Product photography lighting tutorial – Alba watch

Food photography lighting tutorial
March 30, 2015
Today is different
April 24, 2015

Product photography lighting tutorial – Alba watch

Hi Guys,
I recently received a valuable birthday gift from my mom which is a very nice Alba wrist watch, and as a photographer interested in products photography, I couldn't have worn it before I photograph it first. 

As some of you may know shooting products specially shiny/reflective object isn't that easy and requires a high level of technical knowledge and expertise so I'll try to give some of my knowledge in that field in few points and will provide some images for the lighting setup as well as some post processing ideas .

First this is the final image:

Ok it might look good to a normal viewer, but I can see one issue, and I would have solved it in camera if I could but I could not ... First let me show you the lighting setup and explain it a little bit then i'll lead you to the issue from there and how i overcome it in post editing.
Lighting setup images were taken by phone so bear with me and I'll explain:

The setup is pretty simple as you can see at the image on the right, it's only one light above the setup pointing straight forward not downwards "i.e. feathered" across the diffuser, and falling as a soft light on the watch, with white cards surrounding it from many directions for the reflections on the outer circumference of the watch, which is a shiny reflective metal;  now the issue with that lighting was the hazy reflection on the glass of the watch which could have been easily overcome using a polarizer, but unfortunately I don't have one so what i did that in post I added a selective color adjustment layer and increased the intensity of the blacks and it kinda did the trick, but of course using a polarizer and getting it right in camera would have been better for me, but thank god we have Photoshop.
Of course even with that simple setup it takes a lot of trials till you get reflections right so be patient, it's all a matter of trial and error.

Now onto post processing:
1- As this is a small object I had to photograph it using focus stacking technique; so images were stacked using Helicon Focus software (I recommend it a lot, it's much better than Photoshop in this matter).
2- After getting the stacked image, some basic camera raw adjustments took place ... exposure, contrast, clarity, colors, sharpness, lens correction ... etc
3- Inside Photoshop I started with dust and scratch removal using dust and scratch filter, healing brush, patch tool, and cloning tool
4- Because of the shape of the white cards the white reflections on the outer metal circumference had some hard edges, so I used the air brush tool using the same color as the metal to redraw that part entirely with addition of some slight noise to make it believable
5- Some dodging and burning to make significant areas pop out a little

Hope that was helpful guys
Till next time
See you