Even though I’m always already asleep by the time their Studio Photography Insights hangout starts, I’m still going to try my hand at Alex Koloskov and Dave Nitsche‘s weekly project.

This is my first attempt (but not my last: the next will have to wait) at shooting this week’s assignment, an unopened bottle of red wine.

Seeing as I don’t drink, this bottle is on loan from a neighbor. I thought I’d try for a sort of disco (as in 1976) vibe. This is shot number 217 out of 227 attempts… Needless to say, there was some cursing and gnashing of teeth involved, and my apartment is a wreck.

I’m not happy with this much at all, but it’s got a few interesting things going on methinks:

  1. the backlight, uneven though it is, is quite striking.
  2. the tungsten glow from underneath is fairly rocking.
  3. the slightly soft focus, thanks to my sneaky multiple-exposure process (see below) gives a hazy sort of vibe to the whole image that sorta works for the subject, imo.

So I need to get some better light going on the front, while somehow avoiding all the reflections I got earlier.

And I need to get the camera and subject lined up better.

And I need to get the flash involved to a greater (and more obvious degree).

And I’d like to get some light shining through the bottle, but given the green glass + red liquid, I don’t think that’s going to happen…

I may make some more attempts tonight, but I doubt it. I’ve already been at it for 6 hours, and I need to try to get the place straightened up, have some dinner, and relax before my early-honking bedtime so I can get back to my day job tomorrow. Whoo!


D7000, Nikon 75-150mm E Series, at about 140mm (~210mm equivalent), ISO100, 1/20th (chosen by the camera as I was in Aperture priority by accident), f/3.5,  three shot multiple exposure, processed in camera.

Shot 1: no flash, just the styrofoam-cooler-as-softbox-ish-type-thing and two LED light bar things I picked up at the home improvement center earlier today.

Shot 2: SB700 at 1/128th power, with it’s diffusion dome in place, about 4 inches in front of the subject and about 16 inches below, and with a handheld flashlight aimed down onto the top of the bottle to give it some definition.

Shot 3: same flash setup, sans flashlight, deliberately defocused.

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