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Quiet Autumn Evening
Quiet Autumn Evening

Photograph Information Photographer's Comments
Challenge: Wine (Advanced Editing VII)
Camera: Canon EOS-50D
Lens: Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS
Location: Madison, WI
Date: Sep 15, 2011
Aperture: 5.6
ISO: 100
Shutter: 10
Galleries: Still Life, Food and Drink
Date Uploaded: Sep 16, 2011

I'm really glad this challenge came up this week. With a newborn it's hard to get out to shoot anything, so if I can do a still life style shot then I can actually participate in the challenge.

This particular idea came to me after I tried a sunset shot with white wine which was not successful. For that, if I had easy access to a more open area (maybe with a picnic table) I could have created something more appealing, but that wasn't in the cards. Luckily, the weather turned cool which made me start thinking about turning on the fireplace, which then led to a wine shot in front of the warm glow of the fire.

I put both the glass and bottle on a piece of dark wood on top of a box to get it the right height in front of the fireplace. This was positioned about 2 meters in front of the fireplace to ensure decent background blur of the fire. I then used my 100-400L glass to enhance the bokeh further.

For lighting this shot I had a flash gelled with 1/4 CTO and a mini soft box on a wireless trigger. I moved it around quite a bit to try to reduce reflections while still lighting the scene nicely. Eventually I took the wireless trigger off the camera so I could walk with this flash in hand, and ended up on the left of the scene about 4 meters away pointing the flash to spill onto the glass and bottle (this was the key light). I had a second flash about 1 meter away with a home made snoot attached (no gel on this one) from the right as a fill light to open a few of the shadows on the right side of the bottle.

The exposure time was set to 10 seconds to get the nice fireplace glow. At first I was using a much quicker shutter but that wasn't producing as much of the nice warm bokeh as I wanted, so I increased by a bit at a time until I got to a place I really liked. There was also a TV on in the room, so I think this long exposure allowed the reflection of the TV light to open up some of the various shadows a little bit as well (I used a big piece of styrofoam to block direct light from the TV, because it was reflecting in the glass).

The end result is something I really enjoy. It tells a bit of a story and I hope transports people into the scene.

Post Processing:
* Crop
* Straighten
* White Balance
* Clone out some reflections of the flash on the bottle
* Increase exposure and brightness
* Levels painted into the bottle to brighten it up
* Topaz DeNoise
* Topaz Detail
* Clone out a few more reflections on the bottle
* Increase definition
* Increase saturation and vibrancy
* S-curve
* Export as TIFF
* Resize
* Sharpen Edges
* Save as JPEG

Place: 55 out of 128
Avg (all users): 5.7087
Avg (commenters): 6.6000
Avg (participants): 5.4310
Avg (non-participants): 5.9420
Views since voting: 403
Views during voting: 221
Votes: 127
Comments: 6
Favorites: 0

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09/26/2011 12:20:23 AM
Glad to see our wines made it to WI :) Good value to no doubt! Yes the ambers made the shot more inviting and warm.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
 Comments Made During the Challenge
09/24/2011 08:18:39 AM
I would have preferred if the lighting was more balanced: brighter in front so you could have darkened the exposure of the fire light to keep it from blowing out.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/21/2011 08:03:05 PM
Nice glow.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/21/2011 03:06:08 PM
never heard of that blend name - love SA reds. great shot. gl
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/21/2011 02:44:17 AM
Lovely shot, just wish you did'nt cut the top off. 8
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/19/2011 01:50:18 AM
Warm and inviting. I understand the need to crop tight cutting off glass stem and bottle neck. Appealing.
  Photographer found comment helpful.

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