Advertising Photography – Citizen Watch
Oct 11, 2012

The latest issue of GQ magazine (November 2012) comes complete with ‘GQ Watch’ – a glossy 96 page supplement dedicated to the humble timepiece. Some of the examples do run into the hundreds of thousands though, so maybe not too humble! There is some stunning fashion photography on show.

This started the cogs turning.

So after completing a recent interior photography project we found ourselves with a few spare hours one afternoon and fancied a bit of a challenge! So with a fresh batch of inspiration in tow we decided to make a stunning advertising image…of a watch.

We knew the basic parameters of what we wanted to achieve, a polished advertising image with the product photography taking centre stage, but with a punchy and colourful background that enhanced the product rather than stealing the limelight. This is a balance that is quite difficult to achieve but if done well transforms a product and truly represents it’s purpose and audience.

We use a specialist tilt-shift lens for product photography, and we know how to get the maximum resolution out of our camera – this all makes a real difference to the final image.

As always with photography the lighting is key. In this instance we didn’t want anything too unusual or moody – the most important things for us was getting a good even light with balanced reflections and highlights. We always plan our lighting setup pre-shoot, here’s a basic drawing we did to get ourselves on the same page.

We’re going to show all of the different elements of the image separatly below, and at the end you’ll see it all put together.

Below is the main watch/product shot. Items that are this glossy and shiny will always need a large amount of post production in Adobe Lightroom, and Photoshop. On the left is the original raw file, it’s a bit dark and dull, needs to be cut out, and there’s a LOT of spot retouching to be done. On the right you can see that it’s been cut out and the retouching had been started.

Below is the finished cut out – it’s also been through Lightroom which means we’ve made several key adjustments, including: the colour and tone, the white balance, the saturation, and the clarity and sharpness – this helps us really fine tune the image.

It’s beginning to look like a good product image now, but let’s push it further into the realms of advertising.

To begin to finish the whole composite, the following 3 images were created as the layers that made up the background.

Firstly a black canvas is created, adding tone to the image, as some parts of the layers above are opaque.

Layer 2 is a tight crop of the watch image file – it shows off the finer detail and resolution of the watch face. This really adds good information for the viewer.

Layer 3 is where it really starts to come together – the opaque and gradiated blue really works off of the warm ‘rose gold’ of the watch face and brown of the leather strap. Adding lightness behind the watch along with flare strewn across the rest of the image creates excitement, and an extra sense of expensiveness and ultimately, desire.

Here is the finished article! Polished and desirable.

We’re really happy with the result. We think we achieved exactly what we set out to achieve, but what do you think? Send us an email to let us know your thoughts, or why not share it on facebook or twitter?!

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