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Learn to shoot wine bottles with this brilliant lighting breakdown

How many times have you been browsing an online wine catalogue or a magazine and stopped to really appreciate the photographs of the bottles? A lot of work goes into designing wine labels and the photography of the bottles, even just the boring old e-commerce shots on white, are actually quite technical.

UK based commercial photographer Del Vincent came up with a very clever way to show exactly how he photographs wine bottles, and what each light and reflector card does on each part of the bottle.

“I thought some of those newer to photography might like to see this,” Del explains,  “a breakdown of a shot that I used showing what light and modifier is doing what in the final image.”

Del admits that it’s not a complex end result, and looking through his portfolio he has some much more involved and impressive product shots. However, the bottle shot on white is in itself, a staple shot and one that is very much in demand for e-commerce. It’s also a really great way to start learning how to light bottles and drinks and really understand how to shape the light around the curves and bring out the label.

Del used a Nikon D850, with a 105mm f2.8 lens. For lighting, he used two Pixapro strip boxes and lights, one to each side of the bottle, with an additional light behind the product, and a very thin strip light in front for an additional highlight.

Additionally, two black cards add black strips down the edges of the bottle, and a small reflector card upfront illuminates the label.

You can see in the Behind the Scenes image above that each light and card has been coloured coded and numbered. Del explains: “Hopefully pretty self-explanatory of what is doing what but basically the coloured lines around each element of the setup shot correlate to the effect it has on the product – Light 1 produces the red outlined reflection on the bottle, Light 2 the green outlined reflection, Light 3 the magenta outlined edge reflection, Light 4 is the white background and the little card 5 is the bounced light to brighten the label. The black bars outlined cyan produce the black rim on the bottle.”

And here’s a nice little behind the scenes reel to accompany the images.

All in all, a great way of depicting what each light and card is doing to light up the bottle.

You can see more of Del’s work on his website and Instagram.

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