My "studio" setup and some MacGyver tricks

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Mugea
Posts: 133
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.

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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.

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

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Some helpers like a watch holder completed the setup.

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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:

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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.

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

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At work:

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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

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vintagehamiltons
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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.

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Some of my best shots

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My best black dial effort

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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
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Mugea
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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

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vintagehamiltons
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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.

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

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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....

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