Behind The Scenes - Safe Word Bottle Shoot

It's been about two years now since I started shooting beer. I never thought I would have been so interested in it. But now two years in, it has become something I look forward to every time I pick up my camera. Trying to capture an image that's in your head and making it real is an amazing feeling. So I've decided to start a behind the scene series to show how I shoot my beertography. First one I'm going to start with is this bottle of Safe Word by Cerebral Brewing.

My wife and I recently picked up this fluffy rug from Ikea, so I had to take advantage of it and use it for a picture. I don't have the fanciest equipment, so you can make do with what you have. I usually am shooting on a budget, from my camera to my lenses. I shoot on the Sony A6000 normally with my Helios 44-2 58mm F/2.

When I'm shooting in my house, my setup usually consists of my camera on a tripod, clamp light, diffuser, and some foam boards. But I recently started experimenting with flash photography, so this one I will be using a flash instead of the clamp light, but you can still get the same results with the clamp light. The foam boards help to bounce light from one source onto another. The diffuser is what the light passes through to diffuse the light as well as enlarge the light.

For this shot I wanted it evenly lit, as well as nice and bright. So I setup my flash on the left side to bounce off a foam board ,which helps enlarge the light, and had it go through my diffuser to soften the glare on the bottle. The foam board on the right side will catch any extra light and bounce it back towards the bottle. 

Usually I start shooting my setup with an empty glass so the beer doesn't get warm while I'm dialing in my settings. After firing off a few shots and dialing in my flash, shutter speed, and aperture, I pour my beer, start firing shots, and adjusting my angles until I get a few shots that I can work with. 

Depending on the beer you're shooting, you can get a nice frothy head that will stick around for a couple snaps, but this one settled out pretty quickly. So all you need to do to add a little bit of head is take a chop stick or skewer and swish the beer around in the glass until a little bit of head starts to form again. 

Once I'm finished shooting, I airdrop my photos onto my phone using my camera's wifi function and PlayMemories app, which saves me a ton of time. Then I use the Lightroom app to adjust my levels and sharpen things up if they need it, which they usually do. Sometimes I'll see random speckles or unwanted glare so I use the Retouch app to remove them. After I'm done editing, I post and hope everyone enjoys my work.

This is a very basic behind the scenes, but I hope you find this helpful! I plan on doing this with more and more of my shots, in hopes of helping someone out there figure something out that I was struggling with when I first started. Please let me know if you find this helpful. If you're also a photographer shooting beer and know some things that can help me better my photos, please drop me a comment or DM. 


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