Press Release Magic: How A Watch Can Change In Photoshop
Every few days or so I get another press release sent to me and I end up ignoring most of the content within it. Sometimes they are devoid of any real information but mostly it's fairly innocuous details that could be found on the brand's website. A commonality between most press releases photos is the product photography of the latest release. The images are always beautiful in their own way but I feel the pixel perfection detracts something from the final image so when I saw the gif on reddit, I was intrigued.
The gif shows how easy (I know it's not easy but you know what I mean) it is to turn an older model Aqua Terra photographed on a plastic stand into a brand new, glossy watch complete with fuzzy blobs in the background. Not only are all blemishes removed but the hands change position to more ideal time, the background is completely removed and suddenly every facet is reflecting the perfect amount of light. The image below shows the various shots with different lighting setups that were eventually combined together to form the final product. It's undoubtedly a beautiful shot but at the end of the day, I don't believe its a real image.
Brands choose this style of photography because it makes the products look really really good and it's fine for big advertisements on posters and billboards, but I don't think it helps the consumer. I believe that the best watch photography being done is by Atom Moore or Christopher Beccan, as they both manage to find that perfect balance between a staged image and still making it look natural. The photos on analog/shift and Bexsonn are beautiful but they're still real, the watches have weight to them and whilst the lighting is perfect, you can make out the odd scratch or perhaps a slight crystal glare that grounds the image in reality.