A Beer bottle that Shines in the Sun

Silent Super F2

After I watched the documentary “California Typewriter” I went out and found an old 1950's Smith Corona Silent Super. At almost 70 years old it still works perfectly. I like mechanical things in general and the only other thing I own and revere as much as my typewriter is my 1970's Nikon F2 film camera.

I used them both! I shoot black and white film that I process at home. Also, if by chance you ever get a postcard from me... that's right... it was typed on an actual typewriter.

Star of the Show

For my shot of Innis & Gunn Original beer the idea didn't start with a mood board or the beer itself. It started with the desire to use a typewriter and my camera as props. Slowly the idea of a traveling photographer and writer drinking a beer at the end of a beautiful day formed in my head.

I decided to switch my typewriter out for a 1930's Underwood Universal. (Also, in great working order.) I felt the Underwood fit the scene and matched the black and chrome of my Nikon F2 better than the Smith Corona tan and green office classic.

I did the walk through video above to show off the set styling as well as the lighting.

Nine Images to Make One

The final images is made up of nine individual images with different elements composited together in Photoshop. After the various pieces are stitched together I go through my normal retouching routine: cleaning, color correction and toning the image

Fielder Williams Strain fiwist photography Nashville Product Photographer sunny window innis gunn beer.jpg

Photographing a Shinny Bottle

On-White Bottle

In this video I walking through my set up for on on-white bottle shot . On-white or ecommerce images can be as complex or as simple as you want them. The question is, does the lighting and final image fit the clients brand.

The bottle I'm photographing is from The Mane Choice, a hair care company that I have had the privilege to photograph for several years. Their bottles and bottle labels are extremely shinny so extra attention needs to be shown to avoid unwanted reflections.

No Reflections

I accomplish this by using diffusion panels on all sides, polarizing filters, and shooting the bottle from a low angle. I put the camera through a hole in the front diffusion panel and I place the camera just below the bottom edge of the label. This does two things: it avoids the bottle reflecting the panel hole and it also gives the bottle a heroic look by looking up to the bottle. (Alternatively, I can place the camera just above the top edge of the label to avoid the unwanted reflection but I think this brand looks better from such an epic perspective.)

The End Result

When I am done I have two images. The main image and a second image I use to make a mask for the text on the label. I don't need the second image but it makes it a lot easier during the retouching process.


I made a second video of this bottle going through my step for retouching.