And why not, indeed? I'd had an idea for some time that my big 44mm Glycine Incursore watch was large enough to land a helicopter on and had half-formed an image in my mind. To that end I found a small toy helicopter to use as a prop.

I wanted to picture the helicopter lifting off from the watch/helipad and staged the watch and helicopter in the one shot. I could have shot them separately and combined the images digitally but I like shooting things together when possible, (besides, I'd searched for a fair while to find a toy small enough!) The background is an A4 sheet of art paper curved up behind to form a seamless background with just a touch of texture At left you can see behind the scenes. The helicopter is suspended above the watch by use of a small wooden dowel taped to the side of the toy and set in Blu-tack putty behind the watch. It was a simple setup. The dowel that was visible in the image was removed digitally. Lighting was from an overhead diffused fluorescent lamp.

A problem was the helicopter's main and tail rotors. Of course I wanted them to be turning and for the main rotor this was solved by moving it during the exposure. Below you can see my itchy finger waiting to spin the rotor.

And here's the result. The rotor is a bit too invisible in this shot and I had to experiment a little before I got a spin speed that still recorded enough of the rotor to be effective. The little tail rotor wasn't spinnable and I only had two hands anyway and one was busy pressing the shutter release! So, I worked on the tail rotor digitally, adding quite a bit of motion blur in the correct directions to make it look like it is moving. I also added a bit of motion blur to the bottom of the helicopter to give a feeling of movement.

The dial of the watch needed to be converted into a reasonable facsimile of a helipad. I selected the dial/crystal area and coloured it dark grey. I then painted on the "H" and an outline circle in off-white. A sandstone texture was added to make it look a bit like tarmac, and the lettering and ring weathered a little to make the whole thing look used. Below is the end result of all this jiggery-pockery. Just a bit of fun.

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Copyright 2005 Paul Delury