When I first started taking pictures of beer bottles I had no idea it would become an obsession to try and capture them with the best possible light. And after initially only shooting the bottle I decided to also shoot the product to give those interested in beer a better representation of what I was drinking. Those of you who follow my facebook page have seen the difference in the first couple of shots and what I am currently putting up in my beer album. I am trying to get into the habit of putting those images on my flickr site as well.
After the countless shots I have taken I have realized that the simpler setups seem to be yielding the better results. But as a person who always believes I can do better I am sure that I will continue to try and improve even more on what I have already accomplished.
White Foam Core Board and Black Foam Core Board have been the most important tools working on this lighting. In fact the removal of stray light has been the more difficult task in shooting glass bottles. I typically will have one of each foam core board on the left and right side of the product to mostly block light from giving me hot spots normally seen on the neck. The boards also can give the nice long rectangular light on the glass when using my SB-600 and bouncing it. This however hasn’t been illuminating the bottles enough for me. I also learned that the Nikon CLS system isn’t perfect when shooting objects at close range with a close backdrop. The built in flash in commander mode still illuminates enough to cast a shadow.
One tool that I have been using a lot lately is the HonlPhoto Speed Gobo Flag/Barndoor/Bounce Card. I am constantly attaching this to my SB-600s or hand holding it in front of my built in flash to direct light where I want it.
The shot below is using one black foam core board right of camera, one white foam core board left of camera, scene is lit with the SB-600 and using the Honl as a Flag preventing direct light spill.
I think I like the way some of my other shots look better with the light panel on the side. Of course I will continue to shoot them differently and post them as I drink them to my facebook page.