Author Topic: Tilting liquid in wine glasses + Bright field lighting - a tutorial.  (Read 6433 times)

Offline Hot Shoe

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Many of you would have seen a rather common picture of wine glasses with the liquid in it at a 'slant' (as in the picture below). Rather intriguing as it may be the 'trick' involved is fairly simple and I am here to reveal the method through a tutorial.



The end result of my tutorial will however not bring about the same picture as above as I used something called 'Bright Field Lighting". So actually there are TWO tutorials here.  :)

The 'set up' picture below will instantly take out the 'mystery' of the 'tilting liquid' . Follow the steps outlined, below the picture.


Step 1 - Identify a white wall (preferably). Even an ivory colored one will be suitable.

Step 2 - Get a set of wine glasses.

Step 3 - A sloping surface. I chose a laptop table with folding legs. You can use a sheet of glass instead and support one end on a pile of
    books. A little care is required in placing the glassware on the sloping surface. I used a reusable synthetic glue called 'Blu Tack' but I haven't
    seen it in stationery shops in India. The easiest way would be to tape the feet of the wine glasses to the sloping surface with any strong
    tape like 'duct' tape. Please be liberal with the use of the tape to ensure stability of the glasses especially when they will be filled with liquid.
    Needless to say, this arrangement has to be made when the surface is horizontal.

Step 4 - Place the sloping surface as shown above. I have used two bedside tables. You can use whatever that is convenient - wooden
    boxes, cardboard cartons ..... and  they should be placed about a foot away from the wall. The kitchen napkin (Item No. 6) is optional but
    recommended in case of an unexpected displacement of the glassware.

    Pour the water gently, starting from the glass on the extreme right and stop when the liquid is just below the rim of the glass. Then
    continue pouring the liquid in the next glass and stop when the upper edge of the liquid is in line with the lower edge of the liquid in the
    first glass. If you overshoot it will be very evident and you may use a teaspoon to remove the excess liquid. Continue in the same way until
    the last glass is reached. Ensure that none of the glasses have a tendency to topple due to the weight of the liquid in it especially the first
    one.

Step 5 - You need an 'off camera' flash. That goes to say it has to have a trigger (wireless receiver) fitted on it. Place the flash unit on
    the floor in between whatever that is supporting the sloping surface. Angle the head upwards. 
 
Now comes the 'trick' part !!   
Place your camera on a tripod. I opted for the Nikkor 50mm f/1.8D lens. Position the tripod / camera in a manner that you can only see the wine glasses and the blank wall in the viewfinder. If a part of the sloping surface can be seen, it does not matter as it can be cropped in post. To achieve this, tilt the camera to the right so that the upper edge of the viewfinder is parallel to the upper rims of all the glasses. Ensure there is some space above the glasses when seen through the view finder. This position of the camera is final and tighten up all the screws of the ball head / pan head to ensure the camera is locked in this position. Fit the wireless trigger on to the hot shoe (if not fitted as yet)

To conduct this shoot in daylight you need to change the aperture and take a test shot in daylight where the resulting frame is totally black. So lets say 1/200 is the max sync shutter speed you can set and anything faster will give you that black band (at the lower portion of the image) when the flash fires.  So move to manual mode and set the shutter speed to 1/200. Set the lowest ISO possible and choose an aperture like f8. Take a test shot with the flash switched off. Check if you get a completely black photo - if not then make the aperture smaller - try f11. You will finally get an aperture which will give you a completely black image - so the photo you click now with these settings will not use any ambient light. Now switch on the flash and adjust the power output from the flash and that will be the only light that is being used in the photograph even though you are shooting in daylight. The white wall is in reality playing the role of a studio soft box. You may require a few trials at this stage to get the right amount of brightness from the flash.

If shooting at night, the same procedure can be followed but be warned that the intensity of the flash bouncing of the wall can be quite blinding, so it would be advisable to keep your eyes shut just before you press the shutter button. This can occur if you have chosen to darken the space completely. Adjustments to apertures may be required but DO NOT increase the shutter speed beyond the flash sync speed of your camera.

You may observe in the image there will be a wee bit of a tilt as it is not entirely possible to keep the upper edge of the viewfinder absolutely parallel with the rims of the wine glasses. Correct the tilt with your PP software. Adjust sharpness / brightness / contrast as required. Crop the lower portion so as to see only the stems and the bowl part of the wine glasses. Check for any untoward reflections. The final result should be close to the image below. Though this looks like a B &W shot, in reality it is in color. The image can be made more vibrant by using colored liquid in the glasses. Use commonly available food color and add a different color to each glass. You can also use colored cellophane paper wrapped on the flash and see the effect that will be created.

[Grateful thanks to Ayaz (Moderator) for offering advice on settings for conducting this shoot in daylight. I have used most of his words of advice in the relevant paragraph]



I sincerely hope this tutorial was useful and if you have any doubts please feel free to clarify.

Vinod Sunder
Nikon D7000   /// Nikkor 35mm 1.8G  50mm 1.8D   55-300mm  // Tamron 17-50 f2.8  90mm f2.8 Macro  // Sigma 10-20mm f4-5.6  /// Yongnuo 460 II  560 III  /// Vanguard Alta Pro 263AT // Rollei Pro BH611

Offline theqca

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Re: Tilting liquid in wine glasses + Bright field lighting - a tutorial.
« Reply #1 on: March 27, 2014, 02:50:26 PM »

Loved the write-up...thanks for all the details...I've done some strobist work however for some reason just never shot glasses...will give it a try one of these days :)
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Offline Hot Shoe

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Re: Tilting liquid in wine glasses + Bright field lighting - a tutorial.
« Reply #2 on: March 27, 2014, 05:45:53 PM »
Loved the write-up...thanks for all the details...

Thanks and you're welcome Ayaz. Happy to contribute to the Tutorial section.  :)
Nikon D7000   /// Nikkor 35mm 1.8G  50mm 1.8D   55-300mm  // Tamron 17-50 f2.8  90mm f2.8 Macro  // Sigma 10-20mm f4-5.6  /// Yongnuo 460 II  560 III  /// Vanguard Alta Pro 263AT // Rollei Pro BH611

Offline Jasii

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Re: Tilting liquid in wine glasses + Bright field lighting - a tutorial.
« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2014, 08:22:53 AM »
A Clari here Vinod ji:

The flash on the floor is aimed upwards,hence would serve as a back-lighting source, with no light from the front, would this not create a shadow in the front?

The computer table on which the glasses are taped, is it glass topped?

Rgds,
A Year young with my DSLR and loving it.........
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Offline Hot Shoe

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Re: Tilting liquid in wine glasses + Bright field lighting - a tutorial.
« Reply #4 on: March 28, 2014, 11:10:18 AM »
The flash on the floor is aimed upwards,hence would serve as a back-lighting source, with no light from the front, would this not create a shadow in the front?
Not really Jasii Bhai ... since it is glassware, the light passes through it. Had it been a solid object then it would show up as a completely dark object. The concept of bright field lighting is to have light coming in from behind and more used for glassware.

The computer table on which the glasses are taped, is it glass topped?
No, it had a regular laminated top. You can use anything as a sloping surface, even a sheet of plywood would serve well. The main criteria is to ensure that the glassware does not topple when the surface is sloped. I read on the Net, that even super glue can be used to anchor the glasses firmly to the surface. A very safe option, but may become an ordeal to remove the glasses again.  :'(

If you still need further clarifications, please feel free to ask.  :)
Nikon D7000   /// Nikkor 35mm 1.8G  50mm 1.8D   55-300mm  // Tamron 17-50 f2.8  90mm f2.8 Macro  // Sigma 10-20mm f4-5.6  /// Yongnuo 460 II  560 III  /// Vanguard Alta Pro 263AT // Rollei Pro BH611

Offline LightWave

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Re: Tilting liquid in wine glasses + Bright field lighting - a tutorial.
« Reply #5 on: March 28, 2014, 01:01:10 PM »
Nice writeup. Should provide a lot of food for thought to guys wanting to try flash work.

Offline Hot Shoe

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Re: Tilting liquid in wine glasses + Bright field lighting - a tutorial.
« Reply #6 on: March 28, 2014, 01:16:36 PM »
Nice writeup. Should provide a lot of food for thought to guys wanting to try flash work.

Thanks a lot Doc for the appreciation.  :)
Nikon D7000   /// Nikkor 35mm 1.8G  50mm 1.8D   55-300mm  // Tamron 17-50 f2.8  90mm f2.8 Macro  // Sigma 10-20mm f4-5.6  /// Yongnuo 460 II  560 III  /// Vanguard Alta Pro 263AT // Rollei Pro BH611

Offline dashillol

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Re: Tilting liquid in wine glasses + Bright field lighting - a tutorial.
« Reply #7 on: March 28, 2014, 01:51:18 PM »
As said earlier, it is a wonderful tutorial article presented by you to the forum. Thank you Vinodji.
A Nikon lover with few glasses, Nikon and Yongnuo speedlights, Benro tripod with ball-head and a few Hoya/Nikon/Marumi/Griffin filters

Offline Hot Shoe

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Re: Tilting liquid in wine glasses + Bright field lighting - a tutorial.
« Reply #8 on: March 28, 2014, 01:58:29 PM »
As said earlier, it is a wonderful tutorial article presented by you to the forum. Thank you Vinodji.

Thanks for the kind words Hillol.
Nikon D7000   /// Nikkor 35mm 1.8G  50mm 1.8D   55-300mm  // Tamron 17-50 f2.8  90mm f2.8 Macro  // Sigma 10-20mm f4-5.6  /// Yongnuo 460 II  560 III  /// Vanguard Alta Pro 263AT // Rollei Pro BH611

Offline Jasii

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Re: Tilting liquid in wine glasses + Bright field lighting - a tutorial.
« Reply #9 on: March 29, 2014, 07:40:09 AM »
Thank you Vinod ji ! :like:
A Year young with my DSLR and loving it.........
Gear: Canon 600d + 18-55, +55-250

Offline ISO

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Re: Tilting liquid in wine glasses + Bright field lighting - a tutorial.
« Reply #10 on: April 14, 2014, 03:59:36 PM »
Awesome writeup and love the bright saturated color image of wine glass

TFS

Offline Ramstrong

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Re: Tilting liquid in wine glasses + Bright field lighting - a tutorial.
« Reply #11 on: April 19, 2014, 11:53:05 PM »
Superb tutorial, Vinod! :) :like:

Will try this when I get time to experiment.
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Offline Hot Shoe

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Re: Tilting liquid in wine glasses + Bright field lighting - a tutorial.
« Reply #12 on: April 20, 2014, 07:54:51 PM »
Awesome writeup and love the bright saturated color image of wine glass
Thanks Mukund. BTW, the wine glasses with the colored liquid are not mine. I 'borrowed' it from Google Images.  :)

Superb tutorial, Vinod! :) :like:

Will try this when I get time to experiment.
Thanks Devi. Yes, you should try it. Not very difficult as long as the glassware is secured well on to the sloping surface.
Nikon D7000   /// Nikkor 35mm 1.8G  50mm 1.8D   55-300mm  // Tamron 17-50 f2.8  90mm f2.8 Macro  // Sigma 10-20mm f4-5.6  /// Yongnuo 460 II  560 III  /// Vanguard Alta Pro 263AT // Rollei Pro BH611

Offline DG

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Re: Tilting liquid in wine glasses + Bright field lighting - a tutorial.
« Reply #13 on: June 01, 2014, 11:18:33 PM »
I do not have external flash/Speedlights, so couldn't create it as appealing as the above one ..just a try...thought a bad try as I have missed the 45 degree line by pouring same amount of wine in each glass  :-[ realized later after watching this again  :'( ....by the time all setups (very tiring indeed) are gone..

Canon | Bangalore

Offline Hot Shoe

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Re: Tilting liquid in wine glasses + Bright field lighting - a tutorial.
« Reply #14 on: June 02, 2014, 12:55:29 AM »
I do not have external flash/Speedlights, so couldn't create it as appealing as the above one ..just a try...thought a bad try as I have missed the 45 degree line by pouring same amount of wine in each glass  :-[ realized later after watching this again  :'( ....by the time all setups (very tiring indeed) are gone..

Good attempt Deb. Never mind about not having got the final image like mine. You have still managed to get the liquid at a slant. Yes, set ups as such calls for some effort and can be a bit tiring.  :)
Nikon D7000   /// Nikkor 35mm 1.8G  50mm 1.8D   55-300mm  // Tamron 17-50 f2.8  90mm f2.8 Macro  // Sigma 10-20mm f4-5.6  /// Yongnuo 460 II  560 III  /// Vanguard Alta Pro 263AT // Rollei Pro BH611