Here is the final post in my three part series on how we created a complicated beverage shot (here’s Part 1 and Part 2). Below, stylist Karen Tulley is with me on set, while our art director goes through napkins, placemats, and cloths.
Here you see a RAID box with 4 2-TB drives inside. We have several of these RAID units around the studio, and all the files get backed up automatically every night. To its right is a battery back-up for the rare times when we lose power. It allows us to continue work for about 10 minutes, save any work, and shut down. Also it’s fun to see people gasp when you unplug yourself from the wall and move the workstation around while everything is running!
To get our shot with pretty swirly tops on all the different drinks, plus keep the cups and logos all in focus, plus get a soft background, we have to follow several steps. Once we’re ready with everything as described in the previous 2 posts, then we shoot each drink one at a time. The lens is closed down to about f/16 or f/22. Each drink takes several tries until we get what we want. Once we get a hero for one drink, we move on to the next, until eventually we have keeper tops on all the drinks. We’ve also captured a “clean” shot of the set with good light on all the logos, so if we spill later on we’re OK. When all the sharp captures are done, we remove all the cups, open the lens up to f/4, drop power accordingly, and shoot a background that comes out soft, due to the minimal depth of field at the larger aperture.
Here are some of the notes we give to our retoucher. In this case I’ve included a map, just so everything is clear. Sometimes we have a retoucher right here in the studio, but on this shoot he’s working remotely.
Here’s a question for anyone who wants extra credit: why do we take away all the cups when we shoot the softer background shot?
Ahh, here’s that moment of truth when all the clients and agency people come out and look at our final image. When it’s approved we ring the bell!