Photographing a Bottle and Glass
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Have you ever wanted to shoot some still life at home but don't have studio lighting? With the advent of digital cameras and the ability to change white balance it's now possible using existing lighting we have around your homes. By using bedside, office, angle poise, and any other lights we may find around the house, we can shoot professional looking still life.
A standard way of shooting a bottle of wine would be by reflection, with a white card lit by a flash or tungsten spotlight, in our case an angle poise lamp, with the card reflecting on the left hand side of the bottle. Why always the left? Well, in the same way as we read from left to right it is easier to read from light to dark.
Having lit the left hand side with an angle poise lamp shining on the white card, we can then light the other side with a reflector. The background then may be lit as required with another bedside or standard light.
The most important thing is not to allow any direct light to fall on the bottle, therefore avoiding any unwanted highlights.
From then on it is up to the individual person to improve the image by cutting the reflectors to different shapes, many bottles and glasses require card that is narrower at the bottom than at the top or the reverse, depending on the shape of the subject. Small mirrors, silver card or even a torch can be used to add light here and there as required. Black card can be used to cut light and reflections that are not wanted.
Important things to remember.
2: Equip yourself with ways of holding reflectors steady (clothes pegs, bulldog clips, tape or even lean them against a bottle.) There is nothing worse than having everything falling down just before you shoot.