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Watch Photography Hacks

Discussion area for watch books, tools and other related items.
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cel4145
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Watch Photography Hacks

#1

Post by cel4145 » Thu Mar 21, 2019 11:52 am

How about a thread for watch photography tips and tricks?

I'll start it off. I use Zeiss Cleaning Wipes for my glasses:

[img]https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com ... L1000_.jpg[/img]

IME, these work much better than drug store eyeglass cleaning wipes. And anyone into photography knows Zeiss as a long respected lens manufacturer. Their wipes can be used on camera optics, and they get a 4.8 out of 5 rating at B&H Photo.

When I clean my glasses, I also use the wipe to clean off my phone camera lens. But that's not the main watch photography hack here. The wipes are great for giving my watch a quick wipe down before taking a wristshot. Since the wipes are designed not to damage optic coatings on camera lenses, I feel it's a safe assumption that the chemicals in the wipe won't hurt my wristwatch.
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uvalaw2005
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Re: Watch Photography Hacks

#2

Post by uvalaw2005 » Fri Mar 22, 2019 4:01 am

If you're trying to minimize glare/reflections off the watch crystal, buy a piece of 20"x30" black foam board at Dollar General for $1, and hold it up behind the camera (or angle it between the watch and the light source to control "flecto" effects).

[img][/img]

[img][/img]
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Re: Watch Photography Hacks

#3

Post by tommy_boy » Fri Mar 22, 2019 1:03 pm

A light box works wonders for sparkly stuff. Mine is made of fabric and collapses for easy storage.

The trick for me is to control the background color and apply a ton of light (the higher color temperature the better) IMO to the exterior.

I got the box/cube and different color drapes on flea bay for around $35, as I recall. Here's a search term: "36" Photo Light Cube Tent Photography Studio Lighting Box Backdrop Background."
Just my $0.02 USD as always.
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Re: Watch Photography Hacks

#4

Post by BostonCharlie » Fri Mar 22, 2019 6:49 pm

Not much of a hack, but I take my ensemble wristshots using a mirror and then flipping the image. We have a mirror hanging on the wall by our door that I set in an overstuffed chair in our living room, where the light is good in the afternoon. It results in some artifacts. I think these are from two, offset reflections: one from the glass and one from the mirror. You can see them around the blue G-SHOCK lettering in this one:

[Update: sorry -- the image has been corrupted; TODO]
Last edited by BostonCharlie on Tue Jul 30, 2019 5:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Watch Photography Hacks

#5

Post by norsairius » Sat Mar 23, 2019 12:52 pm

A bit of ambient light from the background in a mostly dark room helps a lot to get in-focus lume shots. For example, I go into a bathroom but leave the hallway light on and set my watch on the counter further away from the door. Some samples I've taken using this trick:
20190321_023633902_iOS.jpg
20190312_004059068_iOS.jpg
20190310_222512480_iOS.jpg
20190323_175338761_iOS - Copy.jpg
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cel4145
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Re: Watch Photography Hacks

#6

Post by cel4145 » Sun Mar 24, 2019 1:56 pm

For Android users (not sure about iPhone) who would like a user-friendly photo editing app for their camera photos, I have really enjoyed Photoshop Express. Easy to crop. Has a ton of different filters which are very easy to apply. And it has a touchup option that works very well. For instance, in this photo, there were a few stray white flecks on the black bezel which I removed in about 30 seconds before posting the photo online:

[img]https://i.postimg.cc/PJLHNPDC/dryden-re ... edited.jpg[/img]

Now if there were just an arm hair removal tool, the app would be perfect. Maybe an AI-enabled version of the app will be able to do that one day :)

But seriously, I end up using Photoshop Express on my PC where I also have Photoshop CC 2019. Undoubtedly, Photoshop CC 2019 is far more powerful. But Photoshop Express works well for a quick crop and edit of the image before I post. Even when I use my digital camera, I still use Photoshop Express for doing most photo preps before loading on the website.
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Re: Watch Photography Hacks

#7

Post by TheJohnP » Sun Mar 24, 2019 8:44 pm

Just a suggestion, perhaps some "before" pics would help give more context to the tips and give more weight to the "after" ones.
I've got more Converse sneakers than watches, but it is a close race.
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cel4145
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Re: Watch Photography Hacks

#8

Post by cel4145 » Fri Mar 29, 2019 3:25 pm

If anyone is in need of free image hosting for posting to MoT, I've been using PostImage since the Photobucket fiasco a couple of years ago. PostImage is free to use.
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cel4145
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Re: Watch Photography Hacks

#9

Post by cel4145 » Tue Apr 02, 2019 11:26 am

TheJohnP wrote:
Sun Mar 24, 2019 8:44 pm
Just a suggestion, perhaps some "before" pics would help give more context to the tips and give more weight to the "after" ones.
Building off of your suggestion, I have been trying to remember to mention the Photoshop Express filter (when I use one) in my WRUW thread shots. It's not a before and after set of photos, but it can help others to see what kind of post-processing is being used.
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Re: Watch Photography Hacks

#10

Post by Brice » Tue Jul 30, 2019 4:12 pm

@cel4145 the Zeiss Cleaning Wipes are wonderful. The studio where I shot the video and pictures for the Time Locker Kickstarter launch gave me a box of these wipes. I now always carry a few with me when I go shoot pictures of the watches.

@uvalaw2005, I use a polarized filter to reduce reflections on the watch glass. I will give a try to your technique too.
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