Innis & Gunn floating bottle photo

This shot is from a “One shot per day” self-assignment I took on in May 2008. For a month, I’d carefully prepare, then press the shutter button once per day. The point was to get me back to a careful rhythm in my photography, vs. just shooting a bunch and sorting the trash shots out later. I like this shot, though it’s not the best thing I’ve ever done. I’ve kept the shot and the text on the site because it gets a fair amount of traffic – probably from Innis & Gunn fanciers.

Innis & Gunn floating bottle

I so wanted to drink this beer last night, but the bottle was so pretty, I had to save it for a shot.

Not a lot of trickery going on here. I positioned the bottle on an upside-down beer glass (appropriate) on our deck. I shot wide-open for minimum DOF and took a preset WB. I shot at the incident-metered setting and didn’t use fill. This is all skylight from an overcast day.

In Photoshop, I made a new bottle-bottom (from its refraction in the beer glass) and painted the beer-glass out.

I did very few tonal adjustments – just a global levels, I think, and sharpened before and after resizing for final-size. Oh, and I did a crop, too.

It doesn’t quite match the previz – I thought I’d have the camera at the level of the foot of the bottle, shoot with the camera back vertical (the bottle isn’t a cylinder, so it’s not supposed to look straight here) and include the wood or whatever it was perched on as part of the shot.

When the time came to set up, I realized I didn’t have anyplace in the back yard where I could pull that off with a nice blurry green background, and that I had to give the bottle elevation and point the camera up (recall: POV is everything – if you don’t have that, don’t even show up). With the alternate POV, I decided to do the floating-bottle trick.

Though it doesn’t match the previz, I’m pretty happy with it. Would’ve liked to do a little better job on the bottle-bottom, maybe put some reflections or shading in it as “provers”, but it’s fine for this exercise. Also, if you look at the bottom of the front face of the bottle, you’ll see fingerprints in the misty dew where I handled the bottle not long before the shot. If it were going in a magazine, I’d have painted those out.

This is the last enforced shot with the 17-55 f. 2.8 ED-IF G. It looks at this point like I’ll keep the lens, but I’m going to try to use other glass for the rest of the month. It was a nice experiment to see if I could make myself use it and do anything decent, but it kind of warps the “take a careful shot” mentality if you can’t put the lens you think the shot needs on the camera.