Gearing up for transitioning my portfolio into a more commercial direction, I wanted to create some product photography while still maintaining my surreal retouching elements. So I bought a watch with a really pretty deep blue face not knowing how I was going to photograph it or "sell" it.
After thinking about the elements of this product that I'd want to exaggerate or call attention to I decided to create a series or campaign advertising multiple color options of the watch face. I wanted to really stress the point of how "juicy" these colors were. Which color fits your tastes? What "flavor" would you choose? These thoughts brought about the idea of comparing the color of the watch to foods that seem juicy. So if I am advertising a really pretty juicy blue watch, and I'm comparing it to say a blueberry, then how can I creatively show this idea in a visual way? Cut it open and let that color ooze out! A bit of a throwback to the many Gushers I snacked on as a 90's kid. But I certainly didn't have the means to make a clean, straight cut through this watch.
So how do I go about creating this effect? First I laid out the composition of the watch within the fruit pieces on the cutting board. I only had one watch, so the color of the face was going to be changed in post processing for each shot.
Next, I picked up the watch very carefully, making sure to move the fruit in the front as little as possible. The more moving that happened the more difficult compositing it all together was going to be. Once the watch was gone I held up a piece of metal resting on the cutting board down the halfway mark of where the watch would be cut. This shot gave me some references for bottom shadows and more importantly the reflections of the cutting board that I lightly painted into the side of the watch.
It's important to recreate as much of this as realistically as possible in front of the camera first, before I even bring these photos into Photoshop. So I cut some thin metal pieces into the shape and size of this watch face dissected down the middle. This is important in order to capture how the colored goo (which was just honey mixed with food coloring) would interact with falling over the bottom and side edges of the watch. It was also important for capturing the shadow of the top edge of the watch that was cast onto the colored goo.
The last shot was the fun part...bring on the goo! I simply poured some colored honey into the cut opening on the top of this metal piece and kept on shooting as it oozed on out.
Of course there were some normal retouching requirements (spots, scratches, etc) and some color adjustments to make. However, the bulk of the work in post processing was painting and "building" the edge of the watch in Photoshop.
This was done by grabbing pieces of the watch links and distorting the angle to show as vertical instead of horizontal. I simply made those pieces of the links into a clipping mask over the flat painted edge.
When all is said and done, all shadows painted, all edges cut, all colors blended, we have our final product- A fun series of juicy watches cut in half and oozing color. What's YOUR flavor? ;)