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Tips To Photograph A Splashing Wine Glass

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Jennifer Berube
  By Jennifer Berube
Tips To Photograph A Splashing Wine Glass www.sleeklens.com

There is something beautiful about getting a picture of something frozen in time. Whether it is a glass shattering, or a dog sneezing, it is a glimpse of something that happens too fast for us to really see. It gives us a new perspective on the world.

One of the most common, and most interesting, freeze frames to get is a splashing wine glass. We have all had a wine glass splash its liquid on us, or on our new carpet, but how many of us have actually seen that moment frozen in time? How many of us have wanted to capture that?

It may seem like it is a very complicated thing to do, getting that photo without a blur, but it is actually relatively easy for you to capture that brief moment in time. Here’s how.

What You Need

First, you are going to need some very good equipment to pull this off. A simple point and shoot camera is not going to capture this moment in time clearly, so you are going to need a good DSLR to get the clear photo that you want. In addition, you will need some excellent accessories to get a great photo of that wine splashing out of the glass.

  • The Nikon D800 is an excellent bet, using a 70-200mm lens.
  • A strobe, or any light modifier, is very important. Using a strobe with a seven-inch cone reflector and a soft box attached will ensure that you get enough light when the moment happens.
  • PocketWizard Mini TT1 + AC3 Zone Controller for Nikon (Canon versions are available too) attached to the camera’s hotshoe to trigger the flash.
  • A receiver plugged into the strobe light to receive wireless signal from the Mini TT1.
  • A wirelesss shutter release to allow you to take pictures from any position in the room.

Your Background

For your background, black is usually the best bet because it can create the best contrast for you with the photo. It will also help everything stand out a lot more. You can also place a blue gel over your strobe light, and use another strobe with a blue gel to get a bit of a blue tint on your black background.

All of these things together will create a great balance to your spilling wine glass photo, while at the same time giving you a sharp picture that will capture every drop of water, and every bit of splash across the screen.

Affordable Alternatives

Obviously, we can’t all afford to pay the amount of money needed to get the super sharp picture of the wine glass spilling. There are plenty of great budget lighting alternatives. You can use an LP180 Speedlight instead of a more expensive strobe, and other triggers. You can also just use a cheap light stand with an umbrella on it to get the light you need.

How to Get the Picture

Now that you have the equipment itself, how are you going to get that picture? You can’t just throw a glass and hope you get the picture. Things need to be planned out and be shot perfectly to get that shot that you need. Luckily, there are some very easy steps to remember to get that perfect photo.

  1. You will need to line the glass up to one side to allow the splash and the glass itself to line up within the frame perfectly.
  2. On a table, make sure you mark where the glass should be because you don’t want to lose that spot or have to keep trying over and over to get that spot right.
  3. Toss the glass up and down, side-to-side, and get some pictures with you holding the top of the glass so you can get a clear image of the stem itself. This is important for later.
  4. Make sure you take some photos of the top of the glass as well, with you holding the stem. Again, this will be important for later.

Photoshop it All

Once you have your pictures, you open the RAW files in Photoshop as separate documents.

  1. Choose all the pictures that are the clearest.
  2. Copy each image you choose into the same Photoshop file that you have.
  3. Select an image of the wine glass stem that does not show your hand it in and you will move this to a layer where your hand is on the stem.
  4. Move the stem over to where it needs to be, click the layer mask and erase the part you don’t need.

Getting that perfect wine glass photo, with splashing liquid, is not as difficult as you would imagine. By following these tips, you can get that excellent picture, and you will impress others with your skill in making two photos look seamlessly like one. Just make sure that you get a lot of pictures to work with, so you have plenty of options for your finished picture.

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Jennifer Berube
Jennifer Berube is a freelance writer and photographer with a background in journalism. She contributes regularly to PictureCorrect.com and enjoys writing about all things arts!

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