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#1 Sailjunkie

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Posted 30 March 2018 - 11:59 PM

Gee, I'm caught up on my editing, but the Vancouver weather still stinks!  What to do?  Try some still life photography!  :D

 

Truth be told, it wasn't just boredom.  Before he bought his own condo, our son lived in our semi-finished basement.  Now that he's happily on his own, we're converting for our own purposes.  Angela has a small area for her hobbies and I've moved most of my gear down there, to turn the rest of it into my comfy little studio.  

 

This project began as a dry run, to see how much space I really have to work with; and what changes are required.  After I set up a few things, I thought:  "what the heck, grab the camera and try a few shots"!  I had so much fun that I did some more testing a few days later.

 

I've been wanting to photograph this watch for some time.  It's 9 years old and showing it's age.  It even works!  I have a newer watch, but this still makes a great back up.

 

Settings:

D810

Sigma 105/2.8 DG macro

ISO 64

f11

1/250 sec

 

I used 2 speed-lights in soft boxes, with a white fill card above everything.  I also used a smaller hand-held fill card and tweaked the speed-light power.

 

The front of the watch isn't as bright as I would like, but I didn't want to increase speed-light power and brighten the background too much.

 

Watch-20180323-XL.jpg

 

 

For this shot, I decided to get rid of the box altogether.  I tilted the face of the watch forward as well.  I thought about setting the watch hands at 10 and 2.  I would for a commercial shoot.  But this is my backup watch.  Hand-holding the fill card worked a bit too well.  I can see the dust specks on the foreground.  :wub:

 

Watch-20180323-2-XL.jpg

 

I'm posting in this forum because it has been 6 months since I played with the feathers.  Comments and suggestions are very much encouraged.

 

Thanks for looking everyone.   :)


Mark

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#2 CaseyJM

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Posted 31 March 2018 - 06:06 AM

I prefer the second, I can't see the watch face on the first, although they are both exposed perfectly.


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#3 Jeff

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Posted 31 March 2018 - 11:25 AM

Nice shots Mark. I like the second one best. You can see the face of the watch better in that shot and I think the face should be the focal point. Jeff
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#4 Art

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Posted 31 March 2018 - 11:44 AM

Very more lighting, Mark.

 

The second facing on the first image box would have been perfect for my taste.

 

I know exactly how you feel.  These still shots are perfect for bad weather.  Well done.

 

Get this, snow forecast for Wed! :lol: 

 

We are in Sprin-ter!  Spring should kick in in May!  <_<


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#5 Sailjunkie

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Posted 31 March 2018 - 12:23 PM

Thank you all, for the kind words and excellent suggestions.

 

As long as my new watch keeps working, you can expect a return of this watch.  I also like the second shot, but I want to try Art's idea and place it back on the box, facing the same as in the second shot.  Stay tuned.  :)


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Mark

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#6 Art

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Posted 31 March 2018 - 12:45 PM

One last tip I always forget, Mark, until after the magic is gone .... give it a wipe with a damp cloth, not too damp... and blow the dust off.

 

Your watch is very clean, but I typically find dust on everything I shoot macro and always remember AFTER the fact!


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#7 Dennis

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Posted 31 March 2018 - 02:13 PM

Nicely done.

If youre going to shoot the box again; cut a piece of cardboard into a 4x5 and wrap it in aluminum foil. Place that in front of the box. Aluminum foil has two sides, shinny and dull, make two.

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#8 Sailjunkie

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Posted 29 April 2018 - 11:53 PM

I've been having another go at this, during this past month, and decided to share some of my results.

 

First, I appreciate earlier suggestions to pose the watch on the box, like the watch was on the second picture in the OP.  Alas, when I tried it, it just didn't work to my satisfaction.  I'll keep trying.

 

For this month, I decided to try posing the watch on a piece of clear Lexan over black paper.  I used ISO64, f11.0 and 1/250 second in all shots.  Settings on the speed-lights varied between 1/32 and 1/128 sec.  However, for the last shot, all speed-lights were at 1/64 sec.

 

Watch-20180416-XL.jpg

 

I immediately noticed 2 problems:  

  • the watch, Lexan and paper immediately turned into dust collectors.  Trying to get rid of the dust either smeared the Lexan and the paper; or moved the watch so often that I was never able to compose a dust-free shot.  :angry:
  • my speed-lights were a bit too good at illuminating things.  Especially the back edge of the Lexan.  It didn't matter how I set my speed-lights.  I finally just got rid of the edge in PP.

Watch-20180421-XL.jpg

 

As a last step, I played with the new Profiles in LR CC Classic.  Early days, but I like what I see.

 

Watch-20180421-2-XL.jpg

 

Finally, I posted these here, along with my originals, because feedback and suggestions will be greatly appreciated.  Thanks for looking, everyone.  :)


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#9 Art

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Posted 30 April 2018 - 01:06 AM

For me, #3.

 

Why?

 

1) a hint of reflection does not distract from the main subject, the watch.

2) the hint of reflection gives the image some depth.

3) the reflections from the first too are actually too busy and distract from the main subject.

4) exposure is perfect, watch face is "in your face".

 

Well done.

 

A rule of thumb, as a tip for you, is to have the hands always showing 10 minutes to 2:00 and the second hand to be out of the way...like in the 3rd picture.  Why 1:50 or 10 to 2?  It makes the watch face look happy.  Smiling.  And, the hands do not block the logo.

 

Well done.


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#10 Sailjunkie

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Posted 30 April 2018 - 01:13 PM

Many thanks, Art.  Good points.  :)


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#11 Old Dog New Tricks

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Posted 01 May 2018 - 06:33 AM

Nice work.   I haven't started playing with still life. 

Art we call it dang Poor Sledding Season.


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#12 winclk

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Posted 01 May 2018 - 08:18 AM

Nice series....I like #3 the best...I like the mystery of a reflection...


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#13 Art

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Posted 01 May 2018 - 08:31 PM

Many thanks, Art.  Good points.  :)

Very welcome, Mark!


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#14 Ron W

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Posted 11 May 2018 - 08:07 AM

Just found these Mark, great work! I like doing still life photography. yours is very professional looking and I really like that last one.


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#15 Sailjunkie

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Posted 11 May 2018 - 12:51 PM

Thank you for the kind words, Ron.  :)


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