Learning to light and photograph beer

Sorry it has been a while since I posted something. I have been pretty busy, but learning lots to apply to my photography and post for all of you to see!

In my Advanced Studio Techniques class we learned a few tricks and tips for food and beverage photography. One of them is how to get the really vibrant glow in beer bottles or other bottled products.  Now a magician never reveals their secrets, but let’s face it, I’m no magician so here you go.

To get the nice warm tones in bottled product you simply use a reflective piece of tagboard or card stock (preferably gold though silver will work too) and cut it to the shape of the bottle or glass. It is important to make sure that the cardstock is slightly smaller than the bottle to insure that the card stock doesn’t appear in the image. Then you use a type of sticky tack, photographer’s wax, or something of that consistency and adhere it to the card stock. Then place the card stock behind the object being photographed but at an angle which reflects the light source you are using back into the bottle. (for a more precise explanation this is basically finding the angle of incidence to reflect light properly)

The next trick is how to get all those awesome delicious looking condensation droplets onto bottles.  The best recipe is to mix a 1:1 ratio of water and Glycerin. Place the mixture into an atomizer (spray bottle) and spray onto the surface you are photographing. Now, I didn’t have any Glycerin on hand so I used corn syrup and water…which works…but not really that well. I need to go out and find some Glycerin to make it really work.

Anyways, this is just a first attempt so there is plenty to improve upon as I reviewed the images. Hopefully after a few tries and finding the right ingredients I’ll have some better examples to show you all. In the mean time, here is a few. P.S. Leinenkugel’s is all I had on hand…


4 Replies to “Learning to light and photograph beer”

  1. Sierra says:

    These look great!

  2. beth says:

    nom nom nom with the nommy beers!

  3. Aimee Starr says:

    Nice job!!! This is hard to do. The droplets look good. I think a bit of frosting to the bottle would be icing on the cake to make them look extra cold and tempting. : ) Did you try anything?

  4. Gnome Photo says:

    well I couldn’t seem to find any glycerine in Warrensburg which is what Ownby recommended to make a really nice misted effect. All I had was corn syrup and water, which sort of did the trick, but not really. I don’t really know how else to make a frosted look…suggestions? 🙂

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