Saturday, 4 June 2016

Watch Photography.

I now have available the first of some very high resolution pictures suitable for printing up to poster size, these can be downloaded at modest cost or professionally printed as prints, posters as well as on mouse mats, place mats and even puzzles. Visit my Zenfolio Galleries to view and purchase.

Introduction


For 6 months using Photobucket for image hosting was a pain, frequently  50% of up loads were failing, then 50% of reloads failing etc. loading images had become tedious and there were also a number of outages. I gave Google Photos a try but there were issues there as well. So I bit the bullet and, at some cost, moved to Zenfolio, a site used by professional photographers to host and sell their pictures. All of my pictures previously on Google Photos have now been moved to Zenfolio, all new pictures will go there and I will gradually migrate photos from Photobucket to the new service.

Coasters, mouse mat and a large print.

One of the facilities provided by Zenfolio is a direct link to various photo processing laboratories, of which I am using Photobox, the largest processor in Europe. Photographs can now be purchased on line in various sizes – up to large poster size for high resolution images – as well as some specialist items such as coasters, place mats and mouse mats. Images can also be downloaded for personal use (for professional use please contact me directly). However this service needs to be used with some caution as explained below.

I have set up three sections on the Zenfolio site, the largest initially is the “Active” section which will host all higher resolution pictures used on my website accessed by clicking “more pictures” or similar. When watches are deleted from the main web site the photos will be moved to the “Archive” section. Thirdly there is a section described as “Hi-Res” where selected high resolution pictures will be stored to support printing up to 45” x 30”.

Pricing


Pricing is largely driven by Photobox with a service fee going to Zenfolio and a modest royalty coming to me which I hope will offset some of the cost of the image hosting service.

“Hi-Res” pictures.


A limited number of photos will have some degree of print optimisation and will be loaded in high resolution (up to 24 Mega Pixels) to allow very large prints to be made.

Given the price of each print in large format it is not possible for me to get professionally printed samples of each picture for quality control purposes so instead I have purchased a few sample prints in large and smaller formats plus some coasters, a mouse mat etc., so as to get a better understanding of what is required to get a good print using this technology. I have also printed the same pictures on my office printer for comparison and will “proof print” new photographs locally for some degree of quality control.

But please remember I am an amateur photographer of landscapes and other “non-watch” subjects and despite picture credits from the BBC and Vanity Fair, I do not class myself as a professional photographer so, especially with the photos not in the “Hi-Res” section, it is down to the buyer to satisfy him or herself as to the suitability of the image for the purpose intended.

“Active” and “Archived” pictures.


Photos in these sections are supporting my main web site selling watches, as such they are intended to show a fair representation of what the watch looks like and so have not been retouched or optimised for printing. Photoshop has been used to adjust exposure, to remove colour casts and for cropping but not to otherwise manipulate the images.

As images prior to June 2016 have been stored at around 1 Mega Pixel resolution and tightly framed they will generally not be suitable for printing in all formats or in larger sizes. Optimisation of the exposure has been biased towards showing detail on the watch which in many cases has resulted in the white background looking grey or blue / grey to avoid “washing out” detail on the watch.

From the end of May 2016 I increased the image size of new photos from the previous 1024 pixels per side and will not frame as closely to give more flexibility in cropping for different print formats and to support larger prints.

However due to the number of pictures they have not been proof printed, either by me or by Photobox so the service is used at the buyers risk.

I still have photos at 1 Megapixel for almost a thousand watches that I have sold over the last few years and most can be upload if requested by the purchaser of the watch.


Photo Prints

On high quality FujiFilm “Crystal Archive” photographic paper from 6” x 4” and 5” x 5” through to 45” x 30” (cropping required) for the highest resolution images.

Showcase Items

  • Mounted Acrylic Prints.
  • Canvas Wraps.
  • Aluminium Mounted Prints.

Speciality Items

  • Coasters & Place Mats.
  • Mouse Mats – note that due to the textured surface of the mat, required to allow an optical mouse to work correctly, pictures do not appear as sharp as when printed on paper.
  • Puzzles.

Digital Downloads.

Pictures can be downloaded for personal non-commercial use only:
  • Individually for high resolution pictures.
  • Any 15 in low / medium resolution from “Active” or “Archive”, up to 3 Mega Pixels but mainly 1 Mega Pixel for pictures prior to June 2016 and around 2 Mega Pixels in 3:2 format or 1.4 Mega Pixels in square format.
For commercial use, please contact me to discuss.
The buyer of the watch will, on request, receive a 75% discount voucher for a digital down load for personal non-commercial use (Coming soon).
Once purchased Zenfolio retain the images and order for 30 days in case downloads fail.

2 comments:

  1. It's so difficult to make professional pictures of watches. Movement images are much easier because they don't reflect the light all over the place, like bezel and crystal of the watch itself. You can clearly see the reflective umbrellas on the crystal edge of this picture from your zenfolio gallery http://oxfordpocketwatches.zenfolio.com/p132232855/h7c105e69#h7f147c11
    Try to use softboxes, it will make your life much easier. Check out Rolex catalog images. You can tell that photograph used several softboxes, because they diffuse the light. Just a friendly advice :)

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    Replies
    1. HI Tom,

      Thanks but unfortunately, with these old watches and old gold ones in particular, a soft box leaves its own reflection on the case in the form of a mat pattern which looks awful and does not clearly show the condition of the case, which as I am selling the watches, is the main concern. John

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