My "studio" setup and some MacGyver tricks

Show your watch photography for discussion
Message
Author
User avatar
Mugea
Posts: 153
Joined: Fri Feb 05, 2016 1:01 am
Location: Germany

My "studio" setup and some MacGyver tricks

#1 Post by Mugea » Mon Apr 17, 2017 6:48 am

Just like to share my „studio“ setup and some „MacGyver“ tricks. Hopefully, other will share their tricks. I’d be especially interested in some magic tricks how to take the perfect shot of watches with black dials.


Anyway: it started with my wish to have the perfect black background. Not dark grey, but just the perfect black. I experimented long – my father found and build the solution: a black box made of plywood with the measures 80 cm deep, 70 cm high and 42 cm wide (31.5” x 28” x 16.5”) – the exact measures aren’t important, what counts is the depth of the box absorbing all incoming light. The bottom of the box always will be black.

Image


Next I build a “light tower” to be placed in front of the black box. Some wood bars and a shower curtain (the cheap sort made of polyvinyl or what it’s called – this sort of shower curtain you don’t want to have in your shower. But perfect as a translucent material) plus a chipboard laying around were sufficient.

Image

Image


Et voilà! Two low cost studio lamps and my studio was ready.

Image

Image


Some helpers like a watch holder completed the setup.

Image


As my goal also is to avoid photoshopping work as best as possible, one challenge was: how to take pictures of case backs? Thought long about this –until I remembered my childhood:

Image

Image


These arrows with suction cups turned out to be ideal! They are long enough to vanish in the dark and the suction cups are strong enough to hold a complete watch. Now a case back is no issue any longer.

Image

Image


The resulting photo is the “before photoshopping” image – some light dark grey portions are present, but they are easy to remove.

Image


At work:

Image

The resulting photos are Okay, but I’m still not satisfied. Especially, the black dials still are a nightmare. Hope, somebody will tell, how to take good photos of black dialed watches!


Best regards

Martin

User avatar
vintagehamiltons
Posts: 3328
Joined: Thu Jun 02, 2011 7:13 pm
Location: Waukesha, WI

Re: My "studio" setup and some MacGyver tricks

#2 Post by vintagehamiltons » Mon Apr 17, 2017 8:15 am

I've been using this setup for years now. The DSLR has been replaced with a Canon G9.

Image

Some of my best shots

Image

Image

Image

Image


My best black dial effort

Image

Bryan (Coronado) has some top tier skills and has a very simple setup and an old camera. I haven't been able to get the details from him though. :lol: Check out http://www.artdecowristwatches.com
Tom Diss
Mod Squad

User avatar
Mugea
Posts: 153
Joined: Fri Feb 05, 2016 1:01 am
Location: Germany

Re: My "studio" setup and some MacGyver tricks

#3 Post by Mugea » Tue Apr 18, 2017 7:27 pm

Tom,

thanks for showing your studio. I also have such a light cube, but the results with using it were soso….

Your photos of the T-403 and of the Sherwood R (?) are fantastic! What's the trick with the mirror?

Regards

Martin

User avatar
vintagehamiltons
Posts: 3328
Joined: Thu Jun 02, 2011 7:13 pm
Location: Waukesha, WI

Re: My "studio" setup and some MacGyver tricks

#4 Post by vintagehamiltons » Wed Apr 19, 2017 5:11 am

Mugea wrote:
Tue Apr 18, 2017 7:27 pm
Tom,

thanks for showing your studio. I also have such a light cube, but the results with using it were soso….

Your photos of the T-403 and of the Sherwood R (?) are fantastic! What's the trick with the mirror?

Regards

Martin
It's done with a black acrylic riser similar to this.

Image

https://www.amazon.com/LimoStudio-Acryl ... ylic+riser
Tom Diss
Mod Squad

User avatar
Mugea
Posts: 153
Joined: Fri Feb 05, 2016 1:01 am
Location: Germany

Re: My "studio" setup and some MacGyver tricks

#5 Post by Mugea » Wed Apr 19, 2017 9:22 am

Hi tom,

ah, that's interesting, thanks. I'll try it out.

Regards

Martin
P.S: Regarding black dials: Here’s one of my betters – not the real thing. Up to date I failed to get a true front image.

Image

please note: the "irritations" are due to compressing - in the high resolution photo the writing are sharp. What I'm not happe with: still, there are some reflections and shortcomings like that....

User avatar
diveboy
Posts: 2070
Joined: Thu May 15, 2014 4:22 am
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Contact:

Re: My "studio" setup and some MacGyver tricks

#6 Post by diveboy » Tue Jul 25, 2017 2:19 pm

I've been inspired by this thread and purchased some new gadgets. Hopefully they will arrive in the next week and I'll post some results.
Disruptive Elgin Collector.... 39.56043956043956
http://www.elgin.watch - Elgin Model Database
instagram @elgindownunder

User avatar
Nookster
Posts: 2944
Joined: Thu Jun 02, 2011 8:50 am
Location: California
Contact:

Re: My "studio" setup and some MacGyver tricks

#7 Post by Nookster » Sat Jul 29, 2017 8:20 am

Martin, your photos are awesome, very clear, very sharp. The trick for black dials is to get rid of any glare, which is hard to do.

The Le Coultre looks awesome.

Photos are trial and error. Once you find the right place, the right lighting, it's "game on."
mark@vintagehamilton.com
VWF owner, moderator and Hamilton Enthusiast

stryfox
Posts: 2141
Joined: Tue Oct 21, 2014 4:40 pm

Re: My "studio" setup and some MacGyver tricks

#8 Post by stryfox » Sat Jul 29, 2017 9:09 am

I have tried a few different things. My son is taking photography in school. I bought him some new lighting and tricked him into wanting to shoot my watches. I am curious to see if he comes up with better results than me.
I'll post what he comes up with.
I explained to him the ones for sale he can't alter the photo in any way except brightness and contrast.
For art type shots not watches for sale he can do whatever he wants.
Good for me and a good learning experience for him. He may even teach me a thing or two.

User avatar
Nookster
Posts: 2944
Joined: Thu Jun 02, 2011 8:50 am
Location: California
Contact:

Re: My "studio" setup and some MacGyver tricks

#9 Post by Nookster » Sat Jul 29, 2017 10:03 am

Here is a K-475 I did. I think I got it right for a black dial. Taking off the crystal helps.

Image
mark@vintagehamilton.com
VWF owner, moderator and Hamilton Enthusiast

User avatar
Mugea
Posts: 153
Joined: Fri Feb 05, 2016 1:01 am
Location: Germany

Re: My "studio" setup and some MacGyver tricks

#10 Post by Mugea » Sun Jul 30, 2017 7:03 am

Nookster wrote:
Sat Jul 29, 2017 10:03 am
Here is a K-475 I did. I think I got it right for a black dial. Taking off the crystal helps.
Ha, ha, great! :lol: Yes, taking off the crystal helps a lot! But I prefer it to have the crystal in place – and that’s the challenge.

Here's a Zodiac Autographic I took photos of yesterday. The result ... hum, right direction, I'd say. OK, some photoshopping was necessary anyway.
Zodiac_Autographic_01a_1024x768.jpg
Zodiac_Autographic_01a_1024x768.jpg (72.88 KiB) Viewed 172 times
Regards

Martin

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest