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Still life “Single Malt” – lo-key

July 12, 2011

Here’s the post dedicated to producing a lo-key still life of the same single malt bottle.

The making of this shot is definitely more complicated, but not impossible.I began with removing the back lable, placed my bottle on a black pane and set up the background drop with a maculate dark cloth, aproximately at six feet from the bottle.
Then I started playing around with my lights: threee 500 W Bowens monoblock flashguns, set to their minimum power.The first idea was to light the bottle with two lights placed on both sides of the bottle, a little behind it, so that the lights were hitting the glass diagonally, to avoid unwanted reflections  – same power (135°-0°) and (225°-0°)The first outcome with this setting was quite good, but not fully satisfying: the background was too dark and the front lable completely in the shade.
I decided to modify the set.

I kept one light behind the bottle, camera right, with a 3×3 bank – my key light (135°-0°).
I placed a white panel opposite to my key light – a little fill to prevent the left side of the bottle to go black.
A few details, though, were not convincing: the backrop was still too dark, the front label was not fully designed, the silhouette of the bottle was not defined and the colour of the liquid was unappealing (… a few details?!).

To get the colour of the whisky right I used a little trick: I cut the shape of the bottle out of a white cardboard and patcthed it behind the bottle. Now the bottle content was reflecting in a very suitable way and all the falls and the unwanted reflections has been eliminated.

I placed a light above the camera, with a snoot, aimed to the front label – my fill light (0°-70°)

Now all I needed was a splash of light on the background and some help to define the bottle contour.

I decided to use a third light, aimed to the ceiling, and shot through a translucent umbrella, flagged by the white panel.
I used more power for this “ambient light” than I used for  my key and fill light. Bingo!

Here’s the set:


From → Photography

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