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Behind the Scene: How to photograph product on a liquid

Behind the Scene: How to photograph product on a liquid

1. Introduction

Most of my product photos are done for a personal reason, to build my portfolio, practice lighting, concept, production, or get a clientele. For this time, I created this image to build my portfolio and practice production on how to photograph product on a liquid. 

a. What is Donginbi?

Donginbi is a Korean face product made from concentrated oil from red ginseng. It helps you take back your skin’s natural ability. 

b. Inspiration/Mood Board 

Donginbi mood board 

Donginbi mood board 

For this shoot, I was inspired by the perfume photos with the liquid/oil on Pinterest. I liked the bubbles of oil or drops of waters on the acrylic surfaces but having a bottle that is cylinder-like shape, I would prefer having it standing up. 

So I decide to create an image similar to this but make it my own. This photo is composited image with a product and a background all shot separately. Although I do like a heavily composited commercial looking photograph, I prefer getting the all the components of the shots in the camera.

2. Pre-Production 

a. Props

To photograph this photo, I need a clear acrylic bowl to put the liquid. I think the original photographer used some kind of oil or highly reflective surface that you can warp around.  As for me, I use water. I just went to HomeGoods and looked for an acrylic bowl. 

b. Equipment

  1. Nikon D7000

  2. 60mm micro f/2.8

  3. 50mm f/1.8

  4. Profoto D2 

  5. 4x4 frame 

  6. Lee Filter diffusion 

  7. Warm orange filter 

3. Behind the Scene

The 4x4 diffusion panel was in front of the light. I have one coming from the top back and another one bouncing from the bottom to fill in the shadow.

The 4x4 diffusion panel was in front of the light. I have one coming from the top back and another one bouncing from the bottom to fill in the shadow.

I cut out a circle from the black cardboard to get the focus right as well as know where the bottle is going to be and get the ripple right for the post production on photoshop.

I cut out a circle from the black cardboard to get the focus right as well as know where the bottle is going to be and get the ripple right for the post production on photoshop.

Getting the ripple for the post. 

Getting the ripple for the post. 

Liquid water with no filter

Liquid water with no filter

Liquid water with a redcolor dye

Liquid water with a redcolor dye

Liquid water with orange filter on the light 

Liquid water with orange filter on the light 

Rigged the Donginbi bottle with a metal and a hot glue. I need something stronger than the metal wire next time.

Rigged the Donginbi bottle with a metal and a hot glue. I need something stronger than the metal wire next time.

3. Post Production 

4. Final Thought

I wish the liquid was smooth like the photo I saw. Maybe it is because of the viscosity of the liquid or the lighting (possible put light overhead to fill in the dark part of the water. Also, I want to find a way to make the product stable, not wobbly because of the thin wire. I will research different ways to rig a product next time. However, overall, I like how the image came out. 

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