When it comes to creative product photography, perhaps some of the most inspiring subjects for photography are clocks. An abundance of details and different materials make the photographer’s creative consciousness work at a rapid pace, looking for exciting effects and accents to grab the audience.
And really. In the online space, we find great footage that we can look at for hours while we’re not really interested in watches at all. But one thing is for sure, the images are endlessly compelling.
If we take a closer look at the variety of product shots of watches, it seems that cadres are dominated by men’s watches. The fact is that despite advances in technology, men continue to wear watches. According to statistics, in recent years there has been growth in the manufacturing and sales of this type of accessories.
Watches are one of the few items that men have traditionally used to express themselves in some way – to show character, to follow a particular style, or to identify with a certain brand. Of course, often it’s a pure dose of extravagance .
By destination, there is a wide variety of watch styles. For example, we find specially designed models for businessmen, politicians, athletes, divers, even heroes. Swatch launches six new watch models in connection with the fifth incarnation of Daniel Craig at James Bond – ‘No Time to Die’!
And why not? Watches are the acceptable face of men’s jewelry. This statement also brings us to the specific share of product photography in which watches fall, namely jewelry.
We know from experience that, no matter how fun it may be, shooting clocks, at the same time, is a real challenge. But maybe that is the reason why making product photos of watches is so appealing to photographers.
How to take a good picture of a clock?
In order to have enough a professionally made one product frame per watch, it is important to consider a few basic areas:
- Light – directional illumination, brings depth to two-dimensional images and can easily bring us into its mechanical world when taking macro shots of a clock.
- Subject and focus – choose the right composition that ensures that the main subject in the image is obvious, clearly distinguishable, especially if there are other elements in the scene.
- Position / Angle – Select the most appropriate position or angle to shoot the subject with respect to the space to create an interesting perspective.
- Idea / story – Develop an idea in the frame or tell a consistent story to evoke emotion.
Lighting in product photography is always a leading factor.
While natural lighting can produce good results, creating your own lighting setup offers more control. Professionals believe that diffused lighting is a great choice because it gives a nice soft look and all the details in the frame are visible.
If we take a closer look at the frame, we can see that the light is focused enough (with dominant light shining on the left and filling light on the right) to give a sense of dimension and to make the accents tangible. The watch has a good brightness that allows the chain to be visible and at the same time to keep the dial fully in focus rather than looking like a cloudy spot.
The diffused light gives a sense of depth, especially to the dark clocks.
One of the important lessons of a product photographer is to learn how to work with diffused light, avoiding glare from the subject and its elements.
When taking pictures of watches and jewelry, in general, glare is a huge problem.
One of the main decisions is to change the angle. With practice, you’ll gain more experience and easily navigate exactly how to position the object.
Photographers with more experience use different surfaces to direct the light to diffuse light. For example, thin, almost transparent white paper or cardboard.
One of the best options for this is the tent, especially if the clocks are shot on a white or monochrome background. It helps to evenly distribute light and to cover the object well. It also protects against reflection. And this is a big plus because in most cases the watch is shiny or has inlaid stones.
Before you begin the actual photo shoot, you need to do something extremely important. Try to carefully clean every detail of the watch.
Use a dry cloth, preferably of microfiber cloth. Do not miss more difficult places – small edges, the place between the body and the chain. It is easy to clean with a cotton swab with a little alcohol or acetone, but only if the strap is not leather. Or why not use a paint brush?
Sometimes the whole cleaning procedure can take an hour. And despite all your efforts, be sure that there will be some dust no matter how thoroughly you cleaned. However, before we get the full frame, we have one more opportunity. The process goes through software processing that can get rid of the disadvantages.
Achieving a truly successful clock image takes a lot more than just a good camera and lens.
It is the props and backgrounds that add a creative touch and make the frame different.
Choosing everything that complements the frame is essential.
If you don’t have specific elements, you can choose an interesting textured surface, bet on a color that highlights and highlights the watch.
Consider the theme that represents the watch
In 2018, Hong Kong brand Crafter Blue launches its first dive watch. It’s called “Mechanic Ocean”. Here’s how the company presents its product.
Of course, the watch is not just about diving and the product photographer complements with an emphasis on detail, directing the viewer’s view to the obvious parameters and distinctive features of the product.
Including a model illustrates the image of the clock in everyday life.
Global and well-established brands usually tie their products to the perfect model or celebrity selected. This creates the impression of brand affiliation.
Or they inspire messages with scenes that are close to the daily routine of consumers.
Choosing a background is decisive for the end result, so give creativity freedom.
Once you’ve selected the background and the props, it’s time to combine the watch and accessories into the right composition. You need to fine-tune the individual elements to create a frame fill so that the clock stands out. Position the clock in such a way that the text of the dial is clear and readable.
Professionals advise that you rotate the text up to a maximum of 90 degrees to avoid flipping the captions upside down. Be sure to bet on frames with detail on the back of the watch, as well as the most interesting parts of the watch.
One more thing to keep in mind when shooting product photos of watches is the position of the arrows
Arrows at 10:10 p.m.
One of the most common settings is at 10:10 or put the big arrow at 10 o’clock and the small arrow at or about 10 minutes. This position offers many advantages, including symmetry and a clear look for the brand or logo.
Behind a successful watch product frame lies the photographer’s ability to emphasize the identity of the product. Everything related to the detail, style, even the confidence that this product can impart to its holder is key.
The details of the clocks are complex. All the elements – fonts, logos, arrows, are definitely difficult to focus on. With a professional camera, greater depth can always be achieved. However, a specialized macro lens and enough pixels of the sensor are a prerequisite.
Choose a suitable macro lens that will allow you to get as close as possible to the subject so that the clock fills most of the frame while still being in focus. A tripod is also needed for stability. Many pixels allow you to shoot a longer distance and then crop the subject while still being sharp enough.
If you’re shooting with a phone, you can improvise a macro lens by simply holding a magnifying glass in front of the camera of the phone. There are already enough extras on the specialist market that are not so expensive and are a good solution for people on a lower budget.
One of the tricks of professional photographers is in “focusing”. Multiple frames of different focal lengths are created and, using additional software, the individual frames are combined into a single overall image.
For settings, it is advisable to set low ISO values, otherwise the frame may become grainy, which is disastrous for its success. The aperture is selected according to the depth of field you want to create.
Specifically, taking product photography on clocks is always helpful if you can stop the movement of the arrows. That way you won’t have any difficulty adjusting the speed.
The ability to create truly stunning creative photography in one watch would be accomplished by being able to overcome the challenges by experimenting, developing your skills and learning from those already proven in the industry.
According to Fratello magazine’s ranking, the January 2020 brand is OMEGA watches
And finally, let’s look at one of the brand’s strategies for presenting a selection of golf-inspired watches.
1. Emphasize theme and style.
2. They are betting on a professional golf player – the face of the brand – Rory McIlroy
3. Ideally include a detailed frame that strongly resembles the theme and accentuates the brand, without distracting the viewer from the presented product – the watch.