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Product Photography Tutorial – Lanza with Splash

My first blog post of the year is going to be a short tutorial on how I created this image:

Here’s the gear list: 

  • Nikon D610
  • Nikon 60mm AF-D Micro (Great lens, can be used as a portrait lens, macro lens, walk around lens, razor sharp, 1:1 reproduction for under $300!)
  • remote triggers
  • 2 stripboxes with monolights or speedlights
  • two 24×36 scrims (made from Savage plastic & foldable matthews scrim frames)
  • Grip head w/ extension arm

The first step is to photograph the bottles. I glued each one to the extension arm, and placed it in position. I imaged how I wanted the bottles to appear to be floating in the final image, so I placed the bottle in that position when I photographed it. I put the glued bottle into the grip head, positioned it, put a white card behind the bottle, and a scrim on each side of the bottle. I positioned the strip lights behind the scrims, just slightly angled toward my camera and placed slightly behind the bottles to create a gradient effect.

I photographed each bottle like this, then imported the photos into Photoshop to knockout the bottle (create clipping mask) and clean any reflections. I did the exact same way as I did for this bottle in my other tutorial.

Bottles straight from camera, placed into position, no curves adjustments or shadows Bottles straight from camera, placed into position, no curves adjustments or shadows

I used curves adjustments to brighten the bottles and add shadows in the appropriate places. I also used a hue/saturation layer to get rid of the orange color cast on the bottles from one of my moonlights. It’s a subtle change but it makes a big difference.

bottles with curves adjustments, shadows, but no hue/saturation layer to fix orange color cast bottles with curves adjustments, shadows, but no hue/saturation layer to fix orange color cast Bottles with curves adjustments, shadows, and hue/saturation adjustment Bottles with curves adjustments, shadows, and hue/saturation adjustment

Once I photographed both bottles and imported them into photoshop for cleaning/masking/adjustments, I began searching for splashes to use. I purchased some splash packs from the Photigy store for experimentation and practice, so I recommend you either purchase those or create your own splashes.

I used 4 splashes total in this photo. In order to bring the splashes into my document and match my background without looking suspicious, I first imported the splashes into Photoshop, then used a channel masking technique I used in my architectural photography to replace skies. Here’s a quick video below of me masking out the splash:

From this point, I can import the masked splash without the background onto my document, place the splash how I want (either leaving it how it is or using puppet-warp) and begin to clean it up by brushing out the parts I don’t need.

here is what the splash looks like if it were in it's own document before importing. Parts of the splash are transparent to allow the background and bottle to shine through. Luckily for me, these splashes were already tinted green slightly.  here is what the splash looks like if it were in it’s own document before importing. Parts of the splash are transparent to allow the background and bottle to shine through. Luckily for me, these splashes were already tinted green slightly. Importing splash to place on image Importing splash to place on image cleaning up splash to hide behind bottle, get rid of excess junk cleaning up splash to hide behind bottle, get rid of excess junk

Then I can apply curves and color correction adjustments as needed.

apply some curves adjustments to get back some contrast lost during the clipping part - see video above apply some curves adjustments to get back some contrast lost during the clipping part – see video above

Then you rinse and repeat for each splash!

2nd splash, sample principle and steps as first 2nd splash, sample principle and steps as first same splash with masking and brushes to clean up unusable parts.  same splash with masking and brushes to clean up unusable parts.

After you have the splashes in place and positioned, then you can begin to apply color corrections and curves adjustments to get the contrast and color matched with the bottle. Also, you need to apply some shadows under the splashes to make the splashes appear more real.

All splashes placed, each with curves adjustments, but no global adjustments or color corrections yet All splashes placed, each with curves adjustments, but no global adjustments or color corrections yet Splashes with global curves adjustments and color correction to match bottle color Splashes with global curves adjustments and color correction to match bottle color

The final step is to make sure every imperfection is cloned out. There were some reflections on the bottle caps from the extension arm, so I cleaned those up and took out little specs of dust, too.

without cloning, showing what spots I need to fix without cloning, showing what spots I need to fix reflections cloned out reflections cloned out

Final Image

2 Comments

  1. BR Studios says:

    Nicely done!!