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Discussion Starter #1
So I was just reading a thread about people complaining about their pet peeves about others watch pictures on this forum and I thought I might have posted those pics. With that said , I would like to start this thread with the goal of improving the quality of my pictures, providing feedback on others pictures, offering and receiving feedback on the quality of pictures. So here are my suggested rules:

1st rate your own picture on a scale of 1 to 10.
2nd include the specs of your picture and or the camera you took the picture on. Please include settings and lense type.
3rd include the conditions of the pic so other can understand how lighting effects the pic.

I'll start this off:

Glycine Combat 6
Rating - 6
Olympus OMD EM-5, Olympus M40 mm Lense - ISO 600, F4.0, SS 15, handheld indoor in door lighting conditions with fluorescent lighting.
After processing the image I dropped the size down to 25% so it was not huge in a posting.
Post rpcessing time 15 mins

image.jpeg

First i I took the shot directly out the camera without introducing the pen or the globe in the background. However, my camera had an issue focusing on the watch. Additionally the bezel came out dull and applying additional saturation didn't bring of the bezel as much as it brought out the would grain in the desk.

I then introduced the pen and the pen really gave the watch perspective and introduced the orange into the bezel. However, the pens didn't help the dial and fuzzed out the numbers on the dial. Additionally the pen introduced significantly more glair into the crystal. In an effort to correct these issues I introduced the globe behind the watch at a significant distantance. Bumped up the Apertiure a little higher and put a t-shirt over the fluorescent light.

Overall I rate the picture a 6 for the following reasons overall this one picture took me about 30 minutes which is way to much time. Additionally there is still significant glare in the picture. Although the placement of the glare is relatively appealing. I think that once I chose to introduce the pen I should have the whole pen in frame and loosing the back tip of the pen is poor framing. The shadowing of the picture is relatively poor and I found it difficult to remedy in post production. The blemish on the face between 8 & 9 is distracting and should have been remedied by cleaning the face or correcting in post production. I see the picture and I say not bad but definitely aperture.

Help me take better pictures and show me your prized possessions.

I hope you find this thread entertaining and educational.
 

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I'll post one of my better shots.

iPhone 5S, possibly using an app called Manual, which I mainly use for a wider aperture and exact focus.

ImageUploadedByTapatalk1455131363.307398.jpg

I'd rate it a 6 or 7. Lighting was restaurant lighting, so think of a dozen lights embedded in the ceiling fifteen feet overhead.

The hard part of photographing my Rado is getting the color to look correct. The 5S's camera is pretty good with white balance, but things like this can confuse it sometimes. I also move around to get the lighting to show off the dial as much as I can.

Here's one of my worst Rado shots, taken with a Canon point-n-shoot (I think... maybe it was the 5S again):
ImageUploadedByTapatalk1455131735.002296.jpg

It still looks okay, but it doesn't "pop" at all. I don't think I did any color correction, either.

Rate it a 3 or 4. Lighting was a large window to the right and a couple apartment lamps to the left-rear.
 

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DSC_4801.jpg

I don't do a lot of copy work, but I think rule no. 1 is never blur your subject. Why would you want to?
I rarely shoot portraits wide open because of depth of field. If you are at f16 and still not in full focus, you are shooting too close.
Look at watch advertisements: watches are rarely shot sideways.
You want to shoot nice watch pics, copy the pros then put your spin on it. Works for me.

My pic I'd call it a 7 or so. Put together with some stuff I had handy and I was too lazy to get the lighting right.
Remember in photography, it's all about the light baby.
 

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DSC_4832.jpg

I'd call this a 8 because I know technically I can do better. I was limited by the lens I had in my bag (35 f2) and I was too lazy to get down and dirty. I probably should have used my 50mm. This image is cropped down almost to pixelation. Next time I'm using a tele so I can compress the background a bit more and get the sunset in. I was also a bit late on the light, the sun had already set behind some clouds.
For the shot, I had to take off my shoes
 

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Discussion Starter #7
[iurl="http://forums.watchuseek.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=7073026&d=1455430028"]
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I don't do a lot of copy work, but I think rule no. 1 is never blur your subject. Why would you want to?
I rarely shoot portraits wide open because of depth of field. If you are at f16 and still not in full focus, you are shooting too close.
Look at watch advertisements: watches are rarely shot sideways.
You want to shoot nice watch pics, copy the pros then put your spin on it. Works for me.

My pic I'd call it a 7 or so. Put together with some stuff I had handy and I was too lazy to get the lighting right.
Remember in photography, it's all about the light baby.

If your pics is a 7 my pic is a 3. You have excellent work. It's clear I'm missing key elements to get better at photography because I don't even see the blur. I did think the shadows under the watch did look a little dark.

For reference I am fairly new to photography and have been at it for about 3 years. Only started shooting raw in the last 18 months. Till know it's primarily been portrait photography. I think I'm average at portraits and working my way towards average on watch/micro shots.

Can you please elaborate on how your picture was shot? Also feel free to pay into me on what is wrong with my pics. I see all these people clicking with there iPhone, likely no post production, and it makes me think that I just may be blind.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
[iurl="http://forums.watchuseek.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=7073090&d=1455514130"]
[/iurl]

I'd call this a 8 because I know technically I can do better. I was limited by the lens I had in my bag (35 f2) and I was too lazy to get down and dirty. I probably should have used my 50mm. This image is cropped down almost to pixelation. Next time I'm using a tele so I can compress the background a bit more and get the sunset in. I was also a bit late on the light, the sun had already set behind some clouds.
For the shot, I had to take off my shoes
Thanks for playing. Agree on the lense. I feel a little distant from the subject. Full outdoor and to me a little more contrast against the sand would make it pop. Apologizes if my critics are ametaure or technically incorrect. Mostly trying to demonstrate what I would do so people can correct my ignorance.

Also, wondering why you shot at f2 with such solid lighting. Would you want to close that lense up?

Lastly camera helps because if you state what camera I can convert your camera to micro 4/3rds.
 

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That was done with an affordable waterproof P&S camera. The photo is from my photobucket and there are no properties available with the image. What I know is that it was shot at 35mm with the EV set to -1.5 I shoot all the P&S stuff at negative EV because you can almost always lighten an underexposed photo but a washed out over exposed one is usually lost.

The fish is a Pacific Silver Salmon and I really like the water level shots with the fish themselves not removed from their element for a quick photo before release. I won't rate it but I like it, the kayak hull visible in the background was just something that happened in an unplanned quick shot. I really like the way the Silver Salmon looks with my Silver Tag Heuer Aquaracer so I posted it.

What do you think?
 

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I shot that with a 50mm at f8 at 1/30 ISO200 on a tripod about a foot and half away. I used a regular 50mm because I thought I wouldn't get enough DOF with a macro and I was too lazy to set up directly overhead. I am using an umbrella bouncing halogen light directly down. As you can see, I'm taking the shot from an angle(from the left) to take out the reflections on the crystal, again I was too lazy to get the polarizer (from the next room!).

Here's what I should have done: I should have set the composition below me and set the camera directly above. That way, the framing of the surfboard picture is not distorted.
I should have either set up with two lights, the other to get ride of shadow on the left side of the watch, or I should have set the light up more to the right to draw the shadow out. The problem with the lighting is that I would have had to deal with reflections off the crystal and the photo so I decided to just set the lighting as unobtrusive as I could.

I have LR and PS but the most I do is fool with the exposure, add some contrast, and fix the white balance. In this case I went BW because the photo I used was an actual scan of a negative and a little on the purple side. I use LR the most. Remember, post production is not to make an average image great, it's to make a great image awesome! The image is made in the camera, not on the computer.

I've been shooting seriously for about three years also.
I think I learned the most by looking at other photos; I have a flickr account and was quite active up until about six month ago when I changed jobs. As I said earlier, you should look at how the pros do it and try to copy. Once you learn to control the camera, you can pretty much guess how the shots are technically set up. The composition part well, that you just have to study and see what works.
I have a degree in art (not in photo) so I suppose I have an advantage there. I still had to learn how to shoot!

Again, I think to get better, you have to start comparing your work to the pros, or at least folks whose work you admire. How did they get that shot? What about the shot makes it great? What can I do to get a similar shot?

here's two shots so you can see the difference DOF makes:

DSC_4861.jpg

DSC_4862.jpg

In both shots I boosted the exposure and contrast. IN the first I also corrected the white balance.
First shot was at f5.6 the second at f2.8.
 

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Thanks for playing. Agree on the lense. I feel a little distant from the subject. Full outdoor and to me a little more contrast against the sand would make it pop. Apologizes if my critics are ametaure or technically incorrect. Mostly trying to demonstrate what I would do so people can correct my ignorance.

Also, wondering why you shot at f2 with such solid lighting. Would you want to close that lense up?

Lastly camera helps because if you state what camera I can convert your camera to micro 4/3rds.
Sorry, the f2 is the lens I was using. According to LR I was shooting at f4 1/60. I was shooting through a Marumi CP which is about 2 stops.
The sun is actually behind some clouds so its not so solid.
I try to use a CP when shooting over water so I can control the glare/reflection.
Shooting Nikon D600 here with Nikkor lenses, mostly a 50mm 1.4g.

Your critique of the image is fairly spot on. If I was getting paid I probably would have used a reflector to get some of that golden light on the watch maybe even creating a shadow to increase contrast and to light up the dial.
I gotta say, shooting these watches has made me regret selling my 85mm. Maybe I should get like a 105 micro or a 135! or not!
 

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I see all these people clicking with there iPhone, likely no post production, and it makes me think that I just may be blind.
A good camera creates an artist just as much as a brush and some paint creates the next Picasso. In other words, it's not about the camera. A great lens and top-quality image sensor only makes the same mistakes crisper.

But I'm sure you know this. I'll stop lecturing now. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I see all these people clicking with there iPhone, likely no post production, and it makes me think that I just may be blind.
A good camera creates an artist just as much as a brush and some paint creates the next Picasso. In other words, it's not about the camera. A great lens and top-quality image sensor only makes the same mistakes crisper.

But I'm sure you know this. I'll stop lecturing now. ;)
Well I'm an accountant with
Clearly no talent just working hard to be average. Seriously is there something wrong with my iPhone lense.
 

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Well I'm an accountant with
Clearly no talent just working hard to be average. Seriously is there something wrong with my iPhone lense.
no, no, no!

practice practice practice!

Henri Cartier-Bresson said: your first 10,000 are your worst!
realistically I didn't see progress until around 10k! Took me that long to learn the camera and to control it fast enough to not miss shots.

Macro shots almost always need a tripod or at least something to brace the camera against.
 

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Well I'm an accountant with
Clearly no talent just working hard to be average. Seriously is there something wrong with my iPhone lense.
Macro shots can use some tricks. These first two were set up with an AF/AE lock on my iPhone 5S (press and hold until the yellow box blinks), then shot in burst mode while I slowly moved the phone about a quarter-inch closer. The two square shots are the first and last pics of a 12-shot burst.



If I take some more time, I'll shoot with an app called Manual. It lets me set the focus, ISO, and shutter speed manually. I like to have a low ISO for less noise; but a low ISO needs a longer exposure, too, so I either have to shoot very carefully or use a faster ISO and a quicker shutter speed. Some pics of the same watch with the Manual app:


 

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To get properly close macro shots with an iPhone, you just need to add another lens. There's no way around it. I don't own any add-on lenses, but I borrowed my sister's loupe to shoot some of my Rado.


 

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My feedback to CastorTroy3's photo is to take note of the background, to minimize clatter.
To clean up the watch, there are too many spots on the dial and bezel.
To time the shot so that the hands are placed in such a way that do not block the numbers on the watch. Also to ensure that the hands positions are "balanced" for eg. taking shots at 10:10.
Avoid placing the watch too near the centre of the frame, use photography's rules of third.
Here's what I mean

Here's my "correction", hope you don't mind. :)
 
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