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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
They say that a burden shared is a burden halved. F71 was extremely supportive when I was diagnosed a couple years back with two brain tumours. Many fellow WIS's asked me to keep them posted, which really was a great support for me.

I'm afraid I have some bad news to share. It's looking very likely that I have Multiple Sclerosis. It's early days, so I'll just keep putting one foot in front of the other.

Moving on to the advice I need. I need to sell a couple hundred watches - which represents most of my collection. I'm really bad at photography, but I realize the watches need to have 5-8 shots each. What do you suggest in terms of photographing them? I don't want to get a light box, and I don't want to make it a complex project. All suggestions are gratefully welcome. Thank you.
 

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Re: Very bad news and advice needed please

I'm sorry to hear. Dealing with serious health issues can be rough but no doubt you will have the right medical and social support to help you cope with your prognosis. Do keep us informed and I wish you the best outcome.

As for your watch question, you don't need a light box. I've sold scores of watches and I've never used one. I just wait for bright direct sunlight and use a DSLR and in more recent sales, I've started to use my phone's camera. I find buyers want to see the actual condition of the watch and not a perfectly lit studio pic. In fact, only posting "perfect" photos can sometimes cause a buyer to think "what are you hiding?" or they wonder if you've done some touchup. Sometimes to show the hairline scratches or small nicks you need harsh lighting.


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Re: Very bad news and advice needed please

Very sorry to hear the news, Live and love life to the fullest. On to photography, I wish I were closer as I would do it for you. With that said let's talk about what equipment you have now and go from there. You won't need a light box and some simple set ups can be used that are easy and inexpensive. When I know what camera you are using I can add more info. Macro or Micro lenses work very well and can even be rented. Let's start first with what equipment you have and get rolling on those photos :)
 

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Re: Very bad news and advice needed please

I'm sorry to hear. Dealing with serious health issues can be rough but no doubt you will have the right medical and social support to help you cope with your prognosis. Do keep us informed and I wish you the best outcome.
Thank you for your kind message NightOwl. I'll keep F71 in the loop.

As for your watch question, you don't need a light box. I've sold scores of watches and I've never used one. I just wait for bright direct sunlight and use a DSLR and in more recent sales, I've started to use my phone's camera. I find buyers want to see the actual condition of the watch and not a perfectly lit studio pic. In fact, only posting "perfect" photos can sometimes cause a buyer to think "what are you hiding?" or they wonder if you've done some touchup. Sometimes to show the hairline scratches or small nicks you need harsh lighting.

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So, do you take the photos on or off the wrist? Also, how many shots per watch do you take? And, what views of the watch do you suggest?
 

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Re: Very bad news and advice needed please

First, my warm wishes for a good recovery. Multiple Sclerosis can very treatable, I hope it goes well.
I think you should reconsider the light box, especially if you have that many watches to sell. you can LED based ones of ebay for 50-75 US $. Using the lightbox will end up being less work, much better pictures. The cost of the box will be recouped by a better sale price very quickly.
You could even very simply make your own box
How to Create an Inexpensive Photography Lightbox: 15 Steps
and even skip a light source if you have a very sunny large window, or outdoors.
 

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Re: Very bad news and advice needed please

Very sorry to hear the news, Live and love life to the fullest.
Thank you mharris660. That's a great mantra!

On to photography, I wish I were closer as I would do it for you. With that said let's talk about what equipment you have now and go from there. You won't need a light box and some simple set ups can be used that are easy and inexpensive. When I know what camera you are using I can add more info. Macro or Micro lenses work very well and can even be rented. Let's start first with what equipment you have and get rolling on those photos :)
Thank you for your kindness. The camera is a Canon IXUS 801S.....small and simple.
 

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Re: Very bad news and advice needed please

So, do you take the photos on or off the wrist? Also, how many shots per watch do you take? And, what views of the watch do you suggest?
I'm sorry to hear, and I wish you all the best.

For the photography, off the wrist will be the best option for sales ads. Amount of shots; depends how many shot you need to capture all details and information? I have sold watch with just 2 pictures, front and caseback views.
For used watches, you may want to capture some close-ups/macros that shows scratches/dings if your watch have any, so the buyer knows the real condition of said watch. Try to avoid built-in flash, it ruins the photos. Take photos close to window or in well lit area. Take multiple pics from same angle, so you can pick up the best later on pc. And no shaky/blurry pics, if you have tripod, use it.
 

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Re: Very bad news and advice needed please

Sorry to hear, my wishes and prayers with you to fight back.Sure you will come back stronger then ever.....

Regarding watch question, just have a couple of direct sunlight shots with minimal reflection. May be you can post 5 pics ... Front, back, sides with crown and the other side and the strap/bracelet( if the bracelet/ strap shows more usage high light it too)... Sure these will suffice for a prospective buyer.. All the best on your sales.
 

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Re: Very bad news and advice needed please

I'm sorry to hear about your health problems, especially on top of what you've already been through.

As for the watches I wouldn't worry about a light box too much. What you'll need though if you have one is a DSLR camera or even a mirrorless interchangeable lens compact system camera. The reason I suggest using one of these over a phone or regular compact camera is that they will have a larger sensor which will capture a wider dynamic range which is very important when trying to capture a shiny reflective object like a watch. You'll also need an area with a lot of nice natural light to take your pictures in, again this will help to reduce hard glare and reflections. A table in the garden can be a great place though try to make sure the sun isn't directly overhead if it is a very bright day. If you don't have a camera like those mentioned above then perhaps you might have a friend who could help you out with the photography.

Now for the pictures themselves, keep out simple and try to capture all the basic angles of the watch and a few extra things. When I list a watch I like to break the pictures down as follows -

1) A straight on shot of the watch face

2) Place the watch flat down and take one shot of the crown side of the case, one of the other side

3) Placing the watch on its side get a straight on shot of the case back

4) One of the bracelet clasp or buckle tang if it has one instead

5) A shot of the box

6) A group shot of the papers, instructions, warranty card etc. If need be place something over the serials and any personal details to obscure
them.

7) A lume shot. Take a flashlight or halogen lamp and charge up the lume for a few seconds. Now place the watch in a darkened area and take a shot. You may well need to rest the camera directly on a surface to stabilise it, or even better use the timer mode. Some cameras have problems focusing in darkened areas, if you find this then one tip is to turn on the lights, put the camera into timer mode, place the camera down flat (or on a tripod), press the shutter button to start the countdown, and then quickly turn the lights off before it takes the shot.

So that's all the major elements and angles covered. Personally I never bother with wrist shots because they can be very misleading. Depending on the type of lens your device has and how near or far it is positioned it can make your watch seem drastically different in size from real life in relation to your wrist and can be a little misleading. I prefer to just list all specs such as case size and lug to lug and let the buyer decide rather than posting a wrist shot that can make a smaller watch look enormous, or one that makes features such as the crown or lugs disappear into the case being overwhelmed by the dial. If you follow those tips above you should have all you need for a great informative listing, and good luck with your sales.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Re: Very bad news and advice needed please

I'm sorry to hear, and I wish you all the best.
Thank you kapeee.

For the photography, off the wrist will be the best option for sales ads. Amount of shots; depends how many shot you need to capture all details and information? I have sold watch with just 2 pictures, front and caseback views.
For used watches, you may want to capture some close-ups/macros that shows scratches/dings if your watch have any, so the buyer knows the real condition of said watch. Try to avoid built-in flash, it ruins the photos. Take photos close to window or in well lit area. Take multiple pics from same angle, so you can pick up the best later on pc. And no shaky/blurry pics, if you have tripod, use it.
There are some great suggestions there. I never thought about taking several pics from the same angle to select the best.
 

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Re: Very bad news and advice needed please

Sorry to hear, my wishes and prayers with you to fight back.Sure you will come back stronger then ever.....
Thank you akvikram. For some reason, the image of the phoenix rising from ashes has been strong in my mind.

Regarding watch question, just have a couple of direct sunlight shots with minimal reflection. May be you can post 5 pics ... Front, back, sides with crown and the other side and the strap/bracelet( if the bracelet/ strap shows more usage high light it too)... Sure these will suffice for a prospective buyer.. All the best on your sales.
Good point regarding minimal reflection.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Re: Very bad news and advice needed please

First, my warm wishes for a good recovery. Multiple Sclerosis can very treatable, I hope it goes well.
Thanks MEzz.

I think you should reconsider the light box, especially if you have that many watches to sell. you can LED based ones of ebay for 50-75 US $. Using the lightbox will end up being less work, much better pictures. The cost of the box will be recouped by a better sale price very quickly.
You could even very simply make your own box
How to Create an Inexpensive Photography Lightbox: 15 Steps
and even skip a light source if you have a very sunny large window, or outdoors.
Hmmmm, that's got me thinking now.
 
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Re: Very bad news and advice needed please

I'm sorry to hear about your health problems, especially on top of what you've already been through.
Thanks ShaggyDog.

As for the watches I wouldn't worry about a light box too much. What you'll need though if you have one is a DSLR camera or even a mirrorless interchangeable lens compact system camera. The reason I suggest using one of these over a phone or regular compact camera is that they will have a larger sensor which will capture a wider dynamic range which is very important when trying to capture a shiny reflective object like a watch. You'll also need an area with a lot of nice natural light to take your pictures in, again this will help to reduce hard glare and reflections. A table in the garden can be a great place though try to make sure the sun isn't directly overhead if it is a very bright day. If you don't have a camera like those mentioned above then perhaps you might have a friend who could help you out with the photography.

Now for the pictures themselves, keep out simple and try to capture all the basic angles of the watch and a few extra things. When I list a watch I like to break the pictures down as follows -

1) A straight on shot of the watch face

2) Place the watch flat down and take one shot of the crown side of the case, one of the other side

3) Placing the watch on its side get a straight on shot of the case back

4) One of the bracelet clasp or buckle tang if it has one instead

5) A shot of the box

6) A group shot of the papers, instructions, warranty card etc. If need be place something over the serials and any personal details to obscure
them.

7) A lume shot. Take a flashlight or halogen lamp and charge up the lume for a few seconds. Now place the watch in a darkened area and take a shot. You may well need to rest the camera directly on a surface to stabilise it, or even better use the timer mode. Some cameras have problems focusing in darkened areas, if you find this then one tip is to turn on the lights, put the camera into timer mode, place the camera down flat (or on a tripod), press the shutter button to start the countdown, and then quickly turn the lights off before it takes the shot.

So that's all the major elements and angles covered. Personally I never bother with wrist shots because they can be very misleading. Depending on the type of lens your device has and how near or far it is positioned it can make your watch seem drastically different in size from real life in relation to your wrist and can be a little misleading. I prefer to just list all specs such as case size and lug to lug and let the buyer decide rather than posting a wrist shot that can make a smaller watch look enormous, or one that makes features such as the crown or lugs disappear into the case being overwhelmed by the dial. If you follow those tips above you should have all you need for a great informative listing, and good luck with your sales.
I would never have thought about including papers and doing a lume shot.
 

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Re: Very bad news and advice needed please

I'm sorry to hear, I wish you're having a really good treatment for your condition and a speedy recovery.

I know next to nothing about photography and I think there's not much left to be added after some great advices proposed by others above. I just wanna add one thing, if possible take a photograph of the watch together with something as size comparison such as a coin or even better a metal ruler. I find it very useful as a buyer to gauge how big the watch is and how it would fit my wrist.
 

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Re: Very bad news and advice needed please

I'm sorry to hear, I wish you're having a really good treatment for your condition and a speedy recovery.
Thank you wtma.

I know next to nothing about photography and I think there's not much left to be added after some great advices proposed by others above. I just wanna add one thing, if possible take a photograph of the watch together with something as size comparison such as a coin or even better a metal ruler. I find it very useful as a buyer to gauge how big the watch is and how it would fit my wrist.
I had never thought of that - a useful idea.
 

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Re: Very bad news and advice needed please

The Canon IXUS 801S has a macro mode that will allow close up photography. That's a very good place to start. You could use a tripod or a simple bean bag and shoot with available light and a slow shutter speed. Set up a table near a window with some nice afternoon sun and "pose" your watches using the tripod and macro mode. Keep the camera very atill when you press the shutter. With just a tiny bit of practice you'll turn out some amazing shots.

Be creative, find some fun things around the house and just have fun. In no time you'll be shooting and enjoying your watches all over again.

DSC_4259bigfootweb.jpg DSC_4284web.jpg
 

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Re: Very bad news and advice needed please

The Canon IXUS 801S has a macro mode that will allow close up photography. That's a very good place to start. You could use a tripod or a simple bean bag and shoot with available light and a slow shutter speed. Set up a table near a window with some nice afternoon sun and "pose" your watches using the tripod and macro mode. Keep the camera very atill when you press the shutter. With just a tiny bit of practice you'll turn out some amazing shots.

Be creative, find some fun things around the house and just have fun. In no time you'll be shooting and enjoying your watches all over again.

View attachment 7429610 View attachment 7429618
Nice shots. Would you suggest having props?
 

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Re: Very bad news and advice needed please

I do because I like the "art" of it all as I am a photographer by trade. Some may say you need to just showcase the watch but a beautiful watch in a nice setting adds to the image. When you visit a jewelry store the photos of diamonds are not just a rock or a ring. Those items are photographed in some sort of context. Now with that said it's easy. Go out and grab some beautiful women and let them wear your watches :)
 

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Re: Very bad news and advice needed please

I forgot to say earlier, one of these is absolutely invaluable for taking pictures of watches. You can pick them up very inexpensively on Ebay, it saves a lot of hassle trying to get a watch to sit up on its own.

 

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Re: Very bad news and advice needed please

I forgot to say earlier, one of these is absolutely invaluable for taking pictures of watches. You can pick them up very inexpensively on Ebay, it saves a lot of hassle trying to get a watch to sit up on its own.

OK. Do they have a specific name?
 
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