Rolex Retouching Timelapse Demonstrates Astonishing Skill and Attention to Detail

Okay, we know you’ve asked for less time-lapses and we’re doing our best to kick the habit, but this one couldn’t be helped, and we’re pretty sure you’ll forgive us. It’s not your standard stunning landscape time-lapse, this one shows the remarkable attention to detail and skill that goes into taking a great photograph of a Rolex watch, and making it phenomenal.

The video was put together by German photographer Andreas Jörg, who wanted to showcase the amount of work that goes into post-processing a professional product shot. In all, the time-lapse compresses a total of 2 hours of retouching work into just nine minutes and one second.

Here’s a before and after:



The original photos were taken with a Phase One and Mamiya Leaf, and lest you think he captured crappy images and trusted in his Photoshop skills to fix them, that shoot took one and a half hours and spit out a few pretty incredible photos to begin with. As we said at the top, what he does in the video is take a great photo and make it phenomenal… and maybe blow our minds a bit in the process.

To see more examples of Jörg’s photography, head over to his website here. And if you’d like to watch him work some more, you can find more retouching videos on his YouTube channel here.

(via Fstoppers)

  • Lajos Andrejkovics

    Fantastic but it’s more of a painting than a photograph in the end

  • Olivier Sylvestre

    Looks like a 3d rendered watch in the end…

  • Russian Photographer

    overretouched. first pic was good enough. might need a little enhancement., but not this rape by photoshopist.

  • Snarkasaurus

    “False advertising”? Uh, no. This is just “advertising.”

  • Guest

    The final image looks like a CG render. If that’s the look the AD wanted, they should have cut to the chase and used a CG model.

  • Jason Dunn

    Where is Alex Koloskov when you need him? :)


    As a photographer with +20 years of Photoshop under his belt the only thing that surprises me in the final is the inner ring of the rotating bezel was not cleaned up to perfection.

  • Ken Elliott

    Same here. The original image looks real, but the edited version looks like it was ray-traced (rendered). It is just a bit too sterile. But this could be a case where the image needed to be a bit “crunchy” to reproduce well on a web press. Such images print well, but look overdone on a monitor – which most of us use to read the web.

  • Adam Cross

    of course it’s false advertising, just like all the food photographs you see advertising McDonals, Burger King etc, the food is highly stylised and never what you actually receive. It’s false advertising, but people are aware of what they’re getting. it’s no big deal

  • Adam Cross

    damn, I was expecting some composite work, but holy crap

  • Adam Cross

    that’s kinda the point of high brand stuff, it’s supposed to look unattainable .

  • Vin Weathermon

    I know a commercial photographer who in fact did it with lighting (film) for De Beers and others; it was considered a very specialized skill to light every reflective surface. The photography I am talking about was very expensive. Doing the compositing in post is a good way to pay a photographer less to shoot the jewelry.

  • Vin Weathermon

    Calling someone amazingly ignorant is, well, amazing. Have you ever known a commercial jewelry photographer that used to shoot for major ad companies? I do. The shot usually took all day and included set designer, etc. for one shot chosen by the art director. You shoot until it is perfect. A graphic designer did his thing with the ad design, but the shot was the shot for the most part. Today this work is done with composites because it is way cheaper, you don’t have to pay the photographer as much.

  • gato

    “Fewer time lapses,” maybe

  • MMielech

    ” The shot usually took all day and included set designer, etc. for one shot chosen by the art director. You shoot until it is perfect. A graphic designer did his thing with the ad design, but the shot was the shot for the most part.”

    You must be a photographer from the stone ages. And, trust me, that work was retouched, too. A lot.
    And, composites aren’t much cheaper. Retouching is expensive. I’m guessing that 50 to 80 hours was billed on that little demo alone, and that shot isn’t all that great. Check out some modern watch ads. Retouching expense is easily over 50 grand, maybe 100. Who needs photographers, anyway?

    Oh, and, set designer? What set?

  • Paolo Bubu

    Actually once you have the 3D model done (and you probably have it built by engineers who made the watch) the rendering isn’t that hard at all. Look at programs like Keyshot…