⇐ January 29th, 2012 ⇒
My trusty old watch finally died a couple of weeks ago. It still worked fine, but one of the corners of the case broke off where the metal band was attached, so there was no way to salvage it. At first I was sad. Then I was excited because I realized this was a good excuse to buy the watch I've wanted for the past few years. Then I noticed the price of that watch and decided that I was crazy for ever wanting something that expensive.
Instead, I decided to get another Casio. However, I was inspired by the "YES" watch, and decided to get a watch that would tell me the phase of the moon on any given day. It is a feature that really comes in handy when you are trying to plan astrophotography sessions. A tide graph is also a handy feature if you are near the ocean. I'm not near the ocean, but next time I am I will know if the tide is coming in or going out.
To take this photo of my new watch, I constructed a poor man's light box out of some plain white paper, and used my desk lamp plus my camera flash to illuminate the box. I think it turned out pretty well considering the tiny amount of effort I put into it.
Technical details: This photo was taken with my 5D Mark II + Tamron 28-75 at 75mm, ISO 100, f/16 for 1/4th of a second, with my Speedlite 430EX flash.
Nice watch! Do the "cardinal buttons" work? Also, 1/4 of a second seems awfully long for the shutter with that bright lamp. And a flash! I guess f/16 is really small/closed? Why do it this way?-- Aaron at 10:34pm, Wednesday February 8, 2012 EST
I think the picture is awesome, and the watch as well! I also have questions like Aaron about why the flash and the light isn't shining back at us from the watch.-- Mum at 12:07am, Thursday February 9, 2012 EST
I can't believe your old watch has lasted so long, I wish I had held onto mine, that's impressive technology.-- Sue at 2:03am, Thursday February 9, 2012 EST
Snazzy!-- Alix at 5:00am, Thursday February 9, 2012 EST
That is good enough to sell to Casio for their ads.-- Dad at 8:34am, Thursday February 9, 2012 EST
It is hard to see from the photo of my "poor man's light box", but the box does have a sheet of paper on the top of it, so both the desk lamp and the flash are illuminating the top of the paper, and not illuminating the watch directly. So, most of the light is reflected away from the watch, and only some of it goes through the paper for illumination. The purpose of the light box is to provide soft, diffuse illumination for the subject, so that I don't get any harsh reflections of the light source... but the trade-off is that you wind up losing most of your light. And yes, f/16 is a very small aperture, which means I needed a longer shutter time to expose the photo. I had to use a small aperture, because the closer an object is to your camera, the less "depth of field" your photo will have for a given aperture. In other words, if the watch was 10 feet away, I could have shot this photo at f/2.8 and the whole watch would have been in focus. Since the watch was only 4 inches away for this photo, if I had used f/2.8, only the time would have been in focus, and everything else on the watch face would have been blurry. You can see the extreme depth of field problems at the top of the photo. Even though I used f/16, you can see that the band rapidly goes out of focus as it curves away from the lens.-- Michael at 9:31am, Thursday February 9, 2012 EST
Oh, and in regards to the "cardinal buttons"... it is kind of funny. Those aren't actually buttons. They are just indicators. The watch has a "compass" feature, but it isn't like an actual compass. The way it works is that you press the "reverse" button and it tells you an angle. Right now it is telling me 139 degrees. What it means is that if I line up the sun with the 139 degree mark on the bezel of the watch, then the "N" indicator will be pointing roughly north. So, my new watch has a compass, but it only works if the sun is visible, and not directly overhead (which I don't have to worry about in Canada), and I have to let my watch know if I travel to a different time zone or to the southern hemisphere so it can make the correct calculations.-- Michael at 9:43am, Thursday February 9, 2012 EST
For kicks, tonight I tried taking the same picture WITHOUT my hacked-together light box. The results are here: Flash Only. Flash + Lamp. As you can see, using just the flash alone gives a pretty good result, but there are still distracting reflections and too much contrast. Adding another light just makes the situation worse, adding a ton of glare off the face of the watch. If you open all three images in different tabs, you can switch between them and notice how distracting the harsh shadows and bright reflections are when the light box isn't used. A good light box setup can give fantastic results... but this shows that you can also get good results from cutting up two pieces of paper and taping them together into a very simple light box!-- Michael at 9:29pm, Thursday February 9, 2012 EST
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