Chapter 2 – Mounting a Basic Outdoor Shoot

Watch Photography Tips - Outdoor phototaking Tips

This chapter will teach you how to mount up a successful basic outdoor shoot. For beginners, this chapter is very helpful because shooting watches outdoor is a huge challenge. There are many factors that can affect the output of outdoor shoots. For those who have been taking watch photos for a while now, this chapter is a recap to your basic knowledge in outdoor shooting. There will be fun step-by-step exercises in this chapter that will not only teach you techniques but you will also enjoy.

Learn more about “Macro Mode”

Watch Photography Tips - Marco Mode

Image Credit: cameratips

The most common dilemma by photographers in taking watch photos is the tendency of the output to be blurry. They always complain that the details of the watch are not satisfactorily magnified. The objective in taking watch photos is to see the item’s every detail to set its differences from other watches. Whether watch photography is just a hobby or for business, you would want every single detail of the watch to be highlighted in the photo. The secret to come up with a magnified and clear watch photo is to put the camera into macro mode. If you are not familiar with how to put your camera into macro mode, then it is time to check your camera’s manual. Macro mode is usually in a flower shaped icon. Putting your camera into macro mode is the first step in taking good photographs of watches.

What you need to know about your Built-in Flash

When your camera is in macro mode, it is recommended to turn off your built in flash. When in macro mode and your flash were enabled, too much light will be reflected on the photo due to the shiny nature of watches. This will result to a very blurry photograph. In this book, it will always be assumed that your built in camera is disabled.

Lesson 1: How to Perfect the Outdoor Wrist Shot

Watch Photography Tips - Outdoor Wrist Shot

Image Credit: leicismore

Wrist shot is what we officially call the type of shooting a watch while wearing it on your wrist. This is the most common and the most basic photo taking strategy. Wrist shot is much easier when taken indoors because there are fewer factors to deal with. But in shooting outdoors, it is more beneficial in terms of lighting. In this lesson, you will learn how to properly take wrist shots with just the use of your camera and natural lighting. No need for other equipment like tripod, light box, etc.

Step 1: Check your camera’s settings

As mentioned slightly above, you need to check first whether the camera’s setting is already appropriate for outdoor wrist shot. Put your camera in macro mode and check for other settings suited for outdoor photography like “outdoor lighting”.

Step 2: Proper Positioning

Watch Photography Tips - Proper Postioning

Image credit: topcount

Before starting to take photos, make sure that your background will not steal the attention of the viewers. As much as possible, the background should be plain, for example, the green grass, a wall, etc. Restrain from moving your wrist in taking photos because it will make the output blurry. Position it accordingly that glare, shadows, and other visual obstacles are avoided. Don’t take a close shot especially when hand held because even the slightest movement will ruin the shot. This will make the photo blurry.

Step 3: Focus on the most Important Details

When you press the shutter of the camera, it will auto focus on the subject. It is most important to think first which detail of the watch you want to be highlighted out of all. For example, you want the photo to emphasize the lettering of the watch, try to have it focused before releasing the shutter button. Press the shutter button half way down, not fully, for greater focus.

LESSON 2: Perfecting the Outdoor Watch Shot

Watch Photography Tips - outdoor watch phototaking

Image credit: ablogtowatch

After getting used to taking outdoor wrist shots, the next stage is to learn how to take great outdoor watch shot. In outdoor watch shots, you need the necessary equipment to set up a small stage. This is also where you will need your tripod.

Step 1: How to set up your “Mini Stage”

Watch Photography Tips - Mini Stage

Image credit: creatingkeepsakes

In setting your mini stage, you need to create a portable platform that you can conveniently bring in your outdoor shoots. Be resourceful in creating this one especially if you are still a beginner and trying out an outdoor watch shot. You can use the furniture you have at home like a chair or a table. When I first tried this type of shoot, I used a foldable chair then I wrapped the chair with white cloth as the background. I also added other stuffs, such as a book or a cup of coffee just to make the photo more interesting. You can be creative in including props on your mini stage. If your stage is ready, it is time to bring out your tripod and position it accordingly to your choice of style.

Step 2: Resizing the Photo

After getting the best photo, transfer it to your computer. You need to resize the photo image to fit the resolution requirement of the web. If you are using a full resolution camera, the photo image size is usually large because the more mega pixels, the bigger the image size. As introduced previously, we will use the GIMP photo editor in this book.

Open the image on your GIMP software, under the IMAGE function, click SCALE IMAGE. The most acceptable image size is at 800×600 pixels in maximum. The goal is to not have an image size with greater than 800 in width and more than 600 in height. To reiterate, the size doesn’t really have to be exactly 800×600 pixels, this is only a maximum. After setting it in the appropriate size, save the file in .jpg format.

Step 3: Uploading the Photo in the Photo Host

Choosing the photo host is up to you. There are many photo hosts available nowadays. In this book, we will use I chose photobucket because you can use it for free plus it is user friendly and very fast as well. Visit the said website and create your account. When you already created your account, find the “UPLOAD” button then click “BROWSE”. Find the image file of the resized photo. There will be a prompt when the upload is successful. You will also see it in the lower left side of the screen. After uploading the photo in the photobucket, there will be four linking codes that will be generated. These individual codes are very useful for different types of circumstances. One of the most important codes is the IMG code because it is the one used by online discussion forums. Once you get the codes, you can now post your top picks in discussion forums.

I hope you have learned a lot in Chapter 3. Repeat the exercises in this Chapter to keep on delivering outstanding watch photographs. Telling you, it is not easy to perfect these shots. It takes so much time, effort, and patience. Don’t forget that your creativity plays an important role in this process. Checking out different watch magazines and blogs will also give you awesome ideas on watch photo taking. Below are some watch photos that will inspire you.

Previous Chapter 1 - What Tools and Equipment do you need?
Next Chapter 3 – The Importance of Light Box