Raise a glass
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