Shooting Booze…”I’ll Drink To That”

December 13, 2011 § 3 Comments

Soft Overhead and Diffused Backlight with Gel

I’ve always enjoyed shooting booze shots…all the earthy, warm colors and backlit glassware, make for beautiful images.  I shot all of these with the diffused overhead light I used in my “Old Books” images that I blogged awhile back.  This time, I also added a diffused light in the back to highlight the glassware, liquid, and ice cubes.  I’ve described the overhead light in previous blogs, but let me explain what I did with the backlight.  I have a head with a reflector/grid behind a white translucent plexi wall.  I also clipped my “smoked” plexi to the front of the white plexi.  The backlight has a piece of diffusion material over it, and in the first shot, I even added a gold gel to the grid/diffusion material.  The overhead light gives a nice highlight to the tops of the ice cubes and the decanters.  With the shot of the hand holding the glass, I set my camera on the 10 second delay, pressed the shutter and walked over to the set and lightly held the glass…remembering to not block the light coming in from the back.  The last thing as far as the lighting is concerned, is how I added a small mirror behind the glass and aluminum foil behind the decanters.  These add a real pop and sparkle to the liquid.  Lastly, I added a piece of pvc tubing that I spray painted black to the front edge of the set to give the images that “bar” look.  I have a couple of booze shots on my website which I shot around 20-25 years ago.  I bought my acrylic ice cubes from Tom Trengrove who owned Starbuck Studio back then.  Tom continues to make the finest “fake” ice cubes, snow, splashes and even fruit, that you can find anywhere…check out his site at  Tom has a second company named “Greatfakes” which has some of his products at a more economical price…you can take your time setting everything up, and nothing melts!

"The Hand"

"Behind the Scenes Front View"

"Behind the Scenes Side View"

"Overhead View"

As always, hope you enjoyed this!


§ 3 Responses to Shooting Booze…”I’ll Drink To That”

  • Fabulous blog and very educational with regards to lighting set ups, reminds me when I was an assistant to some very special Still Life photographers. We purchased some acrylic ice off ebay some years ago, we could do with some similar to the above so will use the contact. Any thoughts of eventually producing a book via blurb, it would do well I am sure. Thanks for sharing, never too old to teach old dogs new tricks!

  • Such knowledge, patience and attention to detail — the difference between someone with a camera and a professional photographer. You do great work Jon.

  • Jon DeVaul says:

    @Carl…thanks so much, glad you enjoyed it. Do check out Trengrove! I have thought about doing a book. My latest portfolio is a “coffee table” type book I did with Blurb…before I got back to shooting still life, so there’s no still life in the book! Maybe by spring!!

    @ Diana…great to hear from you again, how are things? Still hoping to work with you sometime in the future…I got my fingers crossed…you do nice work!

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