Photography set-up...

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

Re: Photography set-up...

New postby veritas » Fri Feb 01, 2008 1:23 am

Larry great photos like always.Thanks for sharing your trade secrets.
Kevin West
veritas
Super Member
 
Posts: 2844
Joined: Wed Jan 30, 2008 2:32 am
Location: Nepean, Ontario, Canada,
Skype Account: veritas323

Re: Photography set-up...

New postby Phil Dellinger » Fri Feb 01, 2008 2:32 am

Larry,

Great photos as usual! You prove that technique and practice is still the best way to get a good picture.

I see that you are still using the trusty "Ott-Lite".

Do you have any trouble with greenish tint in your pictures caused by the "Ott-Lite" housing?
Phil Dellinger
User avatar
Phil Dellinger
Member
 
Posts: 30
Joined: Sun Jan 20, 2008 4:47 pm
Location: Salt Lake City, UT
NAWCC #: 157070

Re: Photography set-up...

New postby Larry Soucheck » Fri Feb 01, 2008 2:45 am

Not that I can notice Phil. I seem to have the green housing covered up with paper completely by accident though. I have more trouble when I use two lamps. No matter how close they are, the color temp always seems to be slightly different and the camera really picks this up.
Larry

Phil Dellinger wrote:Do you have any trouble with greenish tint in your pictures caused by the "Ott-Lite" housing?
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 dweiss17 » Sun Feb 03, 2008 10:42 pm

Just a little note...

THE CAMERA LENS LARRY USES...A MACRO, COSTS AROUND $400.00 IN TODAY'S MARKET. MAYBE MORE.

EVEN SO...THE SKILL INVOLVED IN TAKING THE PHOTOS ARE EXTREMELY IMPORTANT.

H&B IN NEW YORK WANTED $398.00 AND THEY ARE COST WISE...CHEAPER THAN MOST CAMERA SUPPLY HOUSES.
Daniel M. Weiss
User avatar
dweiss17
Member
 
Posts: 1184
Joined: Wed Jan 16, 2008 1:17 am
Location: Philadelphia, PA
NAWCC #: 008331

Re: Photography set-up...

New postby Larry Soucheck » Sun Feb 03, 2008 11:20 pm

True, initial investment can be a little high, but good glass will last a lifetime. I don't remember the cost of my trusty FA 50mm macro, but it's 14 years old and still taking sharp photos. It was designed for film cameras and started life way back in 1990. I have and use lenses that are 30 years old on my Pentax dslr, and they work great!

Anyone thinking about the dslr route, shouldn't hesitate looking for old glass. If they're compatable, they'll take superb pictures at a fraction of the new lens cost.

Larry

[quote][Just a little note...THE CAMERA LENS LARRY USES...A MACRO, COSTS AROUND $400.00 IN TODAY'S MARKET. MAYBE MORE/quote]
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 » Tue Feb 05, 2008 2:46 am

I've been working on my set-up, Larry. I have my new Canon Digital SLR and I just ordered the Sigma 55mm Macro lens that you recommended. I got it at 47th Street Photo in NYC. They were $40 cheaper than B&H. I don't know why. And.... B&H would not price match. So.... I ought to have it in a week... after I get back from Pasadena. I also ordered a 3 filter set for it. I THINK you mentioned that a polarizer can be handy.

I found a lightweight, smaller tripod in my "gun-room." I don't remember even buying but I might have bought it to set my spotting scope when I was shooting competitive high-power rifle. It ought to be perfect for light use. I have a heavier one around here someplace, if the kids didn't take it.

I also bought a light. I saw it today at Costco and I remembered you saying that you used a couple of full spectrum lights. It doesn't look like yours but maybe that's just marketing hype. I'll post a picture of it.

So... I'm getting there.

Tell me about 18% grey paper. "Someone" said he used it too and I see that you use it. Will any photography house have it? We have a Ritz Camera at our Mall and that's about the best we have in little Flagstaff. Do you think they'll have it? What makes it so desirable?
Attachments
ott.jpg
ott.jpg (54.37 KiB) Viewed 5248 times
--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 » Tue Feb 05, 2008 3:37 am

This explains gray cards better than I could. That being said, I don't use them for exposure or white balance. Being in close and a controlled area for a small object like a watch, even exposure hasn't been a problem. I will admit that I occasionally get slightly blown highlights, but in some cases, this adds to the overall visual effect of the watch. Easily corrected in a photo editing program if too much. I do set custom white balance, but with an ordinary piece of white printer paper. Some day I will try the gray card method. Filters? It wasn't me who suggested them. I do use UV filters for protection only. Yes, those are the Otts. Same nice bulbs but in a different lamp. They do work great. You will be happy with the Sigma lens. 55mm? Is this new or a misprint. They make new lenses faster than I can keep up

Larry

Reflected light meters are calibrated to give an accurate exposure when pointed at subject with reflectivity somewhere near 18%; the exact value varies and the details are complex. By placing a gray card in the scene to be photographed and taking a reading off of it with a reflected light meter, the photographer can be assured of consistent exposures across their photographs. This technique is similar to using an incident meter, as it depends on the illuminance but not the reflectivity of the subject.

In addition to providing a means for measuring exposure, a gray card provides a reference for white balance. White balance, or color balance, refers to the setting that the camera uses to compensate for the illuminant color in the scene. Gray cards are useful for white balance since their reflectance is not as intense as that of a white object, which reduces the possibility of clipping, or exceeding the maximum possible reflectance value that the camera's sensor can record
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 » Tue Feb 05, 2008 3:49 am

Here's a better link on the usage of a gray card.

http://www.goshen.edu/~marvinpb/graycd.html

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 Peter S. Balkan » Tue Feb 05, 2008 3:58 pm

TFilters? It wasn't me who suggested them. I do use UV filters for protection only. Yes, those are the Otts. Same nice bulbs but in a different lamp. They do work great. You will be happy with the Sigma lens. 55mm? Is this new or a misprint. They make new lenses faster than I can keep up


I did get the exact lens you recommended... 50mm. MY typo. The filters... that's either premature senility or someone else. The polarizer would cut down on light transmission and, therefore, require a larger aperature... thus cutting depth of field. But... I wonder if they would work?

This explains gray cards better than I could. That being said, I don't use them for exposure or white balance. Being in close and a controlled area for a small object like a watch, even exposure hasn't been a problem. I will admit that I occasionally get slightly blown highlights, but in some cases, this adds to the overall visual effect of the watch. Easily corrected in a photo editing program if too much. I do set custom white balance, but with an ordinary piece of white printer paper. Some day I will try the gray card method.


I thought I remembered (senility again) that you mentioned grey-cards for background on "someplace." But I went back to "someplace" and found that it was someone else. I saw the terrific and most innovative shot that you took of a watch on a CD-disk. Perhaps, if you have it, you can repost it here... along with starting a thread on backgrounds. I've been shooting off a white background but my problem is that the background will change...usually to light blue, when I color correct.
--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 DW Herrington » Sun Feb 10, 2008 8:44 pm

Larry,
I have fussed with all types of cameras, lighting, background, filters... etc. doesn't matter what ever you have goin on is
by far and away the best I have seen since 163-A was selling on ebay.,, and I am thinking even better.

You could take a watch that anyone else would get a hundred bucks for and get 200.00
You have a talent. It is artwork.
Don
NAWCC 153167
W i n d e r s - K e e p e r s
User avatar
DW Herrington
Super Member
 
Posts: 164
Joined: Tue Jan 08, 2008 10:59 pm
Location: Fairview, PA
NAWCC #: 153167

Re: Photography set-up...

New postby Larry Soucheck » Sun Feb 10, 2008 11:17 pm

Thanks Don. I remember 163-A's ebay photos. As a matter of fact, it was his photos that got me to really try harder. There are far better photographers of watches out there, and they all seem to have a unique technique, but I'm fairly pleased with how I do things and the final shots I get. If I were rewarded for practice, I'd be a rich man by now. Thank God for digital! :D

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 JohnL » Tue Feb 12, 2008 5:27 pm

Excellent write up larry.

Thanks for the description and pics of your setup.

Great Pics!
John LaCambria
Nawcc #0115946

Watches for sale at:
http://www.johnlwatches.com
JohnL
 
Posts: 17
Joined: Sat Feb 02, 2008 10:49 pm
Location: Wilmington, MA
NAWCC #: 0115946

Re: Photography set-up...

New postby Dave Coatsworth » Sat Mar 01, 2008 10:07 pm

Inspired by Larry and Peter, as well as the dreary, damp weather outside today, I've started working on my set-up. I've gone with fluorescent lighting to get the even coverage. I haven't worried too much about the type of bulb since my camera (Nikon Coolpix 4800) seems to do a good job of correcting white balance. For this set-up, I've used 5 GE 'linkable' fluorescent fixtures - 3 of the 7 1/2 inch models up front and 2 of the 14 inch models overhead. My framework is compliments of USPS at the moment. I figure I will make a frame out of wood once I'm happy with the temporary 'studio' I put together with cardboard.
Attachments
Studio1.jpg
Studio1.jpg (78.43 KiB) Viewed 5094 times
Studio2.jpg
Studio2.jpg (58.87 KiB) Viewed 5093 times
Dave Coatsworth
 

Re: Photography set-up...

New postby Dave Coatsworth » Sat Mar 01, 2008 10:09 pm

A couple of my first photos. Still using a 'medium' quality setting on the camera.
Dave Coatsworth
 

Re: Photography set-up...

New postby Larry Soucheck » Sat Mar 01, 2008 11:01 pm

Very nice Dave. You've just proved that anything will work...even a cardboard box. :) And to think, some people pay money for a manufactured box to accomplish what yoy just made with a little effort and not much money.

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

PreviousNext

Return to Horological Photography

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest