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Thread: Watch photography - my journey so far

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    Watch photography - my journey so far

    Following on from this question from cunim, I thought I'd start a new thread rather than reply in Technical Camera Images.

    My shot -



    100% crop detail -



    Shot on the manufacturer's website of the same watch -

    http://www.alange-soehne.com/assets/...back-72dpi.jpg

    Quote Originally Posted by cunim View Post
    Very instructive Gerald. I see what the manufacturer is trying to do. Present a clear illustration of what the watch is and how it works. You are doing something more complex, more like an interpretive portrait. I think I try to do much the same, but comparing these two images makes me wonder what I am trying to achieve in many of my own shots. Would you mind pointing out your goals for this type of treatment? Start a new thread if that would be appropriate.
    Hi -

    The end game here for me is relatively simple - large prints of watch faces and watch movements with everything in focus.

    I'm shooting watches in high resolution (typically in the 1:1.2 to 1:1.5 magnification range, with the watch face or movement pretty much filling the height of the IQ180 sensor), and focus stacking with the focal plane set parallel to the watch.

    With the CAPcam, I can do what I believe no other camera can - and that's move a tilted, swung, and shifted focal plane perpendicular to the plane of focus. Having tried more traditional focus stacking options in the past (such as the Stackshot), there are two main advantages to this approach. Firstly, I need far fewer images to focus stack - in some set-ups I can capture in maybe half a dozen images what could take 50 or so with the Stackshot; and secondly, it seems to me that the focus stacking software works a lot better when presented with a set of images where the subject matter's primary axis is parallel to the focal plane. With the Stackshot approach and the focal plane parallel to the sensor, I was always having to deal with many nasty artifacts from the focus stacking. With the CAPcam, I get none.

    I can find very few examples of watch photography that shows high magnification with deep depth of field - especially if the watch is presented at an angle to the camera. The Lange website image that I linked to is probably one of the highest resolution images I've come across, but what I find interesting about it is that it's just shot straight-on.

    It's clearly part of the whole design of the website to present the range in this way, but I think it's an incredible shame and doesn't do justice to the watches. You really do have to see them from an angle to start to appreciate the incredible complexity and three-dimensionality of the watch movements or faces (Lange make some of the most impressive movements out there - both from a functional and aesthetic perspective).

    If you look around the website you will find examples of higher magnification macro shots - here for example A. Lange & Söhne / Inside our manufactory - but then when they do present a shot of the movement at an angle, the depth of field is tiny. Why? Because shooting very high magnification images of watches and capturing the full depth of the movement in focus, when the watch is at an angle to the camera is - I believe - extremely difficult to pull off.

    Obviously if your end product is a relatively low resolution image for the web, you don't hit a lot of the problems that you would if you want high magnification for big prints. It's a bit like my old job in project management really.

    With projects there are always three competing constraints - scope, time, and cost. Pick any two, and it's (relatively) easy to deliver, but by compromising on the third, you affect the quality of the outcome. People simplify this to "fast, cheap, good". You can have fast and cheap, but the outcome will be poor. You can have cheap and good, but it will take forever. You can have fast and good, but it will cost you a bomb.

    Same with shooting watches. The three constraints are magnification, depth of field, and angle of the watch. Pick any two of those, and it's relatively easy - that's what everyone is doing as far as I can see.

    You want high magnification and everything in focus? You've got to have a flat on view of the watch.
    You want everything in focus and a nice angle on the watch? You've got to have low magnification.
    You want high magnification and a nice angle? Depth of field is going to be miniscule.

    All three are hard.

    I set out to do something that I couldn't see anyone else doing, and that was maxing out on all three, because I think when you nail it, the end result - the print - looks amazing.

    The one major thing that I have been struggling with in the 4 months or so that I've been exploring this is light. Lighting watches is also very hard, and a lot of my efforts that I've shared ( https://instagram.com/watchdxb/ ) have been pretty poor. I'd like to think I'm getting better though.

    One thing that I learned along the way is that I HATE shooting with flash. Absolutely detest it. It is especially a pain for small subjects like watches. So I recently took a new approach to lighting and bought one of these - Microscopy - LED light source - KL 2500 LED | SCHOTT AG . The Lange was one of the first shots I did with the new lights, but modifying the light coming out of the Schott was still a challenge.

    Yesterday I received some custom built modifiers that I'd specced up, and for the first time, I now think I have a lighting solution I can enjoy working with, and can get the results that I've been striving for.

    Here's the first test shot with the new lighting solution (ignore the background) -



    (That's actually with the IQ250. I do most test shots with it whilst I wait for my IQ380 to arrive.)

    Wow. That turned into quite a brain dump. Hope it didn't bore you too much!

    Kind regards,


    Gerald.

    The CAPcam on a Cambo studio stand - another relatively recent arrival that has made a huge difference!



    In the background you can see a test print showing the size I'm after (the watch one, not the lightning one!)
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    Re: Watch photography - my journey so far

    Quote Originally Posted by gerald.d View Post
    Following on from this question from cunim, I thought I'd start a new thread rather than reply in Technical Camera Images.

    My shot -



    100% crop detail -



    Shot on the manufacturer's website of the same watch -

    http://www.alange-soehne.com/assets/...back-72dpi.jpg



    Hi -

    The end game here for me is relatively simple - large prints of watch faces and watch movements with everything in focus.

    I'm shooting watches in high resolution (typically in the 1:1.2 to 1:1.5 magnification range, with the watch face or movement pretty much filling the height of the IQ180 sensor), and focus stacking with the focal plane set parallel to the watch.

    With the CAPcam, I can do what I believe no other camera can - and that's move a tilted, swung, and shifted focal plane perpendicular to the plane of focus. Having tried more traditional focus stacking options in the past (such as the Stackshot), there are two main advantages to this approach. Firstly, I need far fewer images to focus stack - in some set-ups I can capture in maybe half a dozen images what could take 50 or so with the Stackshot; and secondly, it seems to me that the focus stacking software works a lot better when presented with a set of images where the subject matter's primary axis is parallel to the focal plane. With the Stackshot approach and the focal plane parallel to the sensor, I was always having to deal with many nasty artifacts from the focus stacking. With the CAPcam, I get none.

    I can find very few examples of watch photography that shows high magnification with deep depth of field - especially if the watch is presented at an angle to the camera. The Lange website image that I linked to is probably one of the highest resolution images I've come across, but what I find interesting about it is that it's just shot straight-on.

    It's clearly part of the whole design of the website to present the range in this way, but I think it's an incredible shame and doesn't do justice to the watches. You really do have to see them from an angle to start to appreciate the incredible complexity and three-dimensionality of the watch movements or faces (Lange make some of the most impressive movements out there - both from a functional and aesthetic perspective).

    If you look around the website you will find examples of higher magnification macro shots - here for example A. Lange & Söhne / Inside our manufactory - but then when they do present a shot of the movement at an angle, the depth of field is tiny. Why? Because shooting very high magnification images of watches and capturing the full depth of the movement in focus, when the watch is at an angle to the camera is - I believe - extremely difficult to pull off.

    Obviously if your end product is a relatively low resolution image for the web, you don't hit a lot of the problems that you would if you want high magnification for big prints. It's a bit like my old job in project management really.

    With projects there are always three competing constraints - scope, time, and cost. Pick any two, and it's (relatively) easy to deliver, but by compromising on the third, you affect the quality of the outcome. People simplify this to "fast, cheap, good". You can have fast and cheap, but the outcome will be poor. You can have cheap and good, but it will take forever. You can have fast and good, but it will cost you a bomb.

    Same with shooting watches. The three constraints are magnification, depth of field, and angle of the watch. Pick any two of those, and it's relatively easy - that's what everyone is doing as far as I can see.

    You want high magnification and everything in focus? You've got to have a flat on view of the watch.
    You want everything in focus and a nice angle on the watch? You've got to have low magnification.
    You want high magnification and a nice angle? Depth of field is going to be miniscule.

    All three are hard.

    I set out to do something that I couldn't see anyone else doing, and that was maxing out on all three, because I think when you nail it, the end result - the print - looks amazing.

    The one major thing that I have been struggling with in the 4 months or so that I've been exploring this is light. Lighting watches is also very hard, and a lot of my efforts that I've shared ( https://instagram.com/watchdxb/ ) have been pretty poor. I'd like to think I'm getting better though.

    One thing that I learned along the way is that I HATE shooting with flash. Absolutely detest it. It is especially a pain for small subjects like watches. So I recently took a new approach to lighting and bought one of these - Microscopy - LED light source - KL 2500 LED | SCHOTT AG . The Lange was one of the first shots I did with the new lights, but modifying the light coming out of the Schott was still a challenge.

    Yesterday I received some custom built modifiers that I'd specced up, and for the first time, I now think I have a lighting solution I can enjoy working with, and can get the results that I've been striving for.

    Here's the first test shot with the new lighting solution (ignore the background) -



    (That's actually with the IQ250. I do most test shots with it whilst I wait for my IQ380 to arrive.)

    Wow. That turned into quite a brain dump. Hope it didn't bore you too much!

    Kind regards,


    Gerald.

    The CAPcam on a Cambo studio stand - another relatively recent arrival that has made a huge difference!



    In the background you can see a test print showing the size I'm after (the watch one, not the lightning one!)

    What i find interesting in the last picture is that as usual there is a $18K camera in the picture but no real lighting/flash equipment. Only a speedlight in a softbox. The most important part of any studio photopgraphy is lighting. Light and the perfect use of it is what makes those watch advertising images great..... not the camera used to capture that light :-)
    just my 2 cent......
    Last edited by H3dtogo; 14th August 2015 at 03:53.
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    Re: Watch photography - my journey so far

    Your images here are much more appealing than the ones on the manufacturer's site. I enjoyed reading about your process.
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    Re: Watch photography - my journey so far

    Gerald, I now better understand what you are trying to do and the evolution of your process. I like the creative use of new technology so I will study this post and learn from it.

    As a point of general interest, many photo posts could benefit from some explanation of the photographer's thought processes. Yes, an image can be just a purely visual stimulus to be reacted to emotionally. Perhaps many great images arise from serendipity and were made with little planning. In that case, to see is to enjoy. However, I rarely come across images that generate strong emotional reactions in me. Therefore, I am rarely captured by photographs. Yes, that is my loss but there remains lots to like.

    What adds interest for me is when images demonstrate the craft. Especially with studio work, an image is the result of a caring and skilled process that mixes technology, training and talent. When I can see how the photographer applied these, even a purely commercial image (think car advertisement) can be an interesting and educational object. The posts I enjoy most are those in which the photographer lays out the conditions, equipment and goals of the session. Thanks again for doing that.
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    Re: Watch photography - my journey so far

    among other things, i would say the trick is to display sufficient texture and detail with lighting highlights to distinguish the photograph from a computer generated version.

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    Re: Watch photography - my journey so far

    Interesting thread Gerald

    I admit to feeling conflicted when I look at your watch images, whilst I can fully appreciate the technical side of things, they always feel somewhat stale, lacking in a bit of life if that makes sense. Probably down to the light as has been said, technically they may well be extremely high quality and may be exactly what you are after but for me they don't inspire me or make me desire the product, they are maybe too graphic. The second shot you posted bothered me when I saw it before, not from a technical view but just the text on the watch all being upside down, sounds odd but I find it hard to get past that, this may be one of those occasions where getting technically spot on has meant overlooking the art of the thing?

    No offence intended, theres no doubting the technical quality, to my eye it's at the expense of a bit of life.

    Looking forward to seeing where you go with these.

    Mat

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    Re: Watch photography - my journey so far

    Quote Originally Posted by H3dtogo View Post
    What i find interesting in the last picture is that as usual there is a $18K camera in the picture but no real lighting/flash equipment. Only a speedlight in a softbox. The most important part of any studio photopgraphy is lighting. Light and the perfect use of it is what makes those watch advertising images great..... not the camera used to capture that light :-)
    just my 2 cent......
    Hmm. You quoted the entire post, but I wonder whether you actually read it?
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    Re: Watch photography - my journey so far

    Quote Originally Posted by gerald.d View Post
    Hmm. You quoted the entire post, but I wonder whether you actually read it?
    Sorry Gerald, no offence intended :-) it was meant in general as we always see those great camera's and seldom any light setup/light equipment in general :-)
    I am sure you know best how to use your lighting equipment as can be seen on that image. For those of us who can not afford very expensive LED lighting they can always try to do the job with a couple of (old) dedolights and small reflective cards...

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    Re: Watch photography - my journey so far

    Quote Originally Posted by mjr View Post
    Interesting thread Gerald

    I admit to feeling conflicted when I look at your watch images, whilst I can fully appreciate the technical side of things, they always feel somewhat stale, lacking in a bit of life if that makes sense. Probably down to the light as has been said, technically they may well be extremely high quality and may be exactly what you are after but for me they don't inspire me or make me desire the product, they are maybe too graphic. The second shot you posted bothered me when I saw it before, not from a technical view but just the text on the watch all being upside down, sounds odd but I find it hard to get past that, this may be one of those occasions where getting technically spot on has meant overlooking the art of the thing?

    No offence intended, theres no doubting the technical quality, to my eye it's at the expense of a bit of life.

    Looking forward to seeing where you go with these.

    Mat
    I think one of the "problems" here is that my desired output is an image that is very different to what people are used to seeing, and - in my personal opinion at least - makes a lot more sense as a large print, as opposed to a small picture on a computer monitor or mobile phone screen.

    I'm absolutely not shooting these to make people want to desire the product, but rather to provide an insight into the details of the product that they otherwise wouldn't be aware of. Yes - they are deliberately very technical images.

    Having said that, there are already several instances of people who have told me they've gone ahead and bought a Grand Seiko almost entirely off the back of seeing my photos of mine - the photos demonstrate a level of quality and finishing that a lot of people had no appreciation or understanding of previously.

    I do very much appreciate the feedback. I certainly wouldn't print either of the examples shown above.

    The Lange I hope to re-shoot in the next week or so, and the aim will be to come up with an image that I'd be happy to print. I'm actually very happy with the look of the watch in that shot, just needs something going on in the background to make it worthwhile printing for the owner (the prints I'm getting done are dye-sublimation onto aluminium and are very expensive to do!). The MB&F as mentioned was just a test shot for the new lights - although the text being upside down isn't something I'd personally ever be concerned about, it is an interesting and valid point!

    Kind regards,


    Gerald.

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    Re: Watch photography - my journey so far

    Quote Originally Posted by H3dtogo View Post
    Sorry Gerald, no offence intended :-) it was meant in general as we always see those great camera's and seldom any light setup/light equipment in general :-)
    I am sure you know best how to use your lighting equipment as can be seen on that image. For those of us who can not afford very expensive LED lighting they can always try to do the job with a couple of (old) dedolights and small reflective cards...
    No offence taken - it just seemed a very odd thing to pick up on when I'd stated in the text itself that I hated working with them, didn't think they were actually suitable for the job in hand, and going forward wouldn't be using them.

    Kind regards,


    Gerald.

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    Re: Watch photography - my journey so far

    Quote Originally Posted by jlm View Post
    among other things, i would say the trick is to display sufficient texture and detail with lighting highlights to distinguish the photograph from a computer generated version.
    You raise a really interesting point with regards where (commercially at least) watch imagery is, and where it's heading.

    These days, I'm pretty certain that a growing number of manufacturers never even use photography for the detailed product shots - it's all CGI. Since most watches are fully designed on computers these days, it's probably not a huge amount of work to render out any image they want - including sufficient texturing details and sophisticated virtual lighting to fool pretty much anyone.

    There are even some pretty impressive movement fly-through videos being produced. Example -https://instagram.com/p/6NK2v2xIUE/

    Kind regards,


    Gerald.

    /edit
    If someone ever says to me that they couldn't tell whether one of my images was a photograph or a computer render, I'd have to actually think long and hard as to whether I'd take it as a compliment or an insult
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    Re: Watch photography - my journey so far

    Hi Gerald

    I am happy to see you like the CapCam. Charlie and Rolf are 2 extremly knowledgeable people and a joy to work with.

    Congrats to the implementation. That is probably something why Charlie thought this out, after inventing the P2 He always wanted to go further.
    And this delivers. The images look so good, that it is nearly irreal, more like a rendering ! Whereas a rendering of that quality probably costs a fortune to make.

    It is clear to me - and I know you are also one of the people who understand this - that this is the future of Pro "Larger" Format Studio Photography.
    There is simply NO Alternative existing. And if I were Phase One I´d invest into CapCam, either as a shareholder, or as a quiet partner securing the platform.

    I hope I can go to Dubai in a not so far away time and then I´d like to visit you and talk about this.

    Cool ! Congrats for surfing the knowledge !

    Greetings from Germany
    Stefan
    because photography is more than technology - and " as we have done this all the time "
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    Re: Watch photography - my journey so far

    Gerald, impressive and inspiring images. I did a jewelry shoot like 15 years ago and I planned to do it in three days. It took 10. Came down to inexperience and a naive attitude that it was easy. I found it close to impossible to get a consistant light/style throughout their stock. After that I said to myself, no more 'small stuff'.
    But your watch images has actually triggered some experimentation Obviously it's many years later and I both have very different equipment and hopefully a few more tricks up my sleeve.

    I guess nothing can beat the capcam for this very purpose, but if you limit yourself to angle the watch in only one direction I suppose you 'can' get away with a more conventional setup and focus stacking! it gets complicated quickly if you angle the face in two directions.....I just tried a one angle shot on the kitchentable with both my Alpa tilt adaptors full out and extensiontubes together with the SK 72L. (What a wonderful closeuplens that is btw).

    I must say that I am totally impressed with the extreme resolution with full tilt and 8 image focus stack with the whole face in complete focus. With extensions I am around 17cm from front lens to watch. (I won't poison your thread with those 'quickies' with horrible light to test dof though.)

    The capcam is for complete freedom of composition but for limited angles and positions and a more standard setup could still be good for high res images.

    Again, excellent results you've got there! I am going to try again with more controlled light
    Alpa FPS • MAX • TC | Alpagon 32Hr | Helvetar 75 | Schneider 120N | Leaf Aptus II 5 • Leaf Credo 60 | www.danlindberg.com
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    Re: Watch photography - my journey so far

    Thanks Dan -

    You mention that if the watch is only angled in one direction (i.e. requiring either swing or tilt, but not a combination of the two to bring it into focus), a more conventional set-up and focus stacking is all that is required.

    I think I'm right in saying though that once you have set a tilted focal plane, if you wanted to move that plane perpendicularly, you had to adjust both focus and tilt simultaneously to do so. Are you setting the tilt to get the whole of the face of the watch in focus, and then making adjustments to stack through the depth of the watch, because I would have thought that would have been incredibly difficult to do manually? I'd be interested to understand better how you're doing it.

    Very much looking forward to seeing some of your results, which I am sure will inspire me even further!

    Kind regards,


    Gerald.

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    Re: Watch photography - my journey so far

    I'm intrigued by the capcam but not sure I see the value of such a purchase even if I shot a lot of watches.
    But then I started out shooting still-life on 10x8/5x4 so fully versed in using movements without the help of computers, now helicon focus and the movements on a cambo actus make shooting watches a lot easier.
    I actually shot a Lange & Söhne movement last week but it's under embargo so can't share that. We also shot a stitched movement shot as a test for large prints as the client wants to produce banners for their watch event but I think I had reached the limits of the lens (120 Schneider non macro) not sure of ratio but I guess it was around 1:1

    Why are you not wanting to bring any aesthetics or mood to the images? Detail and a nice looking image are not mutually exclusive imho.

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    Re: Watch photography - my journey so far

    Quote Originally Posted by MrSmith View Post
    I'm intrigued by the capcam but not sure I see the value of such a purchase even if I shot a lot of watches.
    But then I started out shooting still-life on 10x8/5x4 so fully versed in using movements without the help of computers, now helicon focus and the movements on a cambo actus make shooting watches a lot easier.
    I actually shot a Lange & Söhne movement last week but it's under embargo so can't share that. We also shot a stitched movement shot as a test for large prints as the client wants to produce banners for their watch event but I think I had reached the limits of the lens (120 Schneider non macro) not sure of ratio but I guess it was around 1:1

    Why are you not wanting to bring any aesthetics or mood to the images? Detail and a nice looking image are not mutually exclusive imho.
    I'm also intrigued.

    Did you shoot the Lange movement in such a way that everything was in focus at full resolution? 1:1 on the Schneider is going to be, what, about a 0.4mm depth of field?

    I'd be very interested to see some examples (presumably some of your work isn't subject to embargo).


    Kind regards,


    Gerald.

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    Re: Watch photography - my journey so far

    This is not my field so I have very limited knowledge and I just wanted to try! I realised that my schedule right now is full, so I will post those first tests for dof. Please ignore lighting, it's only a single lightsource pointed straight at the face with no care whatsoever. And also, the subject is my 20 years old watch that I have worn daily - upclose it looks like it is ready for a renovation but IRL it actually looks ok

    50% crop


    100% crop


    Double tilt adaptors full out to 10 degrees swing. F11 and 8 exposures needed with change of focuspoint with helicoil only. But just to give an idea, the small ridge on the right side was slightly soft when the 6 was in focus, so dof extremely small.

    But, with my 60mp back the face was about 300x300mm @300 dpi in native size, so not very big....with more extensions the dof would be even more extreme and we are still talking watchface angled in one direction. I can see the challange here!
    BTW, the watch was live so also ignore the pointers that became funny (ofcourse) in the stacking.

    However, this was fun! I will give it another go with a more controlled setting and I have a friend who has a nice watch collection, so I could probably borrow something worthy!
    Alpa FPS • MAX • TC | Alpagon 32Hr | Helvetar 75 | Schneider 120N | Leaf Aptus II 5 • Leaf Credo 60 | www.danlindberg.com
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    Re: Watch photography - my journey so far

    The watch magazine tweeted a crop from the stitched movement shot
    https://mobile.twitter.com/qp_editor...20048707489796
    (On iPad so no idea how to embed that properly)
    Full size uncropped is around 10000x8000 pixels so I guess around 60mp equivalent, viewed 100% on a monitor the case would be around 5-6ft across, despite being 1 capture and not stacked there's enough in focus to hold the eye but I would stack if shooting for real and not just a test.
    You can see some watch images on my website garysmithphoto.com but obviously they are not full size images.

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    Re: Watch photography - my journey so far

    OT! Gary, it freaked me out a bit browsing your portfolio when I stumbled upon your tincan with the fishtail! I have done EXACTLY the same years ago....sure, different tincan and different tail, but just about identical....scary...

    Nice portfolio
    Alpa FPS • MAX • TC | Alpagon 32Hr | Helvetar 75 | Schneider 120N | Leaf Aptus II 5 • Leaf Credo 60 | www.danlindberg.com

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    Re: Watch photography - my journey so far

    Gary

    Superb work on your website, really inspirational stuff! Thanks for sharing.

    Mat

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    Re: Watch photography - my journey so far

    Quote Originally Posted by MrSmith View Post
    The watch magazine tweeted a crop from the stitched movement shot
    https://mobile.twitter.com/qp_editor...20048707489796
    (On iPad so no idea how to embed that properly)
    Full size uncropped is around 10000x8000 pixels so I guess around 60mp equivalent, viewed 100% on a monitor the case would be around 5-6ft across, despite being 1 capture and not stacked there's enough in focus to hold the eye but I would stack if shooting for real and not just a test.
    You can see some watch images on my website garysmithphoto.com but obviously they are not full size images.
    Some lovely images of watches on your site Gary - thanks for sharing - but I'm not seeing anything remotely close to the magnification (with full depth of focus) that I'm shooting at.

    Every image I shoot has the watch face or movement pretty much filling the shorter dimension of the sensor.



    That's a print from an IQ180 full frame. Watch is 42mm in diameter. Entire movement is in focus.

    I'm intrigued by the capcam but not sure I see the value of such a purchase even if I shot a lot of watches.
    Well now that statement makes complete sense. Totally agree that the justification for using the CAPCam for the sort of images in your portfolio might be hard to make. That doesn't however mean it isn't entirely appropriate for what I'm trying to capture.

    Like I said in the opening post. High magnification and shallow depth of field, as in the link to the movement crop you posted, is easy - no need for the CAPCam to do that.

    Kind regards,


    Gerald.

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    Re: Watch photography - my journey so far

    Quote Originally Posted by gerald.d View Post
    Some lovely images of watches on your site Gary - thanks for sharing - but I'm not seeing anything remotely close to the magnification (with full depth of focus) that I'm shooting at.

    well those website images could be 300mb each (but they are not!)

    now i’m on laptop i can embed the 100% crop


    so i guess that is getting close to the size you are capturing too but your prints are right at worst case scenario for viewing distance/detail/print size in that people are likely to get really close so a big file is needed, what i’m doing is either printed in a magazine or they are going to hang large banners/ pull-ups so the print dpi is way lower.
    i will look at stacking and then shift/stitching if they want to go down that road to print big but it wouldn’t surprise me if a 100mb tiff is enough.

    i supply everything unsharpened due to different repro requirements but i’m wondering if your crop is sharpened for inkjet output or you are using one of the stacking methods in helicon focus that tends to make things ‘gritty’? i think it’s method C?

    (and thanks for the kind comments re the pics)

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