Product Photography - part 2

by Jools Gowans April. 01, 2009 9975 views

Shooting Bottles

We've learnt a lot about photographing bottles from this session and we still have some way to go but one way to learn is by making mistakes and fixing them.

Our basic setup (which we forgot to photograph) consists of a cardboard box with a sheet of glass on top, a strobe inside the box, two softboxes either side of the bottle, a low power strobe in front of the bottle and a nice black background.

Lesson 1: Clean the bottle and glass well - otherwise you spend ages removing the constellation of dust in post-processing. Got that T-shirt!

Lesson 2: Line the camera up square to the edge of the glass.

Lesson 3: Use a snoot on the strobe beneath the bottle - this flash has to be cranked up, the light will go everywhere without a snoot.

Lesson 4: Place the near edges of the softboxes in line with the bottle to minimise the amount of direct reflection from them.

Lesson 5: Look carefully at the walls and ceiling behind you, these will be reflected in the bottle - choose your location well or use flags and sheeting to control the light from the strobes.

It's Pimms O'Clock!

I put these together to show the effect the strobes have.

On the left, the two softboxes only. The lamps were too far forward, their reflected stripes on the sides of the bottle are a bit wide.

In the middle, the flash underneath only - you can see our improvised cardboard snoot here. Notice the reflections from the softboxes are still there - without the snoot the strobe underneath was causing havoc.

Finally, on the right, both together with the bottle moved forward slightly.

In hindsight, I'd have liked to put the softboxes even further back and to have swilled the liquid to remove the drips in the bottleneck.

Deliciously different

The pale cider and green glass required different proportions of light from above and below.

An improvement I'd like to try following these photographs is to cover the glass top with a shiny black surface but with a circular cutout. This would both eliminate stray light from below and also the double reflection from the glass.

Greene King?

I got bored with the bottles and wanted to revisit the frosted glass chess set, this time illuminated from below and with an added twist…

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There are 3 comments , add yours!
Chris Buchan Jones 10 years, 5 months ago

this is a fatastic set

10 years, 5 months ago Edited
Brian 10 years, 5 months ago

Very Cool! but when do you drink the subjects?! :)

10 years, 5 months ago Edited
Helen Hooker 10 years, 5 months ago

Very classy shots! :-)

10 years, 5 months ago Edited