Welcome to Episode 42 of Tenn & Two!
Today we have a special episode as our friend Josh (Instagram @stuffandwatches) has joined us for an episode that we have been discussing doing for quite some time about a topic that seems to go hand in hand with watches – watch photography.
A Bit About Josh
Josh has been a good friend of ours for many years and is also on the board with us for the Nashville Watch Club. He has an extensive history in photography that stretches back 20 years and includes various avenues. He’s gone from weddings to watches in the years since his dive into the hobby began and has a phenomenal Instagram account to show for it. He’s been great to bounce ideas off of and has really taught us more about photography in one afternoon than we could have ever learned on our own. We hope you guys enjoy this episode and take some pointers and tips away from it.
Wrist Watch Check
Before we get too into the wrist watch check, we are going to kick things off with a wrist watch check. Normally we would let our guest go first, but we are too distracted by a watch that Kat has on loan from a friend and must hear all about it. On her wrist, the Grand Seiko SBGM221whis is just insanely good. Honestly all three of us are completely mesmerized by the detail in this watch. The Zaratsu finishing cannot be described adequately in words and is something you must see to believe. It is a watch that Kat is seriously contemplating adding to the collection (as well as the rest of us). *Editor’s Note: would it be wrong if we all three had the same watch? Today Katlen is wearing the orange Doxa Sub1200 that is on loan as well from a friend. We talk about the details of the watch a bit more as the watch and even the bright orange dial is really growing on her. It’s a watch that’s honestly much more comfortable than she ever thought possible and is still considering making this her purchase for the year. Finally to our guest who is also rocking something new to the collection, Josh is wearing his Omega Speedmaster “First Omega in Space”. This Speedmaster is just absolutely stunning and we talk about the differences in it and the traditional Speedmaster moonwatch which he recently traded for this piece.
…well, and now let’s get into the photography talk
These are basics for both cell phone photogrpahy and camera photograpy and as simple as these seem, so many times we don’t think about them when taking photos.
1.) Clean the lense! This is especially true when it comes to cell phones as they sit in our pockets and bags, building dust and debris.
2.) Clean the watch! You’d be surprised at how many little debris pieces and lint and dirt live on your watch when you think it’s clean, so clean it again. A bit of moisture and microfiber cloth are your friend here.
3.) Find good light! You’ll hear us say this a million times in this podcast but lighting is everything! It is the most important key when taking a photograph.
4.) Steady the camera! Shaky arms lead to less than stellar photographs. Prop your phone or camera against your body or a surface when taking photos. Consifer picking up a tripod. They can be found easily starting at $10 on Amazon.
5.) Watch for reflections! We’ve all seen it, reflections in a lug or a dial. Work those angles! Sometimes a slight change in perspective and angles makes all the difference in the world. Consider wearing neutral colored clothing for your shots as well.
We told you we were going to say it a million times: Lighting Is Everything! It is often the make or break in capturing a good photo. Whether you are using natural or artificial light, knowing how to manipulate it will change the way you take pictures. Here Josh talks us through some of his favorite tips. For natural light, avoiding direct sunlight is best as it gets to be quite harsh on the subject. Filtering the light with a pop filter or diffusion fabric helps, as well as finding a source of lighting that is consistent. The same goes for artificial light. It’s a careful balance of finding bright light but diffusing it to take away from the harshness. We discuss ways to create your own light source as well.
Tips for Better WWCs
Ah the wrist watch check. Arguably the most popular of watch photos you will find in the forums, Facebook groups, or Instagram. And with good reason, it shows off the watch on various wrists which Is what we all want to see. But let’s face it, these aren’t the easiest of shots to achieve. So, let’s go over a few things to help.
- Always follow the five basics – easy enough right?
- Using a cell phone? Brace it against your face or body for a steady shot and consider using the timer function. Yes, you will look ridiculous, but you are taking a picture of a watch so how much more crazy could it be?
- Taking the shot on a camera? Mess around and experiment with different focal lengths and aperture settings.
- The best locations are those with soft, natural light. Overhangs are your friend! Experiment with different angles until you find the light that works best for you.
Best Camera Gear
Here’s the part of the show where it’s time to literally put your money where your mouth is. But this doesn’t have to be an overly expensive purchase for your first time. Just like watches, there are entry level cameras that you can purchase to dip your toes in. Our biggest advice: Buy pre owned! No matter what your budget, this will stretch your dollar further. Josh’s website of choice, KEH where they have great buys and you get a warranty on purchases which is almost unheard of for any used gear of any type. We discuss the advantages of going mirrorless versus dSLR and building a gradual ecosystem of equipment over time. If you’re still using a cell phone for the sole reason that you think camera gear is too expensive, consider skipping the next upgrade on a newer phone with better camera and purchasing an entry level system.
Ideally, you want the picture you take to be as perfect as possible. In reality, a little editing goes a long way to bring out the best detail in a photo. A few of Josh’s (and our) favorite apps for editing include Lightroom (there is a free version which is great to use, but the pro version at $10/month does add in some useful features). Other apps he recommends are Photoshop Express, Snapseed, and Retouch. For capturing better photos, his recommended app would be Pro Camera.
*Links for Equipment Discussed During Today’s Podcast*
Basic Helpful Products
- Neewer White Seamless Diffusion Fabric – $14.49 (1.8m x 1.5m)
- AmazonBasics Tripod Boom Microphone Stand – $19.49
- Neewer 5-in-1 22” Reflector – $11.99
Moderate Set Up
Serious Set Up
- Pixel LED Video Light – $379.00
- Neewer 38” Parabolic Softbox – $99.00
- Neewer 6’ Light Stand – $28.99
We really hope that you enjoyed this episode and took a bit from it. One last question to Josh before we go: “what are some of your favorite Instagram accounts?”. Here’s just a few to be sure and follow – @curioushorology, @lactardjosh, @bharmon417, @pockettrinkets, @youreterrific1, @theblackdial, @ktownwis, @barkandjack, @rikkiwatches. Josh is always available for any questions and really encourages them so feel free to reach out to him on Instagram anytime. Thank you all for participating in our live Q&A as well. There were some phenomenal discussions and takeaways there. We hope to collaborate with Josh a bit more in the future. As always, please share this episode with friends and leave us a review on whatever platform you may be listening on.
Until Next Time!
Kat, Katlen, and Josh
Tenn & TwoFollow Us:
- Summer Trips and the Latest Tudor Black Bay - June 7, 2021
- Talking Watch Collaborations with Collective Horology - June 1, 2021
- Kat’s Baaaaack! We’re Talking Adventure and Watches - May 24, 2021