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How one can Keep away from Reflections in Beverage Pictures

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How one can keep away from reflections in pictures is one thing all of us need to know. Some of the usually requested questions I obtain is “how do I handle reflections when taking pictures drinks?”.

At the moment I’ll stroll you thru this virgin amaretto bitter photoshoot. Together with sharing key methods I make use of that assist simplify the challenges I face when photographing reflective glassware.

I primarily work with synthetic gentle due to the management and consistency it gives. This explicit photoshoot occurred at 4 pm in late February, being within the northern hemisphere, meant a 6 pm sundown. I didn’t really feel rushed, nonetheless, as a result of I wasn’t counting on window gentle to light up my scene.

So let’s dive in!

Cocktail glass filled with a whiskey sour, and black cherry garnish.

Lighting Gear Utilized in This Tutorial

I really like Godox AD600 Professional-light for its skill to run both on battery energy or an AC plug (for continued energy), permitting me to shoot all day. It’s additionally highly effective sufficient for almost all meals and product pictures I do at 600WS.

Keep away from Reflections in Pictures by Deciding on the Proper Modifier

The magic when working with synthetic gentle isn’t the sunshine itself. It’s all in regards to the modifier. The software we use to form and modify the sunshine to get the look we want. 

There are countless choices relying on what your aesthetic preferences are for lighting drinks. There’s no common commonplace, solely private preferences and tastes.

I really like mushy gentle that displays a clear straight line within the glassware and a pleasant delicate gradient fall off each within the highlights mirrored within the glassware in addition to the shadows within the total scene.

To attain this look, I utilise:

  1. A big rectangular softbox. On this case, a 31’’ x 47’’ Glow EZ lock softbox hooked up to my gentle through a bowens mount.
  2. In addition to a big sheet of full-stop diffusion paper. I used this Rosco Cinegel #3000 Filter, Powerful Rolux 48’’ x 25’ hung from the growth arm of a c-stand.
A large softbox, behind diffusion paper. This is used to soften the light and avoid reflections in photography
A big softbox, positioned at an angle, with diffusion paper to melt the sunshine.

The softbox is massive so it gives mushy, but outlined directional gentle to mission onto our scene.  However the addition of the paper is the key weapon that helps to additional soften the sunshine. It additionally helps to clean out the reflections.  

Generally when working with softboxes and nylon diffusion materials there will be small wrinkles or creases in them. When photographing extremely reflective objects, these wrinkles shall be seen. 

I as soon as photographed tremendous shiny chocolate candies for a chocolatier. All I might see within the reflections have been the wrinkles within the scrim I used to be utilizing. I keep away from that concern altogether through the use of paper diffusion.

By Blocking Gentle You Can Keep away from Reflections in Pictures

One further software I used on this lighting setup was a strip of black foam core, positioned on the proper rear of the scene. This helped to dam the sunshine coming into behind the scene and created a shadowy impact within the background. 

Wooden table with drink props on the table, black foam core positioned at the rear of the shot.
The strip of black foam core positioned on the proper rear

I prop up my foam core with a-clamps from the ironmongery shop.  You should purchase black foam core at craft and workplace provide shops. Then merely lower it right down to the dimensions you want.

Positioning the Gentle: Angle The Gentle For Thinner Reflections

Discover how I’ve positioned the sunshine relative to the diffusion paper on this setup.  Do you see how I’ve angled the sunshine?  It’s not positioned parallel to the paper.  

You actually might place it in a extra parallel trend. Nevertheless, by inserting it on this angle, it spreads the sunshine in order that extra intense gentle is falling in direction of the rear of the scene and the rear fringe of the topic. 

Home set up showing a table with props, camera and lighting box and diffuser sheet.
Putting it at this angle spreads the sunshine.
Close shot of a home set up showing a table with props, camera and lighting box and diffuser sheet.
Mirrored spotlight impact within the bottles within the background.

Then as the sunshine falls off because it stretches to the sting of the diffusion paper close to the entrance of the scene, it equally falls off within the mirrored highlights, making a mushy gradient of sunshine. You may particularly see this impact within the bottles within the background. 

This positioning additionally creates a thinner reflection on the glassware versus a wider band, which you see mirrored as a skinny strip on the proper entrance of the hero glass. 

Dramatically impression the look of your scene.

Delicate changes within the place of the sunshine can dramatically impression the look of your scene. As well as, the little skinny reflection on the left entrance of the glass, that’s truly the reflection from the jigger positioned within the foreground. 

Thin walled clear glass, on a wooden chopping board, showing the reflection of the jigger.

To get rid of that reflection, other than eradicating the jigger which I believe provides a pleasant environment to the scene, it could possibly be simply eliminated in Photoshop.

Selecting The Proper Glassware Helps us to Management Highlights

When attempting to keep away from reflections in pictures, lighting is the first key to managed highlights in any beverage scene. The glassware we choose can even have an effect. When I’ve the selection, I’ll select a glass that’s simpler to {photograph} and decrease reflections.

I began this shoot with a sublime, thin-walled quaint glass, applicable for a drink like this virgin amaretto bitter. 

As soon as I poured the drink and added the garnish, the scene felt slightly too easy and boring to me. I took this as a possibility to strive completely different glasses. 

Thin walled clear glass, on a wooden chopping board. Demonstrating how to avoid reflections in photography.
Easy, thin-walled quaint glass.
Virgin amaretto sour in a thin walled clear glass, on a wooden chopping board.
Virgin amaretto bitter with added garnish.

Subsequent was an quaint glass with some texture, however nonetheless, I wasn’t in love with the shot. 

I puzzled if one thing with a stem would possibly higher match the temper of the scene and create the visible curiosity I used to be craving? 

My grandmother’s vintage glassware was simply what the shot wanted in my thoughts! 

Virgin amaretto sour with a cherry garnish in a glass with texture, on a wooden chopping board showing how to avoid reflections in photography.
Keep away from reflection in pictures by
utilizing glasses with some texture.
Shot of a glass with a steam and cherry garnishes, on a wooden chopping board. Showing how to avoid reflections in photography by using textured glass wear.
My grandmother’s vintage stemmed glassware.

Additionally, discover, how the sunshine interacts in a different way with the straight old school glass versus the textured old school versus the stemmed glass?  At any time when there may be texture or variation within the floor of the glass, it can break up the highlights and decrease the problem of reflection.  

Hero virgin amaretto sour with a cherry garnish in a glass with a steam, on a wooden chopping board.
Hero virgin amaretto bitter with added garnish | Shot by Joanie Simon

Granted, our lighting flattered the straight glass. If, nonetheless, you end up in a state of affairs the place the highlights in your present choice are providing you with suits, and you’ve got the pliability to decide on a distinct glass, go for one thing with texture to make your shoot simpler.

Subsequent time somebody asks you, “the best way to keep away from reflections in pictures when taking pictures drinks?” you possibly can inform them it’s all a matter of lighting and glassware. 

Joanie Simon wrote this submit. Thanks Joanie for sharing your tips about reflection in beverage pictures.

 Joanie Simon

Business & Editorial Meals Photographer

Creator of the favored academic platform The Chew Shot, which is a enjoyable, vibrant, international neighborhood of photographers who love meals and pictures. Her signature on-line course, Synthetic Academy, is a spot for individuals with no prior lighting expertise to study to make use of synthetic gentle for natural-looking and dynamic outcomes.

You may take pleasure in further training from Joanie on YouTube and at The Chew Shot.



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