Rémy Martin XO Cognac Product Shoot

Live On: Thursday 16th September 2021 - 15:00 BST / 10:00 EDT

Never one to shy away from a challenge, in this live show Karl photographs a bottle of Rémy Martin XO Cognac. This particular bottle, with its distinctive shape, is one of the most difficult to capture successfully – as Karl discovers when he begins the show with a quick survey of existing images of it.

Photographing a bottle like this requires a good understanding of angles of incidence and reflection. As he prepares to start shooting, Karl explains key things to keep in mind when shooting reflective surfaces like glass.

In this video, you’ll see how an experienced professional photographer approaches a shoot like this. You’ll pick up tips for using multiple modelling lights modified by a scrim, making and adapting your own ‘invisible’ reflector to add a pleasing warm glow to the liquid in the bottle, and using a simple DIY flag to reduce flare. Introducing a glass presents new lighting challenges requiring a new round of experimentation.

By the end of the show, you’ll have witnessed a masterclass in bottle and beverage photography. The final image, even before the necessary post-production, is stunning and – dare we say it – more striking than the official photos Karl surveys at the outset!

To learn more about capturing this kind of image, take a look at our other Bottle and Beverage Photography classes.

What you’ll learn:

  • Bottle photography tips
  • How to photograph bottles
  • How to use a scrim in photography
  • Lighting techniques for product photography
  • Using reflectors in photography

If you have any questions or comments about this shoot, please post them below.

Comments

  1. You leaning in close to the camera and giving answers made me laugh out loud. That was a classic move.

    Outstanding class Karl. Kudos to you and your assistants.

    1. Hi Leonard, no is the honest answer as the gradients of light would not spread over a big enough area to illuminate the contours of the glass the way I wanted. I also used 3 different lights through that scrim and they were spread over a bigger area. On a different type of bottle a 120cm square scrim may have been suitable.

  2. I wish that members can name the small pinpoint light source or where did they purchase it, this is a really incredible idea and a life savior.

    I just love watching your videos when shooting bottles.

  3. Hi Karl,

    Loving the eduction content. In this setup, where and how far away is the background?

    Thanks
    Dan.

  4. Thank you for doing this thorough explanation of how to do this. You go over the details and explain it in ways that help me understand how this kind of photography works. I have been trying to do a photograph of a glass sculpture for some time and it is very much like this bottle. Very helpful. Well worth the cost of this class.

  5. Such an amazing class! Well above my current skill level but learnt so many new tips. Can’t wait to see the post production video and you combine to make the end photo

  6. Terrific shot, what I always find fascinating with your work Karl is your lighting, you keep things simple, also have the approach to get the shoot as close as you can in camera. very easy these days to rely on photoshop.

    1. Thanks David, although I will be putting the finishing touches to this shot in post on this weeks live show.

  7. Not a question, a reflection. In the 1980’s I was a Polaroid representative in NZ working with professional photographers and I would arrive for a shoot with a box full of Polaroid film fully expecting it all to be used for test shots

    1. Hi Jaycee, yes we used to go through tons of the stuff in 6x7cm and 5×4 inch format – it was an absolute god sent when setting up complicated lighting, I seem to remember we also used to use a similar version from Fuji.

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