Product photography tutorial. Learn photography & professional studio photography techniques.


Hi guys, I’m Karl Taylor… in this video you’re going to see me execute this shot here which is a lovely bottle of red wine product shot. red wine product shots i’m going to show I’m gonna show you exactly how I do this shot, step by step, all the components in the lighting. Stick with me to the end of the video and I’m going to give you a little bit more information about that photograph. So what I’ve done here for this wine shot is just use the nice piece of walnut wood surface, a couple of old rustic ropes hanging in the background a piece of leather hanging in my background, another piece of rope from the table just to set the scene… to give the right tones and warmth and colours to the shot, but you’re right there are a lot of lights in this picture. If we start at the back, I’ll talk you through what we’ve got set-up. I’ve got this P-70 reflector with a medium honeycomb grid which is casting this glow of light that you can see here just grazing up there just to put a glow of light behind my bottle. “Additionally with an orange filter?” Yeah just got a little bit gel on it… just a slight warm up gel. a slight orange tint again just to create that mood and atmosphere. You’ll see l’ve got the same on this one. I’ve got a little Pico light with a Fresnel adaptor on the front with the yellow and that’s just to add a little light onto these ropes adding a warm color. These ropes will be very much out of focus because I’m going for a very shallow depth of field. F3.2 … and my 3rd background light, I’ve just got a projection attachment adding a little bit more light on the rope here. This could have been a fresnel with another honeycomb but I just happened to have one of those to hand so I’m using those two Pico lights and this P-70, that’s the background illumination. If we move round to the main light which is this big softbox. We’ve got the 120 X 80 softbox, which is the main light on the bottle and the main light on the label. Then I’ve just put a little block of wood here, just to reflect some of that light off that white surface back onto the shadow side of the label. “It’s that small that it only hits the label without creating more highlights in the glass?” Exactly, because if it was a big tall reflector, I’d have another stripe of light down the bottle. So this just restricts it to the label area. Then over the top, another P-70 with a very tight honeycomb grid and that’s creating just a little pool of light in this area so that gives a nice vignette running out here to keep that nice vignette running out here to keep that atmosphere to the shot. Then finally over here I’ve got a Siros light, that’s the great thing with broncolor, it’s all compatible with each other so I can mix and match, I’ve got Pico lights, Siros lights, Scoro lights, Uni lights… doesn’t really matter but you can see here I just put a red gel on this light – shining it through some diffusion material and this is just to add a little line of red light down the side of the bottle because what I find with red wine is I find with red wine is you never see the red because it’s really black! So this just hints that red into the bottle and into the glass and the glass of wine as well. So I think what we’ll do is I’ll start taking the picture from the back first from the background and then we’ll build it up one shot at a time… light by light. So let’s switch off everything… except the P-70 that’s grazing the background and we take that first shot. This should just be the background. We can see there, nothing else visible only that background glow. So now I’ll add on one of the Pico lights which is the lights that’s illuminating the rope from the right-hand side. That’s just little bit of catch light on that rope. Next is to add the Siros light in which gives the red glow down the side of the bottle. There we go that’s a nice the red catch light down the edge of the bottle. We now put on the softbox… OK – here’s something I don’t like with bottle shots and a softbox. They can work really nicely if you want a hard edged line. You see this very defined edge line here from the big softbox but I prefer it if we can soften that a little bit. So what I do is use I piece of scrim, tracing paper. I’ll bring this in front to the softbox. We’ll need to turn the softbox light up pull that back a little bit and we’ll We’ll need to turn the softbox light up a little bit and power to compensate for the reduction in strength from this scrim. Now with the diffusion material We’ve got a lovely softening… It just takes that hard off the softbox. I wanted to create this vignette of light effect here, so I need to create a pool of light. What I’ve done is just with the P-70, with a very tight honeycomb grid is put that above the bottle to add a pool of light. We should finally finish the picture off. So just a subtle little extra detail on there. Fllicking between the two we see without and with See how much atmosphere it adds to the shot. It also adds a nice little catch light to the top of the bottle. Very happy with that as we managed to put it all together in a short space of time:-) Thanks for watching! Let’s take a look at the photograph again… just to reiterate a few points. You can see this glow of red light that I’ve got shining down the side of the bottle here… I used the red light just to add the impression of red wine. Bottles of red wine always come out solid black and by using the red light it just conveys that message of red wine. If we also look you can see some of the red light is glinting in the glass and refracting through the glass which I find is a nice touch. One of the most important lights in this shot is actually the light that’s coming down from above the bottle creating this glow on the wooden table surface. It’s isolating the bottle from the background surface that it’s sitting on. It is also responsible casting those short shadows because that light is coming from above from slightly behind it’s also the light this catching the top of the bottle cap. You can see the light down the side of the bottle – the main key light from the big softbox. You can see how the edges of that light are nicely feathered because I use the diffusion roll material in front of that light source. That’s what’s giving it that feathering rather than hard stripe which is what I prefer on my bottle shots. Then you can see the light on the background, the glow on the background and the independent lights with the colored gels on the ropes and the small props and it’s just worth pointing out one more time there isn’t many props here we’ve got the background material a couple of ropes and a wooden surface but it’s point adding those extra little props and thinking about your surface and your materials that really enhances the mood of the shot and sets the scene to help the product shot work. I hope you enjoyed that short tutorial, thanks very much… Karl Taylor

75 Replies to “Product photography tutorial. Learn photography & professional studio photography techniques.”

  1. Love the video but I just wanted to let you know that you have the Warp Stabilizer blue bar warning at 1.32 🙂

  2. Thanks a lot for sharing you are a magnificent teacher and also a great photographer.
    Could you please let me know where can I get the scrim material?

    Regards.

  3. I never cease to be impressed by how good a photographer you are, Karl. Everything – or most everything – done IN CAMERA and with very little need to PS or other stuff. Granted that you do have lots of lights, but that's a need to a professional commercial photographer and the use you do with all your camera and studio gear is really great. Thanks for sharing your knowledge in the internet. And thanks again for this great video. Really inspiring.

  4. Never has a bottle of wine looked so good! Well… unless it's another bottle shot by Karl of course! 😀 Thanks for the video Karl!

  5. Your work is wonderful Karl! I would like to ask if it is possible to use the bottom closest to the object in the case of a small place.

  6. What if the wine was (White Wine), what kind of light would you have used to emphasize white wine…? perhaps, no light at all? or no gel at all?

  7. That looks really good, though I wonder, what goes into planning a shot like that? There are many small details that really convey a certain feeling with the shot, along with the attention to detail for the lighting.

  8. Well done and big fan Karl. Curious, do your product totorials address ways to tackle projects with a lower budget? I'm sure most of us followers are wishing we had our studio as complete as yours. Getting there but a little ways to go 🙂

  9. I love your tutorials and i have also bought your courses!!! I have learned a lot, I also teach to poor boys and girls , so that they can have a skill to use it and earn some living!! we dont have the lighting setup like you but i have made my own lighting setup.
    Please dont stop your Product Photography tutorials , as many lives have changed through your tutorials. All i can do is to Pray for your Success and Happiness in your life and your children!!!

    Thank you

  10. You do indeed provide a valuable service to us all. I'd only comment that the generic glass you chose doesn't do much to complement the wine. You probably chose it so as not to overshadow the bottle, I expect

  11. The overhead light also seemed to nicely bring out the red in the glass of wine, more so than the red light coming in from the side.

    Would you have been able to bring out more red from inside the bottle by having a small light with a snoot or something directly behind the bottle shooting light into it, or alternatively shining up through a hole in the wood surface that the bottle is sitting on?

  12. Best product photography video ever…Thank you sharing this priceless information and yes correct amount of lights can make ur picture great.

  13. Very nice example/demonstration. Without all this gear, how much of these effects can be added post processing with lightroom/photoshop? Any suggested vids/tutorials?

  14. Good, shit guy knows His work, seems to enjoy it and make a decent money from it (rolex ;)) not many can achive this.

  15. Can you make a tutorial without adding all those expensive and a lot of lights, rather a setup with less lights and more simple setup to take the same results, may be not exactly the same, but near to it.
    But I really love the light setup, especially the red light and the top light setup.

  16. Just guessing….the wine came from a different bottle, as the bottle in the video wasn't open! …Artistic licence?…

  17. Perfectly. Could you be so kind give a link where to buy the diffusion material and its type that used in this video? Thank you.

  18. Perfect explanation and demonstration. So useful to learn what every single element is contributing to. Thank you, Karl 🙏🏻

  19. What I know for sure is that most of the photographs aren't familiar with the wine glasses options on the market… They would have made much better scenery with the bordo glass or chardonnay in the back for example instead of those small fat cheap ones. Salute

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *