Click for full screen image.
Taken at 1/125 second at f/16, ISO 125 with a EF100mm f/2.8 Macro USM @ 100 mm

So, every bottle is the same, once you get that first one done, right? If it was, I wouldn’t be writing this post! Besides the obvious difference between white and reds there are a number of other differences that can significantly change your lighting needs and overall setup.

The biggest differences between bottles is:

  • White vs Red
  • Clear vs Translucent vs Opaque bottle
  • Color and reflectivity of the capsule
  • Color and reflectivity of the label
  • Size
Ideally, you will want to have a basic setup that remains the same for all of your different products. You may have to tweak and adjust and add more light for some products as you go, but by having a solid, flexible base lighting setup that works for the simplest bottles you have the most flexibility. Also, this means you don’t have to reinvent the wheel every time, and will get the most consistency in your set of images.

The image to the right is an example of a major challenge because the label. Unlike the bottle posted yesterday or the day before, the label on the front has a black, matte square with silver foil lettering. At the bottom of this post you’ll see an example of this bottle as first photographed using the same setup as the original bottles of Jones Winery Harvest Time. You’ll notice that except for a small strip of light, you can not see the actual label and name at all!

Tomorrow (or Monday…) I will post more details the changes required in the basic setup to accommodate this new challenge. I will say that it involved, in the end, two large pieces of foam core, an additional flash, and a large, translucent diffuser. It also took a couple more hours of building up the overall light in order to get everything completely balanced.

Here’s a bonus suggestion. If you are interested in photographic lighting, I cannot recommend Light: Science & Magic highly enough. It is both theory and practical, and although it is often used as a textbook, it is not dry and unreadable like one. You will learn a lot about light, how it behaves in photographic settings, and how to use that behavior to your advantage.

Click for full screen image.
Taken at 1/125 second at f/16, ISO 125 with a EF100mm f/2.8 Macro USM @ 100 mm