How do you shoot wrist watches for e-shop display?

foldtoe

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I'm referencing this website right now: Eclipse Steel – rose gold | ZIIIRO

I was wondering how they did the first straight-on shot, and also the subsequent shots where the watch is tilted and appears hollow.

For the first shot, I tried lying the watch down on its side, and also wrapped around a tube, but didn't really quite get the same effect. For the "hollow" shots, did they have something inside, which was then photoshopped out? My watch also has leather bands which make it harder to form a perfect circle like the above.

I need to make a video of the watch with this kind of angles, too, not just a photo, which increases the complication. (But maybe a video just for the straight on shot and not the tilts).

Please do not post images to which you do not hold rights. You may post links.

Thanks!
 
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waday

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Can't be of much help with product photography, sorry.

That company has some pretty cool watches, and they are definitely thinking outside the box with their designs. Love that!

But those color schemes... I either like the band, or the face, but neither together. :confused:
 

KmH

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vin88

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just place the watch on a very hairy wrist
 

astroNikon

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I don't think the watch is suspended.
The shadow looks the same on each image.
So it could be just laying on a table - or slightly raised to compensate for the round watch vs flat band, and then the camera angle and lighting is key.

Just some good Photoshop work to cut it out and give it all a nice white background. And it's not just a "quick" shot. They spend some time on it.

When I did some watch photography I used multiple type of "fillers" in the band to give it the circular look. Form a black foam full filler which helped it from a frontal shot, to thin stiff fillers which allowed you to see a partial open band..
 

vin88

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OR, you can experiment with "light sorces" before digital lights, i used a combination of neon and incandesent light bulbs.
 

pixmedic

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you could suspend the watch in front of a green screen and then just replace the background, or you could use a lightbox.
i dont do product photography, but i set this up in about 5 minutes and then did a quick edit in LR. probably 15 minutes total.
probably could do better if I took more time setting it up better and doing some more in depth editing, but you get the general idea.
this was on a clear plastic watch holder that came with one of my wifes g-shocks set up in my 16" LED lightbox.

seiko watch for husqvarna viking by pixmedic, on Flickr
 

Mike Drone

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Use a clear stand and over expose it out =]
 

Space Face

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When I did some product photography a few years back, I used a small table top light tent and lit it from outside. The tent was white and acted as a bit of a diffuser. It came with various coloured internal back drops so options were there.
 

Soocom1

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Any time you see something hovering, it is usually photoshopped.
The product photography typically needs specific lighting so not to blow out the image.
if you study the shadows under the watches, you'll see a recurring pattern. Ergo; its photoshopped.

additionally, when shooting something with alot of sparkles, I have found the use of a ND or polarizer as helpful.
 

Space Face

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I didn't use a polariser, which in hindsight sounds like a good idea. I did however clone and erase out shadows and bits of any supports etc I had used.

Mind you it wasn't watches I was photographing and it wasn't done as a professional venture, just a favour for a friend.
 

rosess

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Think about light, A lot of light is needed! Higher ISO (less distortion and noise) and faster shutter speed (less blurred) means more natural light. Your place is actually much darker than outside, even with all your light on.
 

epatsellis

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Any time you see something hovering, it is usually photoshopped.
The product photography typically needs specific lighting so not to blow out the image.
if you study the shadows under the watches, you'll see a recurring pattern. Ergo; its photoshopped.

additionally, when shooting something with alot of sparkles, I have found the use of a ND or polarizer as helpful.
Except when it’s not.... back when we shot transparency film, it was pretty common to “float” objects using a combination of supports, camera angle and exposure control.
 

Soocom1

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Any time you see something hovering, it is usually photoshopped.
The product photography typically needs specific lighting so not to blow out the image.
if you study the shadows under the watches, you'll see a recurring pattern. Ergo; its photoshopped.

additionally, when shooting something with alot of sparkles, I have found the use of a ND or polarizer as helpful.
Except when it’s not.... back when we shot transparency film, it was pretty common to “float” objects using a combination of supports, camera angle and exposure control.
Oh I know. I use to do it.

But Photoshop has eliminated the need for that.
 

mezcalpaloma

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As a suggestion: there were three things I looked for while shooting watches:
1) there is some variation in the reflection; it is clear there is a crystal, and the shiny parts look shiny, matte parts look matte, but the face detail is not obscured (no strong reflection on the crystal), polarization can help here, but you (almost always) DO want SOME reflections. Usually, a strategically placed piece of mat board on the light tent is sufficient.

2) set the hands to 10:10 or 1:50 (one hand at 10 and the other at 2; I preferred 1:50) (thanks to L. Leathers, our marketing consultant, for this suggestion). If there is second hand, try to get the second hand around 5-7, on the same side as the hour hand, but never directly over or directly opposite another hand...it just looks odd.

3) the stem is pushed in. Analog watches often come with a tiny block to hold the stem out during shipping. Remove it before posing and push the stem in right before you shoot.

Also...
Watch out for fingerprints and dust. Wear (cotton?) gloves during posing if you need to.

Be very careful about sharpening in post. Specular reflections turn ugly fast. Very often, I didn't sharpen at all.

I often used a cube tent, then placed pieces of mat board around the outside to get the variation in the reflections. I tried to avoid variation in reflection on shiny hands; I thought it looked too much like the hand had an odd two tone effect.

I'm not saying this is the only "right" way. It was the way I did it and I never had any objections.

In the end: If the client likes the image, it's a good shot. If they don't, it's not (even when it's "right").

Attached is an example from my archives.
 

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