There are numerous tutorials on the internet explaining how to photograph bottles of beer, wine, vodka (insert tipple of your choice). However, they all consist of multiple light set-ups, many of which would be very expensive to replicate in your own home. I decided to see if I could recreate a similar image using a single Yongnuo speedlight. Here is how I did it.
Because I was going to have to re-position the speedlight several times during the shoot I locked the camera onto a tripod. I was attempting this in my lounge, mid-afternoon so I dialed in settings similar to those used to create low key images (ie. shutter speed 1/200 & aperture f/16 to give a completely black image). After focusing on the bottle I switched to manual to stop the camera hunting between images. I also had the 10 second shutter delay function active as I didn’t have my remote switch handy.
I placed the speedlight as follows:
- Directly behind the bottle (power 1/128). This would give the glow inside.
- Facing down onto the bottle with the pop down diffuser on the flash.
- From the side & slightly behind the bottle (power 1/32), still diffused. This would highlight the edges (see below). Repeat for the other side.
- In front of the bottle, angled 45 degrees downwards (1/2 power), diffused. This is to illuminate the label.
Once I had my images it was simply a case of uploading them to Photoshop Elements, dragging each one in turn onto one another, checking their alignment (very important just in case the camera had moved slightly), adding a layer mask Alt + Add Layer Mask & revealing the parts of that image I required using a soft edged brush.