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Last week I shared a picture of a wine glass with the “wine” inside splashing out of the glass. I also shared a rough guide on how to take such a photo quite easily and simply in your own home with nothing more than one light source a camera and some card (it is so simple my 13 year old student did it this week with my supervision and he got some great shots).
I was sat at home thinking, what could I do that is special for Valentine’s Day? Then it hit me how about some more splashes and wine.
The original Idea I had for the picture was two splashes coming together as if thrown from two glasses.
The set up was fairly similar to what I did last week, this week though I needed a bigger splash and I would need a larger background. I taped white card to my Ikea bookshelf to give myself a white background. I set my speedlite onto a tripod pointing towards the card and my camera a bit further back. I also attached my wireless cable release so I wouldn’t need someone else to take the picture or throw my wine. I also placed a plastic tarp on the floor and furniture of my lounge where I was taking these pictures.
To take the photo is a two-step process; first you have to focus on the, glass switch the lens to manual focus and photograph the stem of the glass. Next you fill the glass with “wine” and flick the glass spilling the “wine” while taking a picture at the same time. It will take a while to get some shots you like. I was doing this for about 30 minutes.
Once I had taken enough pictures and had some keepers I moved onto Photoshop where the picture would be created.
For the image of the glass and the splash I took one photo of the stem and one of the splash. They were both opened in Photoshop. I added a levels adjustment to both using the highlight eyedropper to set the white point to clip the whites. This is important as it will give you a white background that will easily blend.
I created a new document filled the background layer with white. I went back to my splash and stem pictures and selected only the stem and glass/splash and pasted them into the new document.
I aligned the stem and glass and set the blending to multiply. Multiply subtracts highlights from the layer when blending so removes the white in the layer. I then added masks to smoothly blend the images together.
Since the original idea was to have two glasses splashing, I followed the above steps with my second splash picture.
Both glass composites were put in their own group to keep the layers organised.
I duplicated and merge down the groups to single layers as single layers are easier to work with. I kept the groups just in case I needed them later. While trying to get the composition of my original idea to work, I placed the two splashes over each other and really liked the effect. I decided to change my idea slightly and added masks to each layer to blend them together.
I then used the Clone and Heal tool to clean up the image a little, removing spectacle highlights and strange dots from the glass and splash.
I selected all the layers and merged them into a single smart object. I did this so I could go back and make minor adjustments later if needed. I applied Niksoft define and the blur reduction filter to tighten up the image.
For me the red was too red. I added a hue and saturation adjustment layer to adjusted the hue; shifting the hue to a bit more of a purple red, reducing the saturation and increasing the lightness slightly. The adjustment layer was then set to saturation.
Still playing with the colours I increased the vibrance to +74 and reduced the saturation slightly. The idea here was to try and get more definition in the tones. The blending for this adjustment layer was set to saturation with this layer as well. The difference is really slight but for me it is worth it.
The last step was just to darken the tones overall with a curves adjustment layer.
I did leave the picture for a few days and went back and just made some minor adjustments to the blending. Fresh eyes are always great to see little things that are just not right.
This was not the image I envisioned when planning and executing the shoot, but I think I got something a better perhaps less of a cliché. It is obviously a composited image, which I don’t really mind as it is a striking and bold image. It is an image I can imagine being in a food or drink magazine. I like that I can still see a v in the splash which links back to the idea of this being an image for Valentine’s Day.
If I was to do anything different I would have spent more time taking pictures of splashes, perhaps used two flashes on the background and used a reflector instead of card. In Photoshop I wouldn’t change anything really.
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