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Thread: Lighting feedback welcomed...

  1. #1
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    Lighting feedback welcomed...

    Hi all -

    I'm still experimenting a lot with lighting watches, and just wanted to get some feedback as to people's thoughts on the different lighting here -

    Harder lighting (flashes through soft boxes) -




    Softer lighting (flashes through softboxes, with the watch in a light tent) -



    Harder detail -



    Softer detail -



    Any preference? Purely subjective choice, or specific reasons for picking one over the other?

    Kind regards,


    Gerald.

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    Re: Lighting feedback welcomed...

    #2 looks quite good, maybe needs a bit more light on the exterior lower frame to bring out the lettering. highlights look great

    #4 eases up the contrast of the machining marks and gear edges
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    Re: Lighting feedback welcomed...

    Quote Originally Posted by gerald.d View Post
    Hi all -

    I'm still experimenting a lot with lighting watches, and just wanted to get some feedback as to people's thoughts on the different lighting here -

    Harder lighting (flashes through soft boxes) -




    Softer lighting (flashes through softboxes, with the watch in a light tent) -



    Harder detail -



    Softer detail -



    Any preference? Purely subjective choice, or specific reasons for picking one over the other?

    Kind regards,


    Gerald.
    The softer one looks better to me..
    I think that it somewhat makdes minor machining marks and thus conveys a bit of a more idealized image.
    -bob
    www.getdpi.com
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  4. #4
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    Re: Lighting feedback welcomed...

    Softer. The harder image comes across as too 'technical' or scientific an image, whereas the softer (in addition to the other posters remarks) comes across more as a close-up image of gorgeous watch in say a black display case.

    The softer ones 'sells' the watch more in the mind of the viewer. The intricacies & craftsmanship are clearly impressive, but not 'in your face'. Also, the warmer color temp of the softer image works much better and I would guess is closer to reality.

    Not a great explanation, but hopefully gets the point across. Nice work BTW.
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    Re: Lighting feedback welcomed...

    The second one. One the first, the reflections in the shiny tapped holes are odd because they reflect the lighting setup. Also, there is a strange artifact on the left of the watch near the band like you filled the highlights with a color. Also, some of the black areas in the metal, where the band is attached, for example, has lost detail and is lost in the background. Same of the silver gears.

    The second is very sexy and you still have the texture of the metal and finish in it. I might put a fill card to the bottom to try to get a little more in the watch case, but otherwise, it looks nice.

    Since I do not know the object, are the gears supposed to be silver or blue? If silver, the image looks a bit too cool.
    Will

    http://www.hakusancreation.com
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    Re: Lighting feedback welcomed...

    Thanks to everyone for the great feedback - very much appreciated and extremely helpful since this is a completely new area of photography for me

    The artifact Shashin mentioned is actually me hiding the serial number of the watch

    Kind regards,


    Gerald.

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    Re: Lighting feedback welcomed...

    The issue I have when shooting watches is that soft boxes and light tents are blunt instruments for lighting in that they offer no real control to craft the lighting, fine if you are after a purely technical representation of an object but IMHO you can't craft light with a soft box. If you use rolls sheets of diffusion material with a separate flash head you have far more control in pulling detail and interest out of the product you are shooting.
    Also it looks like your flash heads are a different colour? There are changes round the rear bezel (not sure of the tech term, though I should know as I shoot watches) in colour temperature.

    Personally I prefer the harder version but with a few refinements like a bit of fill on the case to make it look like a solid piece of metal and some kind of extra highlight on the 2 main gears as I don't like the big areas of black and would like to see some machining there.

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    Re: Lighting feedback welcomed...

    Quote Originally Posted by MrSmith View Post
    The issue I have when shooting watches is that soft boxes and light tents are blunt instruments for lighting in that they offer no real control to craft the lighting, fine if you are after a purely technical representation of an object but IMHO you can't craft light with a soft box. If you use rolls sheets of diffusion material with a separate flash head you have far more control in pulling detail and interest out of the product you are shooting.
    Also it looks like your flash heads are a different colour? There are changes round the rear bezel (not sure of the tech term, though I should know as I shoot watches) in colour temperature.

    Personally I prefer the harder version but with a few refinements like a bit of fill on the case to make it look like a solid piece of metal and some kind of extra highlight on the 2 main gears as I don't like the big areas of black and would like to see some machining there.
    Hi -

    The flashes are all the same - Canon 600EX's. The images are also processed fairly minimally, so I'm not sure where any apparent variation in colour temperature could have originated from.

    I do have one of these on order with triple branched gooseneck light guides which I am hoping will be interesting to experiment with.

    Kind regards,


    Gerald.

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    Re: Lighting feedback welcomed...

    if you really are getting serious, useful tools are small mirrors, bist of white, black cards, and aluminum foil. "frogs", those little stands full of needles for holding flower stems and adhesive clay are quite useful for supporting the reflectors where ever you need them. also some sort of live view (and an assistant) so you can see the effects of placement.

    probably could shoot with one large overhead soft box, aimed slightly forward and quite close to the subject, using a modeling light in a dark room to see what's going on

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    Re: Lighting feedback welcomed...

    Quote Originally Posted by jlm View Post
    also some sort of live view (and an assistant) so you can see the effects of placement.
    No modelling bulbs so it's hard to see how the light reacts to the surface as you move it around, the working distance means you can usually work without an assistant and just get your eye over the top of the camera as you move lights/reflectors, yes live-view is very useful but you need modelling bulbs.

    probably could shoot with one large overhead soft box, aimed slightly forward and quite close to the subject, using a modeling light in a dark room to see what's going on
    That's just going to make it milky/flat looking and probably flare on the crystal back (depending on angle) the crystal is a mirror so lighting has to come from the side if you don't want reflections or to use a polariser. I try and avoid a polariser if possible as you can kill the secondary reflections in the movement which tend to help give it depth.

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    Re: Lighting feedback welcomed...

    #2 and #4 I prefer.

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    Re: Lighting feedback welcomed...

    Try shooting thru white plexi nothing beats it it has the best gradation, also it's unfortunate but you will have to stack not only for depth of field but also shadows mid tone and highlights to get great results.

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