Ice Tea & Lemon - Photographing a Summertime Drink
Making Ice tea is a slightly longer process than making normal tea because you have to wait for it to cool down enough so as not to melt all your ice in the first 30 seconds. Photographing ice tea takes even longer as there are lights to set up to make the best of the lovely colour of the tea and to get the best reflections.
I decided to sign up to Photigy.com in order to assess their free introductory course in product photography. The course consists of several videos and annotated images which are designed to guide the student through the process of creating a series of product photographs. The instructor Alex Koloskov has many years working as a professional product photographer behind him and has experimented with many techniques and different gear to get to the very high standard he now has. Alex aims to teach all the things he has learned so that his students can avoid costly bad gear choices and hours and hours of slow learning. The introductory course is offered to give potential students the chance to see if they like Alex's teaching style.
So I dove in. The first few videos are about cameras and lighting. Just about any camera will do if understood by its operator and as I have a choice of a few cameras I was already sorted in that department. Next was lighting. Having mostly done portraiture with my studio lights I was pleased to find that most of what I have would work perfectly well even if it wasn't quite as powerful as would be ideal. I did luck out though because I do have enough battery flashes/strobes to be able to construct most lighting set ups. Finally we came to lighting modifiers which are the things which shape the light. For product photography shaping and controlling the light is absolutely the most important skill to learn. I think the key understanding I took from this section of the videos was that most photographic subjects are not shiny. Like people and fashion and architecture. Sure there are exceptions to the rule but this is mostly true. Product photography on the other hand is predominantly about lovely shiny new things. Like drink bottles, jewellery & gadgets. These objects need very careful control of the light as mostly what you see is not the object itself but the shapes of what is reflected in its glossy curves.
So would I recommend the course on Photigy. In short, yes! Alex does explain why you should do certain things and why small details are important. He's also encouraging to just try it with whatever gear you have. Further videos in the beginners course use household LED lightbulbs to light a shiny kettle and a bunch of flowers. With the caveats Alex mentions creating successful images is assured.
Signing up for full access to all the benefits of Photigy is several hundred $ or £ so I won't be doing that just yet but I will be following Alex's shorter & lighter tutorials on YouTube and his own site.
Keywords: 2016, box, diffusion, glossy, Hasselblad, ice, introduction, lemon, lighting, Photigy, product, reflections, strip, Studio, tea
What a stunning shot, I would love to be able to make similar ones on my own.
Thanks for referring us to Alex's videos, will definitely try and search for them on Youtube. Do you know any good photoshop courses as well? Would love to step up my game with the camera and I know how important editing is.
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