retouching
Retouching

This section shows the process of preparing an image for print. I photograph all my images in Nikon's RAW NEF format, to achieve optimum quality when producing product images. I then bring the file into Photoshop's Camera Raw application. This allows me to tweak the settings of each image, sometimes altering the levels & curves of each image.

I then convert the NEF to a PSD format & begin to work with the image in RGB, in Photoshop. I often take up to 6 images for each product shot. This is to get the best possible lighting on each part of the product. I can then composite each element in Photoshop. This process is also useful when focus stacking, on macro photographs, to get a better depth of field on a shot.

My first process is to clean up the background, or base image. This involves removing dirt & dust from around the product. As you can see in my top image, I shot the watch with an insert,to keep the shape of the band. I remove this & clone in the background. For this image I took a separate shot for the dial. I find that it is possible to shoot using lower f-stops for these shots, producing crisper results on my 60mm macro lens, bringing out the detail in the dial.

For this particular product, my client instructed me on the colour alterations for the watch. I used Photoshop's pen tool, to make accurate selections when colouring the dial. I found the layer mask a time efficient tool when colouring the numerals on the bezel & links on the band. I then added a vignette to add a dramatic feel to the final image. This image was used in adverts & printed in a monthly catalogue.

Retouching

With the Meridian watch, I was given a rendering from the watch supplier, as a design guide. I took a photograph of the band, on a leather texture for the base layer. I then took photographs of 5 other wrist watches & removed their components. These photographs had to match in lighting & camera angle.

I then composited the striped black texture onto the dial, making a white half. I placed in the windows, sub-dials, hands & markers, carefully adding numerals. I then changed the strap to tan & added a finishing vignette. I often reduce the ink density in the blacks in preparation for printing.

For the CZ ring, I originally shot the silver plated steel ring against a mirror. This was to achieve the reflection. After cleaning up the ring and removing blue tak, I coloured the ring gold. I then brightened the CZ stones and added the star bursts for a glimering effect.

gran prix
Figure 1: Grand prix watch, before & after
grand prix
Figure 2: Grand Prix watch, close-up of final image
leather
Figure 3: Meridian watch, before
leather
Figure 4: Meridian watch, after
gold ring
Figure 5: CZ Ring before
cz ring after
Figure 6: CZ Ring after