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Sometimes I am asked what kind of photography I do. It might be someone at a networking event that sees my “Hello, my name is..” sticker. (I usually put my job title under my name which simply says : photographer)
In answering, I mention that I do a variety of work . Sometimes I’m photographing  models or real people, groups, buildings, interiors or products.
Lately I have been photographing watches for a new client of mine. Watches and jewelry are little worlds unto themselves. I will show how this project has evolved and the type of lighting, reflectors and lens I used to bring about optimum results.
I started with a daylight balanced 11 inch x 14 inch light box with a milk white diffused surface. I also decided to make use of an old Balcar monoblock strobe light hung over head in my product shooting studio. I set up a rectangular shooting tent to diffuse the light. My camera was a Nikon D800.

Balcar Monobloc 2  from 1981

Balcar Monobloc 2 from 1981

Balcar Monobloc 2, diffusion tent, lightbox as the base, D800, SB900 speedlight to blow out the background to white.

Balcar Monobloc 2, diffusion tent, Lightbox as the base, D800, SB900 speedlight to blow out the background to white.

The watches were of all different kinds.  The first phase of the shooting was to lay the watch horizontal on the lightbox and shoot in landscape framing through the viewfinder of the camera.

First rough shot of the product.  All 3 lights adding to this first frame.

First rough shot of the product. All 3 lights adding to this first frame.

 

After seeing this first shot, I decided to change my lighting.  The Balcar was overkill.  I didn’t need that big light.  I switched to Nikon SB900 speed lights all the way around.  More lights in more places instead of one big overhead light.

Lighting redone.  More small lights means better highlights.

Lighting redone. More small lights means better highlights.

After shooting the stainless watch again with this lighting set up, I brought the file into Adobe Photoshop and used the dodge tool – set to work on the highlights.  I dodged the background till it turned pure white.  I then transformed the frame to a vertical, cloned out dust on the product and sharpened  the entire file.

Final

Final

 

So, when someone asks me what kind of photography I do, I tell them all kinds , from people to product.  It’s the variety that keeps me excited about what I love to do.

 

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