Sometimes photos are not so much what you get, but what you learn when you fail to get the photos you wanted. These photos were inspired by a blog on how hard it was to capture a photo of a glass of whiskey ‘properly.’ To be honest, the final picture didn’t (at least to me) appear to be much and I thought (famous last words) I can do that. Since I do not drink alcohol, I decided to stick with what I do know: sparkling water and coffee.

In fact, it turns out that taking good photos of liquids and things in liquids is hard, darn hard. These are the best I got and someday I plan on getting a lot better since I now know what I didn’t then, like “shoot with a custom white balance”, “you cannot have too much re-directed light so that it comes from everywhere at once”, and “you live and die by your depth of field.” But my favorite is: “shoot quick, things that float have a habit of floating out of focus.” (Like who would know that  before they start?!?!)

The last two photos are of a double lined coffee cup—it’s a little hard to figure that out from the picture. And finally, my last mea culpa: there were supposed to be images of frothy espresso in a demi-tasse, but by the time I got around to shooting them l had finished off the espresso. Oops! Oh well, next time…

Before viewing the photographs, I would also like to invite you to visit the poetry blog, the Book of Pain. As always, special thanks to my dearest Lyn, She Of Great Taste In All Things But Men, who does most of the photo selection. Thank you for dropping by the Book of Bokeh.












All photographs and comments ©2014 by John Etheridge with all rights reserved; not to be used without the expressed written permission of the copyright owner.


30 thoughts on “Drinkables

  1. Still life — even when they float. I need to more of that to hone my skills. This is good inspiration.

    Were you using a formula for the lighting to minimize reflection from the glass? And what is this website devoted to whisky, oh I’m sorry, photographing a glass of whisky? I really enjoy good whiskey.

    • Steven, I cannot find the exact one I watched but have no fear, just Google ‘photography whiskey’ or ‘photography beer’ (or at youtube) and you will be sucked into the hundreds of excellent videos on the topic. Liquid photography is one part of consumable photography which is a tiny part of marketing photography which is a huge chunk of commercial photography. One warning: you thought that getting into cameras was expensive, huh? Wait until you start in on tables and lights! 🙂 Also, be relieved, no whiskey is wasted in the making of these pictures. Generally they use tea…it’s a lot cheaper.

      One thing I’ll say…I learned a lot on even my simple shoot and am looking forward to the winter (when I have indoor time) to learn a lot more.

    • You’re welcome! And thank you for dropping by the Book of Bokeh. Please let me know when you try doing some pictures of things to drink. I look forward to them.

    • Honestly, it was a hard shoot. Since then I have even bought a new rectangular vase to see if that helps the next time I try this.

      The bubbles on the strawberry? They were hard to catch because as they would leave the surface, the buoyancy would change and the strawberry would rotate…like an iceberg where 3/4’s of the ice is underwater, but which occasionally flips. Just smaller. 🙂 No kidding…I lost a dozen photos that way.

      On the other hand, I did learn a lot. Mostly what not to do, but that is important learning too! 🙂

      • It sounds like hard work, indeed ! Not so long ago, I’ve seen a nice video on youtube explaining how to shoot that kind of pictures, but I didn’t save the link…. Shame, because I can’t remember anything right now about the tips he was giving 😦

        The more you shoot, the more you learn, especially by the mistakes you can make. You are right, it is important to learn about what not to do 😉

        • Just Google ‘photographing food’ and ‘photographing liquids’ and you’ll be amazed at what comes up. As to learning from mistakes, it is what tiggers do best, although to be honest, this tigger has tried very few other approaches! 🙂

    • Thank you very much! I keep coming back to it: there is much beauty in the small and the mundane…the little places we so very rarely really, really look at.

    • Since I am a very great admirer of your work, honestly, this is a kind and great compliment and I appreciate it greatly! Thank you!

    • Kenn, that is very kind of you and thank you! But to be honest, my external hard drive is groaning from the weight of all the pictures that I took to get these few. Maybe it’s my frustration not getting what I want when I should be content with what I got…but I am already planning on revisiting this shoot in the fall/winter and trying to get better shots. We’ll see…

      But thanks for the encouragement! 🙂

    • That is a wonderful compliment and I appreciate it very much. I didn’t have much more than a glass and several warm bottles of seltzer. Go for it! Just promise to come back and post the link! 🙂

    • Thank you very much! Just don’t ask me, please, to say how many pictures I needed to take to get these few. Honestly, it was tough, but I confess I am fascinated by the beauty of the small, the close and the odd. If ever you are making a salad and I am around with my camera…well, be prepared to make that salad SLOW, is all that I can say.

    • Thank you very much! Sadly, it is all true, I have to admit it: there were some fruit harmed in the making of these photographs. 🙂

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