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Absolut Proof
Absolut Proof

Photograph Information Photographer's Comments
Challenge: Absolut Advertisement II (Advanced Editing VII*)
Camera: Canon EOS-450D Rebel XSi
Location: Indoors at home
Date: Jun 17, 2011
Aperture: 9
ISO: 400
Shutter: 1/3
Galleries: Advertisement, Food and Drink
Date Uploaded: Jun 18, 2011


My first thought: Absolut Scream. But I could not figure out how to do the Edward Munch art piece incorporating the bottle as the head.

Had two other ideas but it lacked some whimsy. Then I thought of what is on the bottle. The measurement of Proof. The game of Clue, a detective with a magnifying lens, and the candlestick instantly came to mind. I loved the play on words. It just so happens that the word 'Proof' and 'Absolut Vodka' are blue - as is the game piece for Mrs. Peacock which I put out in front.

So the Proof on the bottle shows it was Mrs. Peacock with the candlestick.

After I set up the pieces on the dining room table it became clear I did not have the right lighting - too harsh and there were reflections.

So after looking up some tutorials online and learning I made a makeshift light screen to diffuse the light. I took an old 16 x20 empty frame and taped white paper to it. I placed that in front of my portable 250 Watt Halogen Work Light to diffuse it. The light and screen are at a 45 degree angle on the left. I then place a large box with white paper taped to in on the right to bounce the light.

Now the bottle - reflections were a problem and a clear bottle on a black background is a problem because it will disappear into the backdrop. So I decided to place a white piece of paper cut to size to fit on the back of the Absolut bottle so that it could pop visually. And trust me - that took a damn long time trimming it so that it fit just so. The paper that I used was from a large roll so it curled naturally around the bottle without use of tape or adhesive.

I had a 8 x 16 piece of paper that I put in front of the flash unit (that was covered with tissue paper to further diffuse the light) to cut down on the reflections on the bottle of the back wall and to further illuminate the front.

After 200+ shots I wrapped up shooting for the first night (2.5 hours of shooting that began at 10:30 p.m.). That is my hand in the shot and getting the magnifying lens to be positioned just so that the word "proof' shows up next to the rim was damn difficult. Looking at all the shots in the morning - all spoiled due to reflections!

I could see the hard lines of that paper I put in front of the flash to diffuse the light reflected on the bottle. There were 7 that were passable but still not great with some reflections and the bottle seemed flat. Not good enough so trashed the bunch and did a 2nd shoot.

I had another 16 x20 frame with white paper taped to it that I carefully cut a hole to fit the camera lens into (carefully mapping out where I want it to be so all elements lined up). I placed tissue paper over the flash unit to further diffuse the light. This helped illuminate the front of all pieces and greatly (99%) reduced the reflections on the bottle of the wall behind me.

Next to get the bottle to pop more visually I placed a small spotlight behind the bottle. Wow, that really added some punch so the bottle stood out. 100 shots later I had 5 that were the best to choose from.

During the second shoot, I had a 'you have got to be kidding moment'. The Halogen Work Light had fallen off the table but with no damage. 8 minutes after bracing the front diffuser frame I heard a "pop" as I took another photo. Looking up at the light it went 'pop' again and went out. ARRRRGGGG! The bulb burned out and I did not have a spare bulb. So went to the garage and hauled out the honkin' 1200 Watt Halogen Power Light and just used the one light so that I could finish the photo shoot.

Place: 19 out of 63
Avg (all users): 6.1450
Avg (commenters): 7.1667
Avg (participants): 5.8333
Avg (non-participants): 6.2278
Views since voting: 1306
Views during voting: 393
Votes: 200
Comments: 8
Favorites: 0

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07/01/2011 10:57:58 PM
Wow, it sure seems like you worked super hard to get this done! All things considered, the lighting in this is excellent and you definitely nailed it! I'm sorry to hear about what happened to your camera and light. Hopefully eveything is working well now!!

And this is irrelevant to your picture itself, but wanted to add a thank you for pushing me to enter this challenge even though I felt so powerless when it came to creating something remotely good with my lack of lighting knowledge and equipment. You've showed me that it's not easy but it IS do-able!

  Photographer found comment helpful.
 Comments Made During the Challenge
06/28/2011 09:04:00 PM
Ha! Great ad!

I may or may not be voting, so please do not equate my comment with any score.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/24/2011 03:11:34 PM
I love the clarity in the bottle.
And I too, love this game.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/23/2011 10:11:04 PM
Although i think the composition needs a little something on the left, the lighting is VERY good, and your word play title fits the brief very well indeed. nice shot!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/23/2011 07:52:19 PM
The bottle is beautifully lit & I like the way the props frame the primary subject. Speaking of props- the Clue concept is competing for my attention.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/23/2011 01:16:15 PM
:) Great idea and creative 8
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/22/2011 10:30:06 AM
good idea, well lit
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/22/2011 08:52:54 AM
LOL, clever!!
  Photographer found comment helpful.

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