product photography challenge

March 31, 2024  •  8 Comments

Happy April Fool's Day!

This week's blog began because I needed a watch.  I have always loved watches and when Fred suggested he buy me a watch for my birthday, I hemmed and hawed for a minute or two and went to the computer to search for watches made in America by American small businesses.  There were more small businesses than I expected and an astounding number of watches.  Dive watches, aviators watches, dress watches.  Reasonably priced to extremely expensive.  And I wasn't even looking for a digital time piece or smart watch.  Going through the lists of "best American-made watches", I was finding the same companies featured.  Many of the watches seem to be made for men or those with larger wrists.  When I stumbled upon The Waterloo watch at DuFrane Watches, I did wonder if it would simply be too big.  So my next step was to send an email to the owner and watch designer Steven Lee with a wrist measurement.  He responded very quickly with photographs and measurements of the watch and strap.  In my mind, that was a really good sign.  After several more questions answered almost immediately, I placed the order, despite the name Waterloo and Napoleon's defeat.  Why name a watch Waterloo?  As it turns out, Waterloo is the short-lived, original name for what is now Austin, Texas, and apparently, many businesses carry the name.  From Waterloo Sparkling Water Company and Waterloo Records, to the Waterloo Ice House, usage of it is very common.

Looking at the great product photography on the DuFrane website, it was truly crazy for me to think I could equal that, which I absolutely did not. But since I had told Mr. Lee I would send him some images, I spent a good chunk of time working on that evasive image.  It was an excellent photographic challenge, in which soft but balance light is the key.  The first image comes close, with natural brown Navajo-churro wool from Cedar Mesa Ranch in Dolores, Colorado.

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The afternoon light in the image below is much too harsh, lending a more dramatic look, rather than soft.  On some level, it works.

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Then there are the images of me wearing the watch.  My skin is of a certain age that lends mostly freckles and spots rather than smoothness.  Makes the rocks a perfect backdrop.  Fred shot these images. 

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Since I started with a shot of the watch on wool, it just seem appropriate to include one my very multi-colored hair and the watch.

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The light on the watch and rug is balanced enough to bring out the best in the watch.  This is Fred's latest rug, 403.

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My thanks to Barbara F. R., Ingrid, Jean & Sam, Victoria, Terry T., Char, Kay, Marilyn G., Catherine, Sara, TTT, Steve, Pauli, and Rebecca A. for commenting this week, to Carol, Pater, and Fred for encouraging me to use this as a blog subject, and to Steven Lee and Fred for providing the watch and backdrops.  

Spring has definitely arrived in New Mexico as well as many other places in the northern hemisphere, and my hope is that all of you embrace it and its many joys in the coming weeks!

until next Monday,


a passion for the image© 



Very nice! I especially liked the one of the watch against the back of your head
Paule Marx(non-registered)
Happy Birthday! And the watch and shots are beautiful
Terry Thompson(non-registered)
Well, this opens you up to a whole new field in photography. Bring on the commercial clients. The watch is good looking and your photos do it justice on the high end. Made me think about my watch that I've worn almost everyday since Christmas 1983. My boss at the time gave it to me so I'd know how long to decompress under the boat on deep dives. It is a Rolex Submariner (scuba divers watch) Had it cleaned once in 1997 and again in 2023. Now it just keeps on ticking ... May we all keep on ticking. TPT
Steve Immel(non-registered)
Thanks for the fun story about DuFrane watches and your very own model. Congratulations on your weel-deserved birthday gift to yourself. Your photographs do the handsome time pieces proud. That's quite a selection of backdrops as always. I think I favor the ones on your wrist but that may be because they're tighter shots. How does it feel to have that whopper on your svelte appendage? I think it looks fabulous. Did you notice how the watch face is the same tones as the background in image two?

DuFrane's website is an Austin hipster standout.
Wow! Terrific photos and a great blog post. I loved learning about Dufrane watches.
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