Photography set-up...

Tips and techniques for taking the best possible pictures of your timepieces.

Photography set-up...

New postby Larry Soucheck » Wed Jan 30, 2008 2:33 am

Some of you guys have asked me what I do to take photos. Here is a picture of my disaster. This is typical of how I take watch photos. Nothing fancy, but it works for me. No light tent, just lamps with vellum and printer paper for diffusion and reflection.

Image

Larry
User avatar
Larry Soucheck
Member
 
Posts: 514
Joined: Sat Jan 19, 2008 6:08 pm
Location: Stoddard, WI.
NAWCC #: 150501

Re: Photography set-up...

New postby Fred E. Hansen » Wed Jan 30, 2008 3:06 am

So I just have to build a similar disaster and my pics will look like yours? I wish!

:D

Fred

p.s. Looks like a WW2 Longines wind indicator there?
Fred E. Hansen
NAWCC #109682


Watches For Sale at FHWatch.com
Fred E. Hansen
Super Member
 
Posts: 1841
Joined: Thu Jan 03, 2008 5:39 am
Location: Lisle, Illinois
NAWCC #: 109682

Re: Photography set-up...

New postby Larry Soucheck » Wed Jan 30, 2008 6:55 am

Good eye Fred. Longines WWII indicator.

Larry
User avatar
Larry Soucheck
Member
 
Posts: 514
Joined: Sat Jan 19, 2008 6:08 pm
Location: Stoddard, WI.
NAWCC #: 150501

Re: Photography set-up...

New postby Cary Hurt » Wed Jan 30, 2008 1:55 pm

Larry,

Would you mind sharing details about what type of camera you use? I'm going to be upgrading soon, and have always hoped to be able to take pictures almost as nice as yours.

Thanks,

Cary
Cary Hurt
User avatar
Cary Hurt
GH Moderator
 
Posts: 401
Joined: Thu Jan 03, 2008 12:56 am
Location: Huntsville, Alabama
Skype Account: cary.hurt
NAWCC #: 143360

Re: Photography set-up...

New postby Tom Seymour » Wed Jan 30, 2008 2:09 pm

Larry, You forgot to mention the high quality glass you are using!!
Tom Seymour

Member:
Chapter #157,Chapter #192
Pacific Northwest
User avatar
Tom Seymour
Member
 
Posts: 636
Joined: Sat Jan 19, 2008 3:35 pm
Location: Mount Angel, OR
NAWCC #: 041293

Re: Photography set-up...

New postby Larry Soucheck » Wed Jan 30, 2008 4:14 pm

My current camera is a Samsung GX10. A rebadged Pentax dslr with 10.2 megapixels. Macro lens used is a Pentax FA 50mm f2.8 macro. Always mounted to a tripod for watch photography.

Larry
User avatar
Larry Soucheck
Member
 
Posts: 514
Joined: Sat Jan 19, 2008 6:08 pm
Location: Stoddard, WI.
NAWCC #: 150501

Re: Photography set-up...

New postby Larry Soucheck » Wed Jan 30, 2008 5:50 pm

And, the watch. I'm convinced that this Longines has never been touched after assembly. It was used, but never serviced. The movement appears unused. I did add a little noise reduction to this photo to remove dust bunnies. A little white balance correction was also needed. Fluorescent lighting is tough for any camera to capture correctly.

Image

Larry
User avatar
Larry Soucheck
Member
 
Posts: 514
Joined: Sat Jan 19, 2008 6:08 pm
Location: Stoddard, WI.
NAWCC #: 150501

Re: Photography set-up...

New postby Steven D. Jencso » Wed Jan 30, 2008 8:45 pm

Larry,

What type of lamp are you using, florescent, halogen, other?
-Steve

Steven D. Jencso
NAWCC Member since 2003
Steven D. Jencso
Member
 
Posts: 283
Joined: Thu Jan 03, 2008 1:57 am
Location: Dover, NH
NAWCC #: 158228

Re: Photography set-up...

New postby Larry Soucheck » Wed Jan 30, 2008 11:10 pm

Steve, I use fluorescent full spectrum lamps. Nice bright white light that doesn't get hot or eat electricity. I believe the main lamp I uses has a 20 watt bulb.

Larry
User avatar
Larry Soucheck
Member
 
Posts: 514
Joined: Sat Jan 19, 2008 6:08 pm
Location: Stoddard, WI.
NAWCC #: 150501

Re: Photography set-up...

New postby Larry Burwell » Thu Jan 31, 2008 5:46 pm

Hello Larry,

My camera only goes down to an ISO number of 200--is a lower number a lot more important? Do you lock in the shutter speed or aperature opening settings or leave one or both set automatically? About what distance is a watch from your lens when photographing it?

I have a stand made up of two sizes of telescoping square steel tubing with thumbscrew locks and utilizing an old tripod head to keep the camera steady and "hands off." I just wish there was a place for a cable release.

This is an important forum that will be most appreciated by myself and many others. Thank you for sharing your methods on this our new horology site.

Larry (another one)
User avatar
Larry Burwell
Member
 
Posts: 34
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2008 3:54 pm
Location: Frankton, Indiana
NAWCC #: 097515

Re: Photography set-up...

New postby Gawatch » Thu Jan 31, 2008 6:19 pm

I am no proffesional when it comes to pics but I use a tent http://cgi.ebay.com/New-20-Photo-Light-Tent-Soft-Box-Lighting-Cube-Tent_W0QQitemZ190195291204QQihZ009QQcategoryZ79008QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem like you see in the auction and I use a GE Reveal BLue bulb for lighting as it is the closest thing I have found to natural lighting. I do not take the time to take great pictures but taking as quick and as many I highly reccomend the tent and bulb. THe tent also folds away so it does not take up a lot of room. Instead of picture putty to hold a watch up I use a little plumbers putty as it works the same once you warm it up a little it will hold a watch at any angle. I still use my old digital camera I bought 6 years ago as I have not taken the time to learn my new fancy camera yet.
Rob Jones
User avatar
Gawatch
Member
 
Posts: 1014
Joined: Sun Jan 20, 2008 6:29 pm
Location: Cleveland, GA
NAWCC #: 159941

Re: Photography set-up...

New postby Larry Soucheck » Thu Jan 31, 2008 6:34 pm

Hi Larry. ISO is film speed. Lower number such as 100 is for bright probably outdoor lighting. Low light situations require ISO 400 on up. Using ISO 200 in your case is really insignificant. Selecting ISO 400 will allow your to have a faster shutter if hand holding the camera to prevent shake. Digital, like film, has drawbacks with higher ISO..Grain or noise. My watch above was taken using ISO 400. Although it can't be seen, looking real close reveals noise.

I use aperture priority when photographing watches to achieve the desired depth of field. Ususally around f11 to f16. This seems to be my sweet spot on the Pentax 50 macro. All lenses have different sweet spots so your's may be different. Sweet spot is where maximum sharpness and detail occurs. Most lenses are soft wide open and increase in sharpness when stopped down. Being in aperture priority mode and selecting say, f11, will allow the camera to choose the correct shutter. My camera also has auto ISO, but can be selected from ISO 100 to 1600 manually. I usually stay at ISO 200 to 400.

Distance to the watch from the camera is usually about 6 to 10 inches if I want the whole watch in the shot. Much closer for real close shots. Since my macro is 1:1 magnification, meaning life sized view, I can get up an inch away from the watch. All this is with a 50mm lens. Longer or shorter focal lengths will change working distance.

Larry S

My camera only goes down to an ISO number of 200--is a lower number a lot more important? Do you lock in the shutter speed or aperature opening settings or leave one or both set automatically? About what distance is a watch from your lens when photographing it?

Does your camera have a timer? This is what I use when I don't feel steady enough to push the shutter.

I have a stand made up of two sizes of telescoping square steel tubing with thumbscrew locks and utilizing an old tripod head to keep the camera steady and "hands off." I just wish there was a place for a cable release.

This is an important forum that will be most appreciated by myself and many others. Thank you for sharing your methods on this our new horology site.

Larry (another one)
Last edited by Larry Soucheck on Thu Jan 31, 2008 6:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
Larry Soucheck
Member
 
Posts: 514
Joined: Sat Jan 19, 2008 6:08 pm
Location: Stoddard, WI.
NAWCC #: 150501

Re: Photography set-up...

New postby Peter S. Balkan » Thu Jan 31, 2008 6:35 pm

Larry Burwell wrote:Hello Larry,

My camera only goes down to an ISO number of 200--is a lower number a lot more important? Do you lock in the shutter speed or aperature opening settings or leave one or both set automatically? About what distance is a watch from your lens when photographing it?

I have a stand made up of two sizes of telescoping square steel tubing with thumbscrew locks and utilizing an old tripod head to keep the camera steady and "hands off." I just wish there was a place for a cable release.

This is an important forum that will be most appreciated by myself and many others. Thank you for sharing your methods on this our new horology site.

Larry (another one)


I normally shoot 200 ISO and use the aperature priority. With the subject fixed, shutter speed is pretty flexible but at macro distances, depth of field is critical. So, I opt for all the "stop-down" that I can get.

The newer cameras have remote-controls for hands-free shooting (like a TV remote). Both my cameras can be set to self-time mode and if the camera is fixed, I use that. It gives about 10 seconds and the camera is 100% stable when the shutter opens. I also bracket all my shots so the camera takes 3 pictures in a row. I use about 1/2 f-stop, above and below my "proper" exposure.
--Peter S. Balkan
Flagstaff & Rio Rico Arizona
Banned #1856
User avatar
Peter S. Balkan
Member
 
Posts: 204
Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2008 7:46 pm
Location: Flagstaff, AZ.
Skype Account: Peter S. Balkan

Re: Photography set-up...

New postby Larry Soucheck » Thu Jan 31, 2008 8:04 pm

One simple basic rule that I live by in digital photography. Take a sharp picture. No matter what else you may screw up while taking the shot, sharpness is one aspect of a photo that is not easily fixed with photo editing software. Anything else...too dark, too light, poor white balance, over or under exposed..ect can be fixed quite easily.

Larry
User avatar
Larry Soucheck
Member
 
Posts: 514
Joined: Sat Jan 19, 2008 6:08 pm
Location: Stoddard, WI.
NAWCC #: 150501

Re: Photography set-up...

New postby Barbara Barnes » Thu Jan 31, 2008 10:27 pm

Fantastic photos! Sharp, clear and crisp.

Larry . . . . you are the bee's knees! :D
Barb
;)

NAWCC
User avatar
Barbara Barnes
Member
 
Posts: 134
Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2008 7:06 pm
Location: CA
NAWCC #: 159984

Next

Return to Horological Photography

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron