I am currently trying to make a close-up of the dial of a wrist-watch. The result I am trying to achieve should look like this:

enter image description here

My biggest problem is that the glass reflects almost everything. The best shot I got so far is this one:

enter image description here

However, it was more of a "lucky shot". And still, there are shadows inside the dial (on the left side) which I'd also like to avoid.

Most of my shots end up like this:

enter image description here

You can see all the reflections on the glass, even the lens of the camera on the right side.

My setup:

  • Camera: Panasonic DMC-FX60
  • Light: Tried both normal daylight coming through the windows and LED.
  • The watch is mounted on a stand like this one:

enter image description here

How can I achieve lower / no reflection at all on the glass like in the first picture?

6 Answers 6


Suggestions to let the watch reflect less light:

  • You can use a dulling spray of clear lacquer from the art store.
  • You can use a mixture of water and talcum powder and spray this over the watch.

Suggestions to change the light:

  • Best to tent the watch with a white sheet or towel suspended above the item to be photographed. Use cloth that has no pattern.
  • Light the watch using flood lights from the hardware store. You direct several lamps at the tent from above. Cut a hole in the tent and photograph through a small opening.

Suggestions to use filters:

  • Mounting a polarizing filter on the camera will help. Compose and rotate the filter while peering through the viewfinder. You will find a filter rotation position that minimizes reflections. If the camera is a digital, use a circular polarizing filter.
  • A professional set-up would have polarizing filters over the lamps as well.

Best of luck


In some product shoots they remove the glass cover. Period.

But as you can not do that, make one light setup with all the surrounding lights, forget the glass cover, and make a second shoot covering that highlight. Compose them in post pro.


You could also invest in a good Circular Polarizer (CPL), which removes/reduces reflections and glares like a charm.

Some examples to see for yourself:

  1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OhT05YQD4DM (Near the end)
  2. http://www.thephotoforum.com/threads/circular-polarizer-q.172095/ (Scroll down for examples)

Use some 'flags' (pieces of card). Move a black (or white) flag around to cover where the relections are. Use a white flag to reflect the light into the side of the watch with the shadow. Sometimes this can involve multiple pieces of card for one shot so some spare clamps are a big help. It's a bit trial and error but look at the watch while moving a piece of card around it and you'll get the idea. Good luck.


Build a foot wall box with all flat black construction paper or board. (or Spray flat black paint inside a carboard box) Take a 2 ft square flat black board and cut a hole in the middle for you camera lens to goes thru and take picture . Anything that is not black will make reflections, whether it is part of the camera itself or around the subjects.


This can and is usually done with photographic technique: forget about sprays or powders.

Changing slightly the orientation of the flat glassed watches will get you rid of reflections, and using black cardboard to mask out the sources of the reflections will do it for the round glassed ones.

See @abhisheknaik96, @Ren and @Nesstor's answers.

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