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Alright. I am ready to take some great pics of my watches. I have a Rebel XT. Just bought a 75-300 lens so I should be ok there. What do I need for lighting for the optimal setting?

Todd
 

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Alright. I am ready to take some great pics of my watches. I have a Rebel XT. Just bought a 75-300 lens so I should be ok there. What do I need for lighting for the optimal setting?

Todd
Good luck with your photo project!

First switch off all P modes on the camera, dial aperture priority or manual mode and preselect a small f-stop (large F-number), like f11 or f16. Do not use high ISO settings, use the lowest possible, to avoid image noise. Use some support for the camera, best is a tripod, but any makeshift support will do. Fire the camera by using a cable release or the self timer, avoid touching the cam when she's firing. Any shake shows up as blur in close-up shots.

You'll want to use what the photobuffs call "soft" light. This is light coming from all directions at the same time, not like "direct" light, coming from only one direction. Some people use "softboxes" for a more evenly distributed flashlight. Or you might have noticed people having this sorta "yoghurt beakers" on top of their flashgun.

The best light you can get is natural light. And don't wait for a bright and sunny day, that's the wrong light, too harsh. The best softbox in the world is free - it's the light you get on a moderately bright but overcast day (now you know why I mentioned a tripod above). Just do it on your window sill on a day like this. Remaining shadows can be brightened up by placing a piece of white paper opposite the window under the cam, for a stronger effect aluminium baking foil is a good household help.

You also can brighten up shadows by firing a little bit of flash - as fill-in, that's what it's called. I recommend the use of flash only if you have a flashgun that can be used off the camera, fired either by cable or wireless connection.

Don't forget: You need to really clean your watch, when she appears clean to the eye, you'll be astonished how much dust still shows up in a close-up or macro shot.
And for your first shooting, you'll probably need the "shotgun" approach: Do as many shots as possible, edit out the garbage pics later. Be hard in your self-criticism.
 

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Thanks, this helped greatly. I am at best an amateur so this leads me in the right direction.

Todd
 

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Hi there, to give you some idea of the results check these threads:

https://www.watchuseek.com/showthread.php?t=31163
Lighting:
1st posted series
Wristshot: Flash on top of cam, with "yoghurt beaker". Flash direction: Towards ceiling.
Shots with the Airmen Beans box: Natural light, from top of picture. Window setting. White A4 sheet of paper just out of pictures under the cam.
2nd posted series
Natural light from top of picture. Window setting. Fill flash used for the upper two shots, flashed from the lower left side of the picture (shadows point to top right), flash at -1EV reduced. Third shot natural light from top, white A4 Paper just outside picture under the cam.

https://www.watchuseek.com/showthread.php?t=40453
Lighting:
Hard. See the shadows in the last pic. Flash with "yoghurt beaker" only, flash placed outside lower left of pictures. This setting allowed for the shadows in the 1st pic on white background to appear only outside the photographed area.
 
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