Don’t Spill the Wine!

There are some images that I see and really want to replicate the process. Last year one of those images was of strawberries falling into cream, and I nailed it, come spring/summer I am sure I will be doing that again. Another image I have always loved is of glasses with liquid splashing or flying around as if by magic. I decided I wanted to create an image like that this week.

When photographing glass you don’t want any highlights of light disturbing its smooth curve and you want to be able to see the rim. The best way to light it then, is from the back with the glass really forming a silhouette. I used a piece of white card placed up against a chair and lit the card with my external Speedlight; if you don’t have an external flash just use a big lamp and set the white balance on the camera to tungsten.

I placed a glass upside down and then the glass I wanted to photograph on top, to create the look of a slight reflection and to have a seamless background. If you use a table you don’t get a seamless background, using glass with white card underneath could have been another option. I focused and took shots until I had the exposure right, I was using 1/200 as it is in my flash sync speed range f/8 and ISO 800 (because I forgot to change it) but there wouldn’t be too much noise with this image anyway.

I got some nice shots of a glass that could be used as a product shot. What I really wanted was the splash.

I plugged in my camera remote and filled the top glass with pear juice; grape juice could work just as well. I removed the lower glass and held my wine glass with grape juice by the stem. Pressing the remote trigger I gently flicked the glass spilling wine; i mean pear juice, all over my table.

It took a few attempts to get a splash that looked good and then I kept going.

Now I had two pictures one of a glass and one of a glass stem and juice flying. Photoshop would be where the whole image would be pieced together
I imported the two images and set the white point for both images. I then set the glass shot above the spill and set the blending to overlay. I lined up the shots and masked away areas of the glass that I didn’t need. I then finished off with some colour editing.


Spilling wine

From beginning to end it took about an hour to shoot and edit, fairly quick and a great afternoon project. I am going to try this again as there are somethings I am sure I could refine but for a first attempt I am quite happy.

Let me know what you think in the comment box below.

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33 thoughts on “Don’t Spill the Wine!

  1. That’s very good, Ben! It would take me a lot longer to do (assuming I could get the photoshop stuff worked out!) as everything seems to take me ages now!

  2. When I first saw this post in my reader I thought the splash above the rim was a drawing of a man slumped over, walking with a long coat. I thought, Interesting, what is is this all about…then to find out it is pear juice perfectly captured flying above the glass! Wow, it is really impressive. I loved reading your process, thank you so much for sharing this!

  3. A glass on top of another glass to simulate reflection …. You really fooled me with that one, I thought it was a real reflection………….. Your lesson will become my Saturday afternoon project, next week-end

  4. Fantastic Ben – thanks so much for the walk through. I love shots like these and so want to try them sometime. Your image is wonderful… So is the strawberry 😃

      • Ok, I will do that 😃 Ive tried glasses before and I was terrible at them. I have better lighting now and it may also have been my winter when light is low. I love water and shiny things 😜
        Need to get some work done first, but I do want to try this. Will link up when I have results to post. Thanks again Ben!

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