Critique Wine: Moscato in a gorgeous bottle

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My next-door neighbor knows I like to photograph wine and interesting glass, so he bought me this beautiful bottle of Italian wine just so I could photograph it.

Wine made from the moscato grape is sweet.

Setup
The tabletop is white foam core and the background is white translucent plexiglass filling the frame no more and no less.

Capture 1: A medium continuous-light lamp behind the background was shining toward the subject and camera. That outlined the edges of transparent glass in dark tones. The background's position that filled the frame no more and no less provided maximum control over how the outlined edges appear. A small continuous-light lamp above the subject was lighting the label. It also was lighting the rear tabletop to make its horizon disappear.

Capture 2: Three flashlights (left, center and right) were lighting the silk pocket square from the front. Using the small light sources produced lines and hard shadows that compliment the dark outlines in the wine bottle. They were also positioned to brighten the shadow tones.

Capture 3: A flashlight was lighting the foil. Captures 2 and 3 were added to Capture 1.


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I really like what you've done with the lighting here. The distinct outline strengthens the appearance of the bottle, and the efforts to create shadows in the cloth paid off. There is one distracting element to the final image: just below the foil the pale color of the wine doesn't seem to fill the neck of the bottle enough, making it appear as if the glass wall of the bottle is quite thick.
 
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My next-door neighbor knows I like to photograph wine and interesting glass, so he bought me this beautiful bottle of Italian wine just so I could photograph it.

Wine made from the moscato grape is sweet.

Setup
The tabletop is white foam core and the background is white translucent plexiglass filling the frame no more and no less.

Capture 1: A medium continuous-light lamp behind the background was shining toward the subject and camera. That outlined the edges of transparent glass in dark tones. The background's position that filled the frame no more and no less provided maximum control over how the outlined edges appear. A small continuous-light lamp above the subject was lighting the label. It also was lighting the rear tabletop to make its horizon disappear.

Capture 2: Three flashlights (left, center and right) were lighting the silk pocket square from the front. Using the small light sources produced lines and hard shadows that compliment the dark outlines in the wine bottle.

Capture 3: A flashlight was lighting the foil. Captures 2 and 3 were added to Capture 1.


View attachment 1635573
Nicely done. Sort a variation on clamshell lighting.
 
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Thank you to Andy, Doug and Klaus!

just below the foil the pale color of the wine doesn't seem to fill the neck of the bottle enough, making it appear as if the glass wall of the bottle is quite thick.
Good observation! It's the relatively small amount of wine that is in that smallest part of the bottle that causes that; when there is so little wine and when the amount of light remains unchanged as in this case, the color of the wine is not displayed. As another example, if you pour just a small amount of white wine or any similarly colored liquid in a glass and look at it from above, you may not observe any color. However, if you fill the glass half full, the liquid displays more color. If you then fill the glass all the way, even more color is displayed.

It would be really easy to "extend" the color of the wine all the way to the top of the bottle and I've done that in the past. In this case, I was going for a very light, airy look, so I decided to leave it as is. On a different day I might have made that change. When producing a photo in a different style, I probably would have made that change.

Sort a variation on clamshell lighting.
I've photographed an oyster shell but never a clam shell. :eek: Seriously, I didn't know what clam shell lighting is and had to look it up. You're right that the results when photographing opaque objects are very similar in style.

Clam shell lighting wouldn't have worked well on the bottle because it would have produced reflections of the light sources on the bottle almost surely in places that would have been hard to remove absent a really effective content-aware cloning tool such as Photoshop CC's latest tool. Even so, clam shell lighting wouldn't have outlined the edges of the bottle in dark tones.
 
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Thank you to Andy, Doug and Klaus!
....

I've photographed an oyster shell but never a clam shell. :eek: Seriously, I didn't know what clam shell lighting is and had to look it up. You're right that the results when photographing opaque objects are very similar in style.

Clam shell lighting wouldn't have worked well on the bottle because it would have produced reflections of the light sources on the bottle almost surely in places that would have been hard to remove absent a really effective content-aware cloning tool such as Photoshop CC's latest tool. Even so, clam shell lighting wouldn't have outlined the edges of the bottle in dark tones.
Yup. That's why it's a variation; you varied it. :D The similarities in the direction of the light struck me. You are right that the highly reflective surface of the bottle would be problematic. Clamshell works best with relatively non-reflective subjects like humans and when you want the outline to be a soft glow instead of the crisp dark edge you were looking for. Glass containing semi-transparent liquid is tough to light well and you nailed it.
 
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Two basic methods of lighting transparent glass with dark backgrounds that outline the glass in bright tones or bright backgrounds that outline the glass in dark tones are explained very well in Light: Science and Magic, a book that is so successful that it is now in its fifth edition. The book explains both how to do it and the physics of light that makes the two methods work. I call the book my Bible of Light.
 
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Two basic methods of lighting transparent glass with dark backgrounds that outline the glass in bright tones or bright backgrounds that outline the glass in dark tones is explained very well in Light: Science and Magic, a book that is so successful that it is now in its fifth edition. The book explains both how to do it and the physics of light that makes the two methods work. I call it my Bible of Light.
Doh! I have a copy of the first edition of that book. Read it many years ago. Totally forgot it. Any suggestions on a wine to pair with crow? I think an old vine zin will do the trick while re-reading that book.
 
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I have a copy of the first edition of that book.
It would be fun to compare the chapter in the first and fifth editions that explains lighting transparent glass. I wouldn't be the least bit surprised to learn that not a word has changed, though the three authors might have updated a photo or illustration. The physics of light hasn't changed, so the only reason to change the text is to do a better job of explaining it.
 
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Speaking of Light: Science and Magic, I'll never forget the thrill nearly seven years ago of replicating the book's explanation of displaying a shiny metal spatula in either bright or dark tones depending on the position of the one light source; the main part of the spatula appeared bright if the light source was within the family of angles and appeared dark if it was outside the family of angles. The position of the subject, tabletop and camera was the same for both photos; only the position of the light source changed even though light was falling directly on the subject in both photos.

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A gorgeous bottle indeed Mike. The cloth looks great , so does the bottle! I agree with Andy about the distraction just below the foil but even with that distraction, a very nice image!
 
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