This shoot was inspired by a guy that I follow on Instagram: Richard Miyake. His compositions are some of the best I have seen on Instagram when it comes to wine.
As soon as I saw this photo I knew that I wanted to attempt it. It was composed perfectly. The bottle is cutting diagonally through the frame, the wine glass is holding attention and intrigue in the top right of the frame, and the label is perfectly lit as the light falls off around the subjects. I wanted a photo like this in my portfolio. Let me show you how I did it.
- BACKFLIP PHOTO RPL-600EX
- CANON 6D
- CANON 24-70 2.8 II
- CANON 600EX-RT SPEEDLITES X2
- CANON ST-E3-RT
- FLASHPOINT 9′ LIGHTSTAND
- FLASHPOINT 7′ LIGHTSTAND
- SURFACE PRO 2
I usually set my shoots up in my garage but this particular night we got a rare rain in California and it was nippy, so forget that. I took over our living room and was happy to do so. I set my “tabletop” out, a piece of slate I picked up at a local quarry that I placed on top of a small table. I set the bottle up the way that Richard had and positioned the glass in about the same area. My test shot revealed that even though I had all the lights on in the room they were not going to affect my lighting. I set it at f/9 – 160sec ISO 100. I took a shot and it was black. Perfect, because that means the only light that will influence my photo will be my flashes. I put my flashes on the stands and setup light number 1. Placing the light to camera right and dialing it to 1/32 power gave me this:
I practically jumped out of my skin when I saw the image come up on my LCD. I wasn’t expecting such a great red light over the label and it was almost perfectly lit. It was angled a little low and lighting my slate, but overall the result was one of my best starting point shots. Small victories like this make me think I really do know what the hell I am talking about. I wanted a more mysterious shot so I re-angled the light to a higher position so that it wouldn’t nail that slate top.
Now were talking. As you can see the result shows minimal light hitting my tabletop: complete transparency. Next, I zoomed in my 600EX-RT to 200mm and it was only 3 ft from my subject. My next job was to create a little fill light from camera left on my subject. I opted to go with a red gel from my Backflip Photo RPL-600EX which you can get you very own of if you own a 600EX-RT speedlite HERE. (more flash units coming soon) My goal was to add a subtle hint of red to just kiss the scene and make more of an impact.
And it worked to! I got this great red glow that was going to work well with Light 1.
This light was set to its lowest power setting about 2 stops lower than Light 1, so that when Light 1 fired it would overpower the scene and the only places Light 2 would effect would be the areas where Light 1 was not hitting. Blending the two lights got me here.
At this point I am really liking where this is headed. The image however is lacking definition, and its a little hard to know exactly what you are you looking at. I added a white poster board at the top of the frame to bounce a little bit from Light 1 back into the bottle to outline the neck.
Now this was going to give me what I am going for. I would have to do a bit of post to clean up the spilled light back onto my tabletop and to brighten the neck just a tad more but this was about it and I was happy to call it a night
The post processing really consisted of just knocking down that spilled light that hit my table top and clearing out a few unsightly highlights on my glass and the bottle and it was done. I ended up with the shot I was looking for and I couldn’t be more pleased. Total time for shoot and post 1.3 hours.