Today back in the photo studio to get started on the next product photography shoot. A watch this time.
This shoot required some preparation. I placed the watch on a piece of aquarium wood. But the brown color that it has is not really nice for a product photo. So I burned the surface of the piece of wood black with a burner. With the airbrush and some dark paint colors I did the final touch. The piece of wood was too heavy to be held by the clamps I had at home. To solve that I bought a gaffer clamp at Controllux. A nice sturdy clamp that you can put on the spigot of a light stand.
Controllux is a discovery in that respect. Mainly working as a supplier of materials for theaters and the like. But they also supply a lot of things that are useful for a photographer and that you cannot buy from guys like Kamera Express or CameraNu.
The setup itself was again fairly simple. First clamped the piece of aquarium wood in the new gaffer clamp and put it on a light stand on a boom arm. Then mounted the camera with a 100 mm macro lens on a tripod and then try to find a nice position for the watch. Once found I secured it with a glue gun. The great thing is that you can easily remove that glue without leaving any residue.
Then I lowered the black background paper. The frame with diffuser material again haging from the ceiling and a bare flashlight above it. And as always I had to look for a spot of the flash where the light on the watch pleased me. Because the light on the top of the watch was just a bit too much, I clamped a piece of black foam board in the clamp of a flexible arm that I attached to a light stand.
Because the light at the bottom of the watch was too little, I set up my Godox projection lamp in a small beam so that it lit up a bit.
I took two focus stack series photos with different apertures and therefore different light settings. To round it off, I reflected some light with a mirror on certain parts such as the button that I can later use in Photoshop in the end photo
I imported the end result into Lightroom and then merged the two focus stack series with Heliconfocus. I made the choice for the photo that was the result of the series with the smaller aperture to continue with editing in Photoshop. Together with the photos with detailed exposures, I opened them as layers in Photoshop.
First start with the bigger corrections. A blob of glue was visible in the bottom of the photo. I selected it and filled it with the dark color from the nearby area. It also turned out that there were some glue wires in the same area. I already noticed that during the shooting and I removed it halfway through the session. In Photoshop it is then a matter of a layer mask on the photo without glue threads and only allowing that part without threads to pass through.
In the same way, working with masks, the detailed exposures are added to the base photo.
Because my watch is a bit older (and has not been worn for years) it does have some scratches and dents on it. With the healing brush, clone stamp and some other photoshop tools, I spent quite a bit of time fixing all of that. A Wacom tablet is indispensable for this kind of work and I am glad I invested in it already some time ago.
Then some burning in places that I wanted a bit darker (especially the front edge of the wood and the top edge of the watch) and some dodging in places that I wanted lighter (the watch itself).
The final touch by adding a curves layer to make some contrast adjustments.
In the end, all that editing with all those layers and masks in Photoshop resulted in a file of almost 2.5 Gigabytes.
In Lightroom I only applied some sharpening.