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A broken watch

By SH87
I haven't really tried to do much close up stuff before so this is sort of a first attempt,

Any comments always welcome



Tags: General Close-up and macro

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Focus_Man 11 481 631 United Kingdom
19 Nov 2012 9:28AM
Hi Simon. Watches are not the easilest of things to photograph as you have discovered here. Lighting can be difficult and you generally have reflections from the 'glass' to deal with.

This is not something that I have bothered to do for many a year but lighting is best if done within a soft box and a polarising filter will always deal with the reflections from the 'glass'.

You haven't described how you lit this although it does look like, on-camera flash where the object being close, the flash has caught the top rather than the bottom. If you haven't a soft box or cannot rig a temporary one try a few other methods like using your windowledge and natural light, or a high ISO and a white balance set to a general house light. Outdoors is another good method of course where you can use card or some velvet material for a backdrop.

Hope this helps

MacroMeister 8 62 4 United Kingdom
19 Nov 2012 9:52AM

I do a lot of shots like this (take a look at my website website link for ideas on how you can creatively use light) Although the composition is critical, the lighting is a very important element in this type of shot. With a portrait, or landscape there are lots of different elements to inform the viewer. But with object shots such as this you need to use lighting to add character and dimension to the subject.

I did a mod for you. The white balance seemed a little off to me, so I cooled it. And I boosted the exposure on the watch face and tried to reduce that glare at the top. As Frank said, there are different ways of lighting, and a softbox is probably one of the best. You want to diffuse (it means just spreading it out) the light if you can, which is what a softbox does. If you are on a budget (and who isn't post-2008?) using a small thin white sheet, between the flashgun and subject will do a good job of diffusion. But if you do that you will need to boost the flash output slightly to allow for loss of light through the diffuser. Otherwise you will be back to an under-exposure situation.

Good attempt though for your first try. Keep it up (it's not as easy as it looks). If you want any specific advice at any time feel free to PM me.

SH87 9 10 England
19 Nov 2012 1:10PM
I must admit that when taking this shot I hadn't really considered the lighting which was a big mistake on my part, the only light was just a standard ceiling light, no flash was used.

I will have some further attempts using the tips and advice given.

Many thanks
banehawi Plus
17 2.5k 4272 Canada
19 Nov 2012 1:28PM
Considering your setup, and the use of a kit lens, this is a good shot. Its focused, sharp, and detailed. You have good advice above re the lighting setup. A simple exposure increase in post processing, and a slight rotation of the watch as its not straight gives you a decent image, as in the mod. We need all your shot details for a proper critique, so something to remember next time. (No pun intended)


paulbroad 14 131 1293 United Kingdom
19 Nov 2012 7:50PM
Lighting is the most critical feature in any photograph abnd you must always be aware of light colour, intensity and angle. This is not bad, but the face is in shadow and you could lift it with the dodge tool. Lighting is evenmore critical than usual with macro because, being so close, getting the right light in there is a problem.

On camera flashrarely works but can suffice with an external gun on the hot shoe fitted with a diffuser to spread the light. The best lighting for close images of tiny reflective objects is a light tent, softbox is next. A light tent is a cone or dome of translucent material with a hole for the camera lens and the subject inside. You then light the outside of the tent. We used to use such a set up for shots of small stainless steel components.


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