Shoot a stunning still life using an alcohol bottle or wine bottle, and create striking reflections using flash .
Taking a shocking painting shot is one among the good pleasures of photography – and an excellent thanks to squeeze every pixel of detail out of your camera and lenses. However, many of us find it hard to seek out an appropriate subject.
It’s not often that alcohol is that the answer, but during this case the perfect painting subject is sitting in your drinks cabinet, as a well-lit beautiful booze bottle can produce amazing results.
It’s also an honest challenge for your lighting skills, as glass provides opportunities for striking reflections (whether you would like them or not!) so controlling the sunshine is vital . We used a bottle and a glass of whiskey to make a classic still-life shot that radiates timeless style – and it’s very easy to line up and shoot images like this reception .
You don’t need any special equipment, just a few of lights (which could even be home desk lamps, instead of photography studio lights) and a few diffusion (which you’ll also create and enhance using affordable household objects).
We’ve also used a slate tile as a beautiful base to pop our product onto, to form it look even more desirable – and that we even have one or two tips that people just won’t tell you about, like using reflective silver or gold card.
The result’s a shocking painting that might check out range in the pages of a glossy magazine advert…
Shooting a still life: Raise a glass!
01. Dress the scene
Set up your props in a beautiful scene. We rested our props on a slate tile to make some texture, but wood would also work. We framed this ahead of the wooden bar in an old whiskey shop, but you’ll use a hearth , window or maybe a printed paper backdrop.
02. Use a tripod
Put your camera on a tripod, in order that you’ll keep your hands liberal to adjust reflectors and refill or empty the glass. Your lens choice isn’t that important; we shot at 82mm, so your kit lens or a 70-200mm would be ideal.
03. found out the lights
We placed two speed lights in softboxes to the left of the bottle to sidelight the curved edge. They cover a good area, spreading the sunshine across the entire left-hand side of the bottle. We then hung a white curtain ahead of the lights for further diffusion.
04. Shine a light-weight
Now that we’ve the sunshine found out , we’d like to urge some light bouncing through the bottle. Cut some silver or gold card into the form of the bottle, with a folded arm to prop it up. Position the cardboard opposite the sunshine at 45 degrees, in order that it bounces light back through the glass.
05. Drag the shutter
We set the sunshine to ¼ power, then dialed in an aperture of f/6.3 on the camera to throw the background out of focus. At ISO100, we went from 1/200 sec shutter speed (sync speed) to 1/30 sec to lighten the backdrop.
06. Lift the label
Now that the bottle and glass are beginning to sing, the label needs a lift also . Cut the leftover gold card into a rectangle a touch bigger than the length of the label and hold it opposite the sunshine . Experiment with the location until you’re happy.
07. Faking it
If you can’t afford the whiskey, or simply don’t want to waste it for round , use some weak tea! it’s an equivalent as whiskey within the photograph and it gives you the chance to stay the bottle full. We promise we won’t tell anyone…