One glass bottle -- Three photos of it

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I bought a 53" x 35" pan to hold water and it's a bit too large to use in my makeshift studio, so I tried it out for the first time in my carport. I created the setup in stages by adding just one new variable at a time so I could learn the effect of each new variable. It is for that reason that these three photos are presented in the order that I made them rather than the order that they otherwise might be presented.

The photos and explanations of the setups are provided in my next post.

Photo #1
Mike 2021-04-30--0001-S.jpg
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Photo #2
Mike 2021-04-30--0003-S.jpg
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Photo #3
Mike 2021-04-30--0015-S.jpg
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Joined
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Setup for Photo #1
There is no water yet in the black, plastic pan. There are also no flash units; everything is natural light. The black flag made of velvet eliminated the unwanted reflections in the subject and allowed the others to remain. The white, translucent, frosted acrylic on the left was reflected in the tabletop (translucent objects make great reflectors as much as opaque objects). Thirty focus-bracketed images at Nikon step size 3 were stacked in Helicon Focus at its default settings.

Mike 2021-04-30--0002-S.jpg
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Setup for Photo #2

The setup for Photo #2 is the same as for Photo #1 except that the black flag is no longer needed because a flash unit is added behind the white, translucent, frosted acrylic. That flash, which lit everything from behind, overpowered the ambient light, which in turn eliminated the bright reflections on the bottle. Rather than using focus stacking as in Photo #1, this photo was made using just one capture.

Setup for Photo #3
The water has now been added to the black plastic pan. The flash unit behind the white, translucent, frosted acrylic is fitted with a blue gel. When that flash fired, the background became blue and was reflected in the water. If that had been the only flash unit, the bottle would not have been its amber color because the blue flash would have changed the bottle's color. The flash unit on the side of the water basin was directed toward the bottle. To keep the amber tones in the bottle, the flash unit on the side was set at a higher power than the flash fitted with the blue gel.

The hard horizon line was made soft during post-processing.

The day was unbelievably windy, so much so that a wind storm broke my storm door that is between this carport and the main part of the house. There is lots of pollen in the area now and that wind blew pollen onto the water. It was impossible to get rid of it, so I made the pollen floating in the water a complementary characteristic of the scene by adding some leaves that had fallen from trees into my backyard.

I created the ripples in the water with my hand.
Mike 2021-04-30--0016-S.jpg
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Hi Mike. The flash light in #2 seems to have helped the image comparing to #1. #2 looks nicer without those harsh bright reflections . The last image looks very nice. I find the bright white part around the neck of the bottle a bit too strong. Was it the core of your flash light? May be it would look more natural if it was placed behind the bottle or it was eliminated if possible. Thanks to the pollen and the leaf. They add to the scene.
 
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Thanks, Binnur!

#2 looks nicer without those harsh bright reflections .
I regularly work so hard at preventing the reflections when photographing glass that I can't believe I find myself preferring them in this case. They make a really edgy look that, for some reason even I don't understand, I really like. I was in the process of setting up the scene when I noticed them. I liked them so much that I stopped and photographed them. Heck, I probably should go to the doctor to determine the illness that has fallen upon me!

The last image looks very nice. I find the bright white part around the neck of the bottle a bit too strong. Was it the core of your flash light? May be it would look more natural
That's just a stylistic preference; I could agree with you on any other day but I really like it this way mostly because of its surreal characteristic. For me, that look goes with the unrealistic circumstance of coming upon a bottle standing upright in a small amount of water along with some leaves and pollen. I created that white effect by setting the flash power high enough that it blew out the blue tones in the gel in the center of the flash.

I think your suggestion of placing the white part of the background behind the main body of the bottle would also work well, just different.
 
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