B&H Porfolio Development

One of the quintessential items in Chinatown is the watch.  You don't hear it quite as much any more, but I remember many moons ago walking down the street to a chorus of "Rolex?  Copy Watch?"  I wasn't looking to shell out huge money for a watch, so I set my sights a bit lower on the watch ladder.  After scouring the stores for one without visible scratches - cloning those out in Photoshop can take forever - I found a suitable watch that I might actually wear at some point.  It is a metal-banded Guess watch.  I negotiated two watches at the same time (although sometimes you wonder if that really makes a difference), so I'll be writing about images of a Patek Phillippe in the future. 

I bought some "props" at Michael's, little stones, to use as a background.  The color mixed well with the watch.  I stuffed the inside of the watch with a cardboard tube to help maintain the shape and thoroughly wiped the watch down to remove as much dust and fingerprints as possible.  I set the time to the standard picture taking time and pulled out the bezel when the second hand got to 33 seconds.  I realized later that I had set the watch to 1:50 instead of 10:10, but I never really was good at telling time!

The face of a watch is highly reflective, so you can’t put a light shining directly on it or else you wouldn’t see the face in the photo.  I built a bit of a “light tent,” using white foam core boards on the left and the right, starting at the lens of the camera and angling away.  I then took a homemade scrim - a translum sheet on a PVC frame approx. 24” x 36” - and rested that on top of the foam core.  I took an Einstein strobe head with a 7” reflector and floated that over the scrim on an angle so it produced a bit of a gradient on the face of the watch.  It also provided some illumination into the rest of the scene.  The stones surrounding the watch were looking flat, so I put a 20 degree grid on another Einstein strobe to focus the beam and placed that low in relation to the scene, so that the light was raking across the stones.

Behind the Scenes

Behind the Scenes