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Watch Photography Part Three: Getting SeriousThe last article within this mini-series assumes people has familiarity with photographic technique and terminology, along with the right equipment. The entry way this is the camera having a dedicated macro lens: DSLRs and ILCs (Micro 4/3s, Sony NEX etc). All images might be clicked for larger versions.I most certainly will begin by saying another thing: by and large, what camera or lens you have won't really matter, beyond the lens focal length and maximum magnification. Why? Because you will be shooting under conditions which you could generally extract maximum image quality from you, which has been sufficient for the best demanding applications for quite a while now. Either you can be using a sturdy tripod or flash, in any event, always shooting strong ISO together with good optics. Most macro lenses can be extremely good, the vacation ones; it is really possible to make a slow-ish aperture normal or short telephoto with good resolution.That said, I am shooting Nikon in my watch photography work since 2004; not due to the cameras or lenses (both excellent), speculate it had the best flash system; most accurate metering along with the ability to remotely control multiple flashes using the built-in unit for the camera. As I said earlier: lighting control is vital. Every one of the Micro-Nikkors are great; I currently utilize AFS 60/2.8 G since it provides the lowest lateral and longitudinal chromatic aberration of the present bunch, and enables maximum magnification with the minimum quantity of extension tubes. I take advantage of a D700 quite often, or even a D5100 easily need additional magnification (1:1 magnification means a 24x36mm subject around the D700, or maybe a 18x24mm subject for the D5100.) DIY diffuser, created from mount board and tracing paper. Cut an opening at the base for just a tripod mount.Let's talk about lighting. I use a self-built diffuser box with movable panels; it enables me to manage very precisely the level of light and specular highlights seen on the subject inside it. It's actually not that big, but adequate enough to photograph a full watch without seeing the edges of the diffuser in the frame. View from behind you.In addition, i use multiple flashes, controlled by the pop-up unit built in the camera as mentioned previously. One flash will give strong, directional lighting; it's nice but sometimes variety is nice, and fill is essential. It may not be enough if you need to stop to extreme apertures to obtain sufficient depth of field, though. Particularly if using diffusers. Two flashes usually are enough for many situations; one primary light then one to deliver fill, or light your background. Three flashes is overkill if you do not want very flat, even lighting; this generally lands up being boring because everything is too evenly lit. That is pretty in close proximity to my current setup, without the presence of tripodExperiment with in places you placed the flashes, and ways in which you angle the watch; Blu-Tack or plasticine can be your friend here. It is also very helpful for removing stubborn dust specks; Let me typically spend approximately a quarter-hour cleaning and dusting a watch just before shooting. It's much simpler than having to retouch it following your shot. There exists a catch: a lot of things you recently don't retouch, this way vintage Fifty Fathoms.I really don't employ a tripod. I have discovered it restricts the spontaneity of my compositions watches . If I need precise positioning for prime magnification work - with extension tubes, as an example - Let me brace me resistant to the table. Just how do i avoid trembling camera? Simple - the flashes perform the benefit me. Set your camera to the maximum sync speed - usually 1/180, 1/200 or 1/250s - and through the flash will probably be nearly 100% of the light captured because of the camera, particularly if are shooting indoors together with the lens stopped down. The exact length of the flash pulse is even shorter; don't fret about motion blur. Extension tubes supply you with serious magnification. Patek 5055 This is simply not a crop - the whole frame shows each and every perfect (or imperfect) detail. Lange 1815Two special devices I have to mention are extension tubes and tilt-shift lenses. Extension tubes are basically spacers that sit between lens and camera and let you more magnification; (you lose infinity focus, but you weren't using anyway). They normally have electronic contacts for your camera to talk with the lens. You'll have to switch to manual focus as well as set magnification around the lens, then slowly move the camera. Depth of field decreases dramatically as magnification increases; despite having relatively short focal length lenses such as the 60mm, the most beneficial autofocus systems simply can't cope. Note interesting depth of field plane: Girard-Perregaux Tourbillon Sous Trois Ponts d'Or, Nikon D2Hs having a PC 85/2.8 tilt-shift macro. Phew, that has been a mouthful.Tilt-shift lenses allow you to utilize an optical trick known as the Scheimpflug Principle to obtain more depth of field for just a given aperture; effectively you are tilting your plane of focus parallel together with your subject plane making sure that more of your subject is at focus. It can be an effective way of skyrocketing your depth of field, but requires some practice to utilize effectively. Unfortunately, magnification on these lenses is normally on a 1:2 or less, limiting high magnification use (ironically where they'd be very useful) due to the unwieldy quantity of extension tubes required to achieve sufficient magnification. Art or an excessive amount of Photoshop ? AP Royal Oak JumboI'd like to conclude by speaking about postprocessing. Photoshop had been a unclean word amongst photographers, using the implications of changing this content and removing or adding things from your frame. Whenever you may use it for your, watches copies an easy method to consider correct digital darkroom. The curves tool is specially handy for controlling contrast. Used together with the masking tools, you may effectively control the contrast along the various parts of your image; by way of example, you may choose more contrast within the movement, although not in the event or background; just mask off the movement and work with various portions separately. Likewise, it is critical to shoot RAW to obtain full control over your exposure and color balance; I frequently tweak colour channels of my image while using the Hue/Saturation tool once I'm happy with the contrast. Finally, it is possible to deal with the inevitable dust: some photographers may not care, others - like myself, a holdover from my commercial photography days - are militant about every last speck. The healing brush and clone tools can be your friend here; though the better work you choose to do with cleaning the real object, the less you should handle afterwards. Pay particular focus on any fingerprints - they can be very difficult to get rid of digitally. No trickery here, just reflections. Glycine Incusore BlackjackYou'll notice I've not mentioned film here anywhere. Will still be a viable alternative for watch photography, nevertheless the main problem is it is quite challenging to visualize the output to make the proper adjustments; most metering systems will need tweaking to deal with complex situations like multiple off camera flash + diffusers + little working distance between camera and lens. That said, We've shot commercial grade watch focus on a Nikon F2, mens sports watches calculating guide numbers manually and using flash stacking to replicate the result of multiple flashes. Surprise!Make an attempt to introduce a part of surprise into your shot: it gives you the viewer something else entirely and memorable. It might take several attempts to get it right, but that is the good thing about experimentation - that knows ideal for get out of it. Lastly, have fun. Unless it's work, if you're not having a great time, perhaps you practice it too seriously and it's here we are at some slack. MT Oris Chronoris