Saturday, November 20, 2010

3/52 - Grand Marnier

A Bottle of Grand Marnier
A Bottle of Grand Marnier 

This shot of a bottle of Grand Marnier (Orange and Cognac liqueur) has probably been the most challenging shot, from a lighting point of view, that I've captured to date. I got the idea for this image after seeing a photograph of a bottle of Hennessy taken by Atton Conrad. Since I had only 2 lights to work with, I had to capture 5 separate images and merge them during post processing.

For those of you who are interested in the lighting, read on.
Unfortunately I didn't capture any of the setup shots as there were too many! Instead I'll describe the lighting I've used for each of the shots and upload the individual images.

Shot 1 - Contents of the bottle and the label


Setup shot for Grand Marnier
Shot 1 - Contents of the bottle and the label


The Grand Marnier bottle is dark brown in colour. In order to light the contents of the bottle, I placed a Canon 430 EX II directly behind it and fired it towards the camera at 1/2 power. To light the label, I used a snooted Canon 430 EX II fired from camera left at 1/16th. The snooted strobe was gelled with a 1/2 CTO. In order to control the light I played around with the aperture and finally settled on f18.0. I could have got the same effect by controlling the output of the flashes but it was easier to change the aperture instead.

Shot 2 - Defining the left edge of the bottle

Setup shot for Grand Marnier
Shot 2 - Defining the left edge of the bottle

The effect of this shot is subtle in the final image. To light just the edge of the bottle I fired a Canon 430 EX II zoomed to 105 mm through two sheets of white foam core board. The space between the foam core boards narrowed down to about a 1cm gap. This controlled the spill and only defined the edge of the bottle. the strobe was not gelled for this shot.

Shot 3 - Defining the right edge of the bottle


Setup shot for Grand Marnier
Shot 3 - Defining the right edge of the bottle


The setup for this shot was identical to the shot above but on the right hand side of the camera.

Shot 4 - Background


Setup shot for Grand Marnier
Shot 4 - Background


I wanted to light the background of the image a little to give it some depth. I placed a candle just behind the bottle and had the shutter opened for 5 seconds at f4.0 to capture the image above. The light from the candle was soft and warm and I felt it suited this shot.

Shot 5 - Light Painting


Setup shot for Grand Marnier
Shot 5 - Light Painting


This shot was the hardest to capture. I used a clear glass lined with an Orange and Red gel, filled with clear marbles and a tea light as the light source. The glass was also wrapped with dark tape to allow only a section of it to be exposed to the camera. I had the shutter opened for 3.2 seconds at f4.0. During the exposure I moved the glass around until I captured a light trail I was happy with. This took a while as it was not easy to create a decent light trail.

The image above is a composite of these 5 images.
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4 comments:

Chris said...

Wow superb!!! This is very original and wonderful to play with light like this.... Well done Dev!

Dev Wijewardane said...

Thanks Chris. It was an experiment but I'm pretty happy with the results.

Atton Conrad said...

recommend light painting the whole lot, thats what i did. damn good show nonetheless. well done.

Dev Wijewardane said...

Thanks Atton. I really do need to start light painting! Loved your shot of the Hennessy so I thought I'd have a crack at something similar.