The keys to good watch photography are sharpness, lighting, exposure, and in the case of diamond accents, trying to create some sparkle.
For photographing small items like watches you will need a camera with good macro capabilities. A macro mode on your camera will allow you to sharply focus on a small item from a short distance. It is worth getting out your camera's manual to find out how to put the camera in "macro focus" mode. The normal focus mode of digital cameras will not allow you to focus well with your camera positioned close to an object such as a watch. So unfortunately, for close-up watch photography, we need a camera with good macro focus capability. Another key to a sharp image is a tripod. It is absolutely essential to use a tripod or similar camera support when shooting jewelry. A sturdy tripod is better than a flimsy one, but any tripod is many times better than no tripod. Use a tripod.
Another key to good watch photography is the lighting. Normally diffuse (soft) lighting works best for watches. You have probably already discovered that an on-camera flash does not lead to good watch photos. Rather than flash, we like to use continuous lighting for product photography. Using continuous lights makes it easier to visualize what the final image will be like. We prefer daylight balanced compact fluorescent bulbs for lighting . These bulbs provide nice, natural-colored light and they produce very little heat so they can be left on for long photo sessions without over heating the photographer. Even fluorescent light bulbs will need to be diffused and for that we use an EZcube light tent as the diffuser.
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