I enjoy experimenting with photography, whether it is trying something new in finishing or changing the way I shoot. While I shoot in studio with strobes for work, I rarely do so for my art. However, recently, I’ve been obsessed with shooting liquids on white or black backgrounds using my two budget strobes in my dining room. Since I love craft beer, Dunkel specifically, I thought I would shoot a local brew.
I started with a test using a green glass and some old wine. That went fairly well. So, the original spill was not intended, but I liked the way it looked so I left it in.
Then I moved on to the real thing. First, I wanted to make the glass was super clean. Any spots or residue will react with the beer to create unsightly bubbles. Trust me, the beer community is serious about a dirty beer glass. Also, this is not the proper way to pour most beers. While some stouts like an aggressive pour, most beers don’t. Usually, you would angle the glass and slowly pour the beer in. However, I wanted to convey movement and energy, so I did a heavy pour. I love the way the splash and the intense foam in these photos. I also created a video from the stills. You can find that here.
Trying something different
While I started out on a white background, I wanted to try a black background. This was much more complicated as the beer I was trying it with was very dark. The biggest problem is that black shows every spec of dust on the planet and it all lives in my house. Also, I just wasn’t getting that light through the liquid like I wanted.
Spilling the tea
I finally got frustrated and set it aside and went with these glass tea cups. I originally thought they were punch glasses, but someone did a little research and let me know they are actually tea cups. So, it’s a good thing I used coffee, that I made to look like tea! Steam added for fun.
I will keep trying with the black background. I think I need to change the location of the lights which would require a complete location change. But I’ll keep experimenting and keep you posted. Thanks for visiting!
The beer images are available as prints here! The tea series is available here!
Wow, you’ve got some creative images here. Glass and liquids are both tricky to photograph but you (obviously) nailed it. For the “Red Wine Pour” the splashes help do define the image. Good choice to leave them there. Your “Final image” of the beer series is quite interesting, albeit slightly suggestive. My favorite photograph in this article, however, is the glass of dark stout (Hexagon Swarzbier) against the black background. Nicely done, Sharon, very nicely done.
Thank you, Bill. The suggestive item your speaking of is a result of the lighting and not intentional.
Love them all Sharon! Fun stuff. I especially like the one with the beer can behind the glass. Outstanding!
Thank you, Bob!
I also like the wine splash photo best. I’ve always thought photographing glass and liquids is easier than painting or drawing them, but it appears I may be mistaken on that.
The biggest issue is with reflections. But I’ve had a lot of practice with that. LOL!
Love these photographs, so unusual. Really like the ones on the dark background.
One of the best investments I ever made was a book called Light Science and Magic. It has many editions now, but basically it goes through the science of photographing all sorts of objects with a big section on glass and reflective metals as they are among the more difficult subjects. Well worth looking for. I get my copy out from time to time and re-read it!