Project 52

Assignment 43 - Final Free Shoot

I've found that the free shoots are the toughest.  Subject matter: endless.  Portrait? Maybe.  Product shot?  Could do.  Food?  What to cook?  For many of the free shots we've had this year I've attempted to get better at shooting bottles - wine bottles, beer bottles, etc.  So I finally decided that I'd shoot a product shot of beer.  (For my Hong Kong ladies out there, I did not drink the beer.  And no, I'm not feeling ill.)

I went to our spare refrigerator to see what we had "in stock," and came across a Flower Power from Ithaca Beer Company.  Flower Power is an India Pale Ale, which is one of Doug's favorite types of beer, so we often have it on hand.  Additionally, Ithaca is about an hour from my parents' house, so I've been to the their brewpub a couple of times.  I had tried to get their brew master to participate in my "Hands On" photography project last year, but the marketing department got involved and that ended that.  Oh well...no hard feelings!

I set up the shot with an empty bottle, sitting on a piece of glass and lime green wrapping paper as the backdrop.  I've found that practicing with these bottles over the past year has made the set up process a lot quicker.  I set up a 10" x 36" stripbox 90° to camera left and a modified 24" x 36" softbox (half the surface was blocked by a black cloth - essentially making it a stripbox) 90° to camera right.  The glass surface was looking a little dark, so I put a small softbox over the top of the scene.  The light over the top was producing a lot of light on the background, so I blocked the back part of the light with a black foam core board.

Once I got the lighting settled, I ran to the store to purchase some flowers.  The store always has daisies dyed in crazy colors, so I was hoping for some that matched the Flower Power logo.  I was in luck - purple, yellow and lime green.  I came home and scattered the daisies around the scene.  I took a few practice shots and noticed the over head light was making the flower coming out of the top of the bottle too washed out, so I put a scrim between the light and the scene.

I used a squirt bottle to get water droplets on the bottle and the flowers.  I also created cutouts of a beer bottle and a pint glass, made out of reflective gold cardboard, and put them behind the bottle and the glass.  This kicks light through the glass and makes it look a bit brighter than it would without it.  Then I poured the beer in the glass and as the head was forming, I snapped a few shots.  I needed a bit more light on the label, so I put a small white card in front to kick some light onto it.  After a few tweaks in photoshop, I settled on the image below:

Next week's assignment is to shoot three "catalog" images for a high end restaurant supply company, focusing on something used for serving.  I have tons of ideas, and it's also sparking an urge to head to Crate and Barrel to see if I can find something interesting to use!   

The Behind the Scenes image for this week's shot

The Behind the Scenes image for this week's shot