SATISFY THE GERMAN IN YOU
This shot was taken for an assignment for a photography hangout I take part in on Google+. The idea was to shoot an advertisement style beer shot. I happened to have several bottles of Paulaner beer and the proper glasses they’re served in so I figured this would be the best choice of subject for my shot.
IDEA AND COMPOSITION
For the composition I wanted to some how show the bottles and glass in various states of falling down. You’ll notice the glass starting to tip over, and the bottles either on their way down or horizontal already. I also wanted to show the typical ‘sweating’ look that you see in a lot of beer advertisements in magazines and on television.
For this shot I used 3 strobes, some white foam core boards for bouncing, a piece of translum plastic sheet (I found that on B&H – great stuff) to make a shooting table, poster putty, glycerin and water.
After setting up my shooting table, I posed all the bottles and the glass. I used a little poster putty (the stuff you can use to hang posters on the wall with) to prop the glass to show it leaning over. I wanted to get all the lighting set before filling the glass with beer and also giving the bottles and glass the ‘sweaty’ look.
I place a strobe fitted with my DIY strip box off to the right and shot through a diffusion panel. I had a second strobe on a boom up above the subject aiming back to to light the background. Just above the subject I had a small piece of foam core to remove the light spill from the second strobe from blowing out the whites on the bottle caps. I then had a third strobe just left of the camera fitted with a DIY snoot (I used a paper towel roll center and gaffer tape to attach to strobe) aimed at the labels to get those to expose correctly.
Once I had the shot the way I was hoping for, lighting wise, I spritzed the bottles and glass with a mixture of glycerin and water. I just made a 1:1 ratio mixture. This gets the water a bit thicker to help having staying power on the surfaces so they don’t just drip away. Last but not least, I filled the glass with beer. I wanted to have a proper head on top and though this is a hefeweizen beer, I didn’t want the yeast to cloud the glass so I had to pour carefully.
To get the final shot I made one exposure. I didn’t a little color correction in Lightroom and then brought the image into Photoshop and spend a few hours cleaning the image. I made sure the background was white. I also had a few shadows I wasn’t happy with so I removed those as well.
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Please also find below this final image a few outtake shots and bts(behind the scenes) shots I took with my phone.
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Here are some BTS (Behind the scenes) shots of my setup. This first shot below shows the strip box above on the boom and the strip box to the right through the diffusion panel. You can also see the foam core I used to reduce light spill. I also had a diffusion panel to soften the light on the back side of the subject.
Here is another angle showing more of the same, but gets you a better idea on the setup.
This final shot shows the strobe with the DIY snoot to focus light onto the labels of the bottles. It also shows my camera position.