Luxury Watch Photography Using One Studio Light

When a client asks you to photograph a $15,000 luxury watch, you’d better know how to make it look good.

Karl only used one light to capture this exquisite image, so everything was lit perfectly and captured in one shot. In this watch photography tutorial, he shows you exactly how you can replicate this luxurious, high-quality look in your own product photoshoots.

This photoshoot demonstrates that when you have the right photography knowledge and training, you can achieve flawless, high-end results even with just one light.

In this class:

  • Product photography using one light
  • How to photograph watches
  • Lens choice for product photography
  • How to create and control gradient light and lighting falloff
  • Depth of field considerations and using focus stacking for maximum depth of field

When photographing detailed products like this Blancpain watch, there is always an element of post-production required. You can see this process in our Luxury Watch Retouching class.

To learn more about how to photograph watches, take a look at Luxury Watch Shoot 2 and Luxury Watch Product Photography (LIVE).

If you have any questions about this class, please post them in the comments section below.

Luxury '$15,000' Watch Photography

Luxury ‘$15,000’ Watch Photography


    1. Hi, this was shot on the H5 50mp CCD sensor (one of the best sensor’s ever) it was a physically larger sensor and being only 50mp it is also working with bigger photo-site sizes and therefore less inclined to suffer diffraction until f22. Although I would say f18 was the limit on this one. F16 is the limit on the X2D for me as a single shot but if I’m focus stacking i’ll work at f11. You might enjoy this video:

    1. Hi, Nasser. Yes as you will see in many of our other classes we mostly use LEE 216, or acrylic sheets.

  1. Hi Karl! I’ve been chatting with the FB group about the (sleeve? coupler?) that you use to connect your flexi arm with spring clamp to the light stand (see timecode 15:12–ish). Is it similar to the manfrotto panel clamp? It almost looks like a sleep that slips over the light stand? Thanks bunches!

    1. Hi, at 15:21, that’s not a sleeve over the lighting stand it’s a clamp the same as the one at the other end. I don’t use those now though, now I use the manfrotto flexi arm that screws ontop of the screw thread of most lighting stands (some stands don’t have the screw thread at the top).

  2. Timothy Watson

    Do you use polarizing filters when shooting watches? Also I would dig to see a video on how you customize your camera setting for product photography. For example back button focus and disabling auto exposure on the shutter button etc… I shoot fugifilm gfx100s and Sony A7r4 but the setting out of the box are horrible for product photography. Love your content this is my first month subscribed!

    1. Hi Timothy, thank you for your questions. 1. Not very often as most of a watch is bare metal and polarisers don’t work on bare metal unless you polarise the light source at the same time. You can watch and indepth class on everything to do with this and studio lighting polarisation here: 2. I don’t customise any camera settings, my camera is just in full manual mode and often the focus is in manual too as I’m shooting tethered I can check everything in more detail. In full manual of course there is no auto exposure unless you are using the exposure visualisation for the EVF but you can turn that off. Essentially in a studio environment the only three things that matter on the camera are aperture and focus and ISO at a low setting. With product photography you generally preselect the aperture you need based on the DOF required, therefore all exposure changes are made by changing the power of the lights instead. The shutter speed has no bearing on exposure in real terms because the flash is faster than the shutter speed so you should just be setting your shutter to it’s maximum sync speed and making sure you have no light pollution from ambient light in your studio. You’ll see more of this in various product classes and live shows. Glad to hear you’re enjoying the platform and let me know if you have any further questions. All the best Karl.

  3. LeleAvedon61

    now the Helicon Focus software can easily help yuo with the focus stacking: the only way to do it without it is mounting an HTS1,5 tilt and shift, but I think you can’t use it with extension tubes.It will start strongly vignetting

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