Chasing Rays Blog

Bunnahabhain Whisky Product Shoot

Bunnahabhain Whisky Product Shoot

This is the second shoot in a series begun with a bottle of maple syrup to demonstrate product shoots using mixed off-camera lighting sources, in this case using a bottle of Bunnahabhain Whisky.

The lighting setup was very similar to the one used in my maple syrup shoot.
"This is the second shoot in my mixed off-camera lighting sources series, using a bottle of Bunnahabhain Whisky…"

In order to maintain the warm, classic feeling I felt more appropriate to a bottle of whisky, I did this shoot on a freshly polished oak table.

A white backdrop a few feet behind the bottle was illuminated with a 160 LED video light, which was gelled with a full-CTO gel block to give a similarly warm, diffuse glow behind the whisky.

Whilst this didn’t produce a sharp, clear reflection, I was able to get a relatively light reflection in the table by unmasking the relevant part of the image produced when I placed a gold card behind the bottle and tumbler.

One thing this kind of product shoot will not allow for is the luminous inner glow through you can see through the liquid – you produce this by illuminating the liquid from behind, hence the gold card and the need to use Photoshop CC to make a composite image; you have to clip out any card that shows past the edges of the bottle in the appropriate layer.

Side lighting was provided by two gridded softboxes with an extra layer of tracing paper over the front to further diffuse their light; the softbox flashes were remotely triggered using a Phottix Odin transmitter and receiver set.

I finally used a snooted LED angle-poise desk lamp to highlight the whisky brand name. I felt the highlighting was possibly too sharp on some of the images you can see in my mini-gallery below, so I allowed it to become more diffuse in some of my later images (basically, via a larger hole in the snoot).

This light source had a temperature in the region of 3500 K, so I didn’t need to gel or correct the colour temperature to maintain the feeling I wanted from the shoot. It was also used, as part of the composite image, to illuminate the small pile of oats in the foreground, which were included for additional effect.

This is all summarised in this lighting diagram:

The ice cubes, incidentally, are fake – they are shaped Perspex cubes that cost a few pounds for a bag of 16; real ice cubes melt too quickly to last an entire shoot, which in this case was about three to four hours, so an alternative has to be found.

To give a sharp, consistent image, the camera was set on a tripod about five feet from the product, with focus set to manual to prevent the lens VR from softening the image slightly via minor servo actions whilst the shot was being taken.

I hope you like the images I produced for my mini-gallery, below. This is a fine whisky, so I hope you’ll also appreciate the reasons why the bottle is two-thirds empty…

All the best,

Chasing Rays Photography.




Hardware Used


About the Author

Mark Watkins

Mark WatkinsI've been a photographer since 2006 and a computer fanatic since 1995. I hope to share my passion for photography with you through the products and services I offer through my website. See me on Google+ | Facebook | Twitter | LinkedInView all posts by Mark Watkins →

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