When taking photos of watches on straps (and bracelets, too, to a degree) it can be difficult to get the strap to form an open natural-looking rounded shape - almost as if it were on a wrist. There are various ways to do this, but I use a very simple method that requires only a cheap and simple item. I use watchmaker's 2mm pegwood, but wooden skewers from the supermarket would work just as well.
It's a simple matter of doing up the strap to whatever length will allow a good full circle to be formed. A rough measurement of the distance along the middle of the "circle" is taken and a piece of pegwood is cut to slightly over that length, (so that it will be a firm enough fit). The wood is then wedged from side to side within the strap to hold it open, as shown below. Now, the shape may not necessarily be round, or even centrally positioned, but rather what looks good from the camera's perspective. What is behind the scene the viewer need never know about! :-)
And, we end up with something that looks like the shot below. Often the pegwood isn't visible at all, but if it is visible between the case and strap it is an easy matter to remove it with the clone tool in editing. The wooden prop does no damage to the strap.
Below are other watch photos in which I have used this same simple propping method.
In a situation as with the Omega shot below the wooden prop was positioned closer to the watch head so that it would be largely hidden and little editing would be required. This can be done whilst still forming a suitable open strap shape.
In the shot below you can just see the pegwood in the gap between case and strap. It was unobtrusive enough that I decided to just leave it as is. Unless the viewer knows to look for it they would be unlikely to recognise what it was.
It can work just as well whether the watch is laying down or standing upright as in the shot below.
Sometimes bracelets won't sit open well by themselves and the same method works on them.
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Copyright 2006-2010 Paul Delury