Behind the Scene: beer and ice product photography

Once in awhile, I write tutorials and articles for various photography sites. I wrote & shot this one a few weeks ago, but after talking it over with an editor, I decided to change tack and do something different.

However, I still think this is kinda cool, even despite its problems. So..

Final-ish Image by Zombie Photography

The hardest part was balancing the light output for two reasons:
1. The daylight level kept changing because of the clouds drifting by, and even though the light was indirect, it still was a bit unpredictable.

2. My flash doesn’t have any controls, so I diffused it with layers of tracing papers. Diffuse it too much, the ice was gray (it’s still a little gray on right side). Don’t diffuse it enough, it’s overexposed.

Side note, regarding the overexposure: While I could’ve changed the camera settings to compensate, the tricky part was my camera will not sync with a wireless flash at shutter speeds faster than 1/180th of second.

I still think this image is a bit too strong/crisp. I was going for a sort of an angelic halo look, and I haven’t quite figured out how to achieve that look without a lot of postprocessing, which I try to avoid where possible. And that’s why I went back to drawing board on this idea.

Below is the setup shot, minus the ice & beer. The paper is hanging on the patio door because I was concerned the ice would reflect the metal frame of the door, and also to try control the variable indirect light (it helped a little).

Setup Shot




  1. You’d really like the guys at Cake-Factory; the founder of the agency specializes in these kind of shots. Take a look. 🙂

  2. Also, a good text for learning the fine details of studio lighting is “Light, Science and Magic: An Introduction to Photographic Lighting.” I use this book in a class I teach, and I think it’s one of the best on the market.

Comments are closed.