Monday, January 9, 2012

Watch photography

What do you need to capture great watch photographs? Surprisingly little in terms of equipment! I used a DSLR with a macro lens (you can use a tilt-shift lens if you have one), and only two lights for this photograph. In fact, the watch was mostly lit with only one light for most of the time, and I only had to add in one more additional light for the movement (the mechanical bits of gears and levers in the watch) to make it pop.

A great watch photo should show the surfaces for what they are... chrome should be matt or glossy wet, leather should look deep and glossy, brushed surface should look crisp and sharp. Surfaces should have gradient lighting instead of looking flat, and overall the image must have dimensionality and depth to the watch. I spent more than a day lighting and shooting the watch, making more than two hundred exposures before spending many more hours in front of my computer to make everything come together and work as a final image. As Steve Jobs would say, if you have to do it, make sure it's insanely good!

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