I'd like to second @padders comment Jonathan. Please stay active here after you've sold your dad's watch. I'm sure I'm not the only one who enjoys your (occasionally) off the wall comments. And I think you impart far more knowledge and common sense to the forum than you give yourself credit for!
     
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  12. Linzer

    Linzer Apr 29, 2019

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    @nonuffinkbloke a couple of nice shots come handy when selling a watch but I have to say that most of your pictures taken about your vintage Omega are just fakkin' awesome! :D
     
  13. Davidt

    Davidt Apr 29, 2019

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    I'm about as average as it gets with photography (that's probably being generous), so take my advice with a pinch of salt.

    I take all my pictures with an iPhone and the key things for me are:

    1. Use indirect natural light. Never artificial unless you have a decent set up and/or an idea of how to set it up.

    2. Take at least 3 shots of each image/angle/pose and then go through selecting the best example of each.
     
  14. Evitzee

    Evitzee Apr 29, 2019

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    Same procedure for me, too.....I take all pics with a 9 year old Canon 12.1MP Power Shot camera. It's served me well.

    Natural light, a few different angles, maybe a touch up for color balance and brightness/contrast, nothing major. I'll often take 15-20 pics and only keep 2 or 3, the rest I just dump. That's the beauty of digital, it costs nothing to shoot a pic unlike the old film days when it got costly to have to take multiple shots.

    I get pretty good results...I'm not trying to be an Ansel Adams or Matthew Brady. Kudos for those that try to make super professional pics with a light box, or art like photos, but that really isn't my interest.
     
    IMG_3518_Dubuis.jpg
    Edited Apr 29, 2019
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  15. jimmyd13

    jimmyd13 Apr 29, 2019

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    Jonathon, I'm no David Bailey but I have taken a lot of photos of watches for sales posts ... here's a few tricks that I've found help:

    take photos outside on a sunny but overcast day ... we tend to get a few of those. Phone cameras perform much better in natural light;
    Indoor:
    IMAG1736.jpg
    Outdoor:
    IMG_20170915_1005273.jpg

    rather than hold the phone close to the subject, keep it 18 inches or so away and zoom in;

    if you want macro shots of particular parts of the dial, hold a loupe against the phone's lens and then focus in on the area you want to photograph. That's how I got this one:
    BspYDey1.jpg
    You've got a lightbox but if you want to avoid reflections, put a piece of white card or paper between your watch and the light source.

    Finally, just play and take lots and lots of photos ... it's not like you're paying for the film or processing these days.
     
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  16. nonuffinkbloke

    nonuffinkbloke Apr 29, 2019

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    Thankyou @padders. Well, I am keen to remain a member here and intend to replace it with a contemporary Speedmaster that I can wear and enjoy on a daily basis.

    I have enjoyed owning this beautiful vintage watch, but my personal circumstances dictate that it is time to pass it on to a member who can service it and keep it safe for years to come. I know it will go to a collector who will appreciate it and that it will probably appear on this forum from time to time.

    My Dad was a working class bloke, but he loved his Chester Barrie, Saville Row suits and he loved his Omega watches. This old Speedmaster was his favourite, and I know he would approve of it going to some one on this forum..:)
     
    Edited Apr 29, 2019
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  17. marco

    marco Apr 29, 2019

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    Jonathon, think long and hard you may regret selling.
    It has been a pleasure reading your posts, continue.
    Please reconsider, there is a little of your dad in that watch. I do not mean to make you feel bad what must be done must be done and your dad would agree. Maybe another way to raise funds ?
    Best of luck with the reluctant sale, I am sure we will hear of the ongoing "life" of this watch from the new owner.
     
  18. nonuffinkbloke

    nonuffinkbloke Apr 30, 2019

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    Thankyou for the encouraging words Marco. :)
     
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  19. mjb

    mjb Apr 30, 2019

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    I'll throw another suggestion out here just to be different.

    Go buy a digital camera. Get a good quality used camera, like a Nikon D50 which has a small sensor and only gives you like 4Mb images. But that's more than you need to post a "for sale" ad, and you can pick up one of those for less than $100 US. Spend the money on a good lens, in this case you'd want something that can shoot macro. As my friend the semi-pro photog always told me, spend on the glass, not the body. Any decent lens (again, buy used) will be easy to sell later if you decide that it's not for you. Then spend $25 on a tripod to hold the camera steady.

    After that it's just a matter of learning how to use it, aperture versus shutter speed, and have fun. You can even use it to take pictures of your kids, pets and/or spouse. Or car. Or nature....

    For me, lighting is always the challenge when taking pictures of a watch. That lightbox will help a lot.
     
  20. nonuffinkbloke

    nonuffinkbloke May 8, 2019

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    Just messing around. I used my camera flash light to light the watch, while taking the pictures with another camera. Shows up a lot of detail on the dial.

    IMG_20190508_214912.jpg
    IMG_20190508_213900-1.jpg
    IMG_20190508_224902-1-1.jpg
     
    Edited May 9, 2019
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