I’m a Bourbon aficionado, and was inspired by an image of Scotch (like too) by Dennis Savini. I faced a couple more challenges, I think.
I would normally back light glass, but Dennis front lit his and I decided to try the same thing. This turned out to be a a good choice, as the white lettering on the bottle would be difficult to read had it been backlit. And, because of the lettering, I kept the bottle dark, letting the highlight to camera left and the translucency of the bottle bottom (reflecting the lighter colored table) hint at the coloring of the bourbon. I let the glass do most of the talking for that.
Speaking of glass, the bottle Dennis chose had a large paper label. The Woodford bottle doesn’t, and thus served as one large mirror. I had to angle the bottle away from the light, which also served to create a pleasing gradient on its edge. A gold reflector is responsible for kicking some light back through the bottle and creates that highlight on the opposite edge.
I do like the defocused bottle; it adds depth and focuses on the intent of the product. And, like Dennis’ shot, I used a wood table to reflect the warm tones on the product. “Touching” the 2 in the image connects the 2 elements.
More technical information on this shot can be found on flickr