We often get asked about product photography and photographing wine bottles. Here is a great article shared by broncolor CH, and written by the amazing folks at Still Moving Media. So if you ever wondered how photographers solve photographing a tricky subject, please read on…
Shooting glass always comes with an array of challenges. Add in multiple surfaces bouncing light in all sorts of directions and the challenge is amplified ten-fold. When we chatted to Vikarus about shooting their beautifully crafted wine bottles, the team was all very excited by the technicalities of shooting something so intricate.
VIKARUS is an innovative wine company from Switzerland. Innovative not only in their unique bottle, but also in the way they work, they collaborate closely with their chosen wine producers, assisting them in the fields to select the most exceptional grapes in the region, which they then fill into their unique VIKARUS bottle which we had the pleasure of shooting at our Cheltenham-based studio.
Refraction and reflection
The main challenge that our team found when shooting the Vikarus bottles was figuring out how to light the product. When dealing with a vessel that has multiple surface areas such as this, the light will refract (shine through) and reflect (bounce off) in a very unique way. To the naked eye, this all looks incredible, however add in a camera and each surface has to be carefully considered and accounted for to avoid any unwanted reflections.
Negative fill and white bounce
For the shoot, we captured still and moving imagery of the red, rose and white wines from Vikarus. With this, further hurdles were presented with the varying colours of liquid. For the red wine, the darker liquid, we used negative fill to block reflected light and create shape in the bottle. With the paler coloured and translucent liquid, we used white bounce to direct and share the light as needed.
Controlling light gradients
Softening the light and ensuring that varying gradients aren’t reflecting from different light sources is also something we had to consider throughout the shoot. To do this, we used large diffusion sheets on set. This also ensured that the light wasn’t discolouring the red wine in any way.
We used a battery-powered light for the shoot to give us the flexibility to maneuver the lights as needed without worrying about cables – both making our lives easier and reducing potential trip hazards. The Siros 800L lights was the perfect lighting partner here, offering a cable-free solution with great battery life and incredible power.
Capturing film and photography side-by-side
Shooting film at the same time as capturing photography allowed us to work much more efficiently. Being able to take our photography modifiers and put them straight onto the Broncolor F160 LED’s really helped with this.
We were able to apply the same photography technique to the film shoot, using diffusion frames to shape light on the complex bottle. Another huge benefit of the lighting setup we had in place was the use of Broncolor’s LED lights to ensure that there was no colour variation throughout the day. The high-spec LEDs kept a constant colour throughout, not adjusting with age at all – this is incredibly important when shooting wine as any change in colour temperature would have altered the colour of the contents inside the bottle. It was imperative that we avoided this.
The aesthetics of Vikarus are a true differentiator for the brand, and so, capturing imagery that is exemplary was paramount. Vikarus truly offers an exquisite drinking experience for the modern wine lover. The StillMoving team can certainly vouch for this following a toast to wrap the shoot.