Raise a glass

NPhoto - - Nikon Skills -

1 Dress the scene

Set up your props in an at­trac­tive scene. We rested our props on a slate tile to cre­ate some tex­ture, but wood would also work. We framed this in front of the wooden bar in an old whiskey shop, but you could use a fire­place, win­dow or even a printed pa­per back­drop.

2 Use a tri­pod

So you can keep your hands free to ad­just re­flec­tors and fill up or empty the glass with whiskey, put your cam­era on a tri­pod. Your lens choice isn’t that im­por­tant, but an 18-55mm lens will work per­fectly for this shot. Our fi­nal photo was shot at 55mm.

3 Set up the lights

We placed two Speed­lights (see page 88) in soft­boxes to the left of the bot­tle to side­light the curved edge. They cover a wide area, spread­ing the light across the whole left-hand side of the bot­tle. We then hung a white shower cur­tain in front of the lights for fur­ther dif­fu­sion.

4 Shine a light

Now that we have the light set up, we need to get some light bounc­ing through the bot­tle. Cut the sil­ver or gold card into the shape of the bot­tle, with a folded arm to prop it up. Po­si­tion the card op­po­site the light at 45 de­grees, so that it bounces light back through the glass.

5 Drag the shutter

We set the light to ¼ power, then di­alled 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 (this is called drag­ging the shutter).

6 Lift the la­bel

Now that the bot­tle and glass are start­ing to sing, the la­bel needs a lift too. Cut the left­over gold card into a rec­tan­gle a bit big­ger than the length of the la­bel and hold it op­po­site the light. Ex­per­i­ment with the place­ment un­til you’re happy

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