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A Watch Retouching Job

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  #1  
Old 01-22-2008, 09:39 PM
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Smile A Watch Retouching Job

Hello folks. I haven't been around here for awhile, but now I have been busy back in the jewelry biz. I shot a watch today and have the before shot directly out of the camera and the beginning of a retouching/makeover. This was a brand new watch, never worn, stayed in the case and was clean, so I thought until I saw what came out of the Canon30D. I sprayed it with air, went over it with a lint free cloth, and wiped it down before i shot it. but, dust, dust and more dust that has to be removed and a series of other tweaks to get it "printable."

I am posting the org shot along with a few hours of retouching. There is still a lot of tweaks and airbrushing that has to be done, but the org was ok,so it was worth working the image.

But what I want to know is if there is anything I can do to speed up the workflow. I take sections at a time, sel with the pen tool, put the selection on its own layer mask and start painting and tweaking. If any retouchers here have any ideas to save time retouching watches, please pass them along. Remember the retouched version is not finished yet and I have several hours to work on it to perfect it as best as can be. I also refer to hi-rez watch ads in Vogue, Harper's, fine watch prints to use as my guides. Watch retouching is challenging, time consuming and a bit involved. Anyone is welcome to try some experiments and see what they come up with. They even have watch photography contests online. steveb

Oops! got to upload the images, sorry, here goes on following post
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Old 01-22-2008, 10:03 PM
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The Posted Watches

Forgot to post the watch images from my former post. here goes

Steve
Attached Images
File Type: jpg watch_org.2.5.jpg (92.5 KB, 231 views)
File Type: jpg watch-ret_6.2.jpg (74.8 KB, 252 views)
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Old 01-22-2008, 10:06 PM
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Re: A Watch Retouching Job

Yep The images uploaded ok finally

steve
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Old 01-22-2008, 10:26 PM
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Re: A Watch Retouching Job

I didn't see any images? It would be better if we can see your problem...
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Old 01-22-2008, 10:31 PM
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Re: A Watch Retouching Job

No, the watches are there now, just look in the forum here. I went to the post to check and the org and ret are uploaded, sorry that I forgot first time around

steve
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Old 01-22-2008, 11:14 PM
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Re: A Watch Retouching Job

Mchilly and SteveB - you are both right. The images were posted in a separate thread, but I moved that post back into this thread. Steve, just so you know, you can go back to a post and edit it - even upload an image. The old, old forum software didn't allow that.
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Old 01-22-2008, 11:30 PM
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Re: A Watch Retouching Job

Steve, I'm glad to read that it's still a work in progress. I think the "12" stands out like dogs balls. If you're going to leave it that white, make sure you whiten everything else on the face to the same degree.

If I had a workflow recommendation, it would be - be wary of selections with the pen tool. Even though we're looking at a very small version, the areas you've worked (eg the "12") seem to have unnaturally hard edges. This is a common risk with the pen tool.

Most of all, I'd say you've dived in to very precise retouching way too early. You should have enhanced the whole watch face with a broad curves/levels adjustment, to get it in the ballpark, before editing the individual numbers etc.

Look forward to seeing how it goes.
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Old 01-22-2008, 11:59 PM
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Re: A Watch Retouching Job

When talking about workflow, I think we need to consider re-shooting the image. Positioning of the product and lighting will reduce the need for retouching.

http://www.rolex.com/en/collection/r...ller/index.jsp
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Old 01-23-2008, 07:11 AM
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Re: A Watch Retouching Job

Quote:
Originally Posted by CJ Swartz View Post
When talking about workflow, I think we need to consider re-shooting the image. Positioning of the product and lighting will reduce the need for retouching.

http://www.rolex.com/en/collection/r...ller/index.jsp
Oh shooting over is always an option, but I wanted to see how much improvement I could get. And shooting jewelry and watches takes a lot of setup time, lighting arrangements, etc. to get the best results and cut down on retouching. I have seen near miracles done on watches in terrible shape and from bad originals. But this is a retouching forum, so everyone here would have to have everything shot perfectly and there wouldn't be any need to have these forums. My pal who is a journeyman in the pre-press trade said hours are spent on watches, jewelry, fashion models and the source files vary.
steve

That being said, I am trying things out some things and continue to work the image as an exercise
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Old 01-23-2008, 08:22 AM
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Re: A Watch Retouching Job

Steve,

Give me a few minutes here and I'll show you a few tricks and give you some handy advice if you like. Maybe a bit more constructive than dog balls. Although I did chuckle a bit at that as my Jack Russell laid beside me as I read it

Chris

- Steve, I was looking for some old tear sheets that I scanned but my assistant can't find the disk in her infinite method of organization but as she does I'll put a few on here for you. First I don't mean to talk down to you so don't take it that way, I just don't know you, your education, age or anything so I'll tell you a few tips and take what you need and leave the rest.

After opening my first studio my rep got me hooked up with the owners of a company called "Swatch Watch" you may not be old enough to remember them but they were hot stuff watches. I shot watches till I could scream, hundreds. That work caught the eye of the folks at Tag Heur and then I got more watches but those were a bitch because where the Swatch was mostly plastic, Tags are almost always metal. Again, I shot watches till I puked but to have those two clients at then a young age I was lucky and busted my ass. My saving grace was an instructor at UGA who taught me the most important thing in photography, at least I believe so. He taught me to look at the subject but to "SEE LIGHT". A lot of shooters don't see light especially now in the digital world where you can take hundreds of shots while moving your lights around 'til you see what you want. At that time I was shooting 8x10 Chromes and Polaroid, neither was cheap so a shooter had to learn to see his light, the highlights, shadows, and get it right quick or eat up your costs. So we did learn to shoot, meters were great but after so much using one you can become a meter so close to the real thing you would be surprised. After a while I'd set the camera up, F-stop and drag the shutter for some ambient light. I got where I'd pull on Polaroid and usually had it down. I teach a bit now and it's frustrating that up and coming shooters have no idea about those days and that learning those basics makes digital make so much more sense, such as the tools in the Photoshop tool box. Okay, I'll shut up now but if you need some advice here it is. Watch companies are great clients, big money to be made but, as picky as art directors are and a pain to work with, watchmakers are twice as bad. They know their product, what it should look like, they notice scratches, dust and any little thing because it's what they do. Watch your highlights and shadows not to cover important elements such as the name, numbers and hands. Use allot of cards, white and black. White to bounce light where you need it and black to create a strong bold line to give the watch definition. Not too much black to take the chrome away. At times you can use white or black grease pencils to physically add highlights and shadows. Shooting glass, like wine glasses is a great way to practice creating nice sharp highlights. Try not to distort the watch, the one you showed is a bit egg shaped when I laid a circle on it and that makes the numbers look like they are not centered. Last thing, go to TagHeur.com and some other watch sites and look at them, see the light. (The SWEETLIGHT)

Last edited by Sweetlight; 01-23-2008 at 11:11 AM.
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