Let’s Pour a Beer!

This week’s Project52 assignment is called “Let’s Pour a Beer!”.

The specific assignment is: “We are going to pour a beer and catch the ‘head’ coming up“.

I had never tried to photograph anything like this before, so I was pretty uncertain about how to do it. Here is my story of how I got to the photo shown above.

Don Giannatti gave the strong hint that the light needed to be coming from behind the beer, and shining through it.  To start, I placed my empty Cheers beer glass on a piece of clear Plexiglass, which in turn was on top of some white seamless paper that extended up behind the scene.

This was my 11th shot, as I dialed in the position and power of the two strobe lights, and to get the exposure right in the camera. I could see the horizontal line at the back, where the Plexiglass ended. That was something that would just have to be taken care of in Photoshop later.

Time to get a beer out of the refrigerator.

It didn’t take very long for the condensation to form on the outside of the bottle. I hoped that would last a while!

Those of you who know me, know that I rarely drink beer. (I’m a red wine kind of guy.) The choice of beer was entirely Barb’s as a result of me just asking her to pick up a 6-pack at the grocery store, and the only guidance I gave her was “don’t get something too cheap”.

Time to start pouring…

Whoa… Better slow it down!

Hold your breath, and hope it doesn’t spill over – because then I’d have a heck of a mess to clean up.

OK, I got lucky!. No mess to clean up, but I didn’t get the photo that I was hoping to get.  Pour that beer down the sink, but not before I had a big sip. It tasted great for a light beer!

Wash and dry the glass, then get it into position for a second attempt.

This time, let’s start out by filling the glass about 1/3 of the way, and let that settle down for a while.

OK, now start pouring again, but much slower than I did with the 1st bottle. I also tried to get my hand a little lower, and more into the photo.

This is working out much better this time!

I really liked the deep penetration of bubbles under the surface of the beer at this point. In fact, this is the actual photo used at the beginning of this post – but before I did any finish to it in Photoshop.

This photo and the one 2 photos back were edited later in Photoshop to blur the horizontal line where the Plexiglass ended at the back. As a final edit, I cropped the photo to remove some of the extra white space on the left side of the photo – and that is shown as the opening photo to this post.

And I just kept pouring, until the bottle was empty.

And that is the end of my “Pour a Beer” story…. almost.

Here’s a photo of the setup that I used to make this photo.

It took a while to tear down and put away all of my equipment, but once I did, I got a chance to sit down and watch the end of the Baylor vs. Notre Dame women’s basketball National Championship game. I really enjoyed drinking THIS beer while I watched that game, too!

One thought on “Let’s Pour a Beer!”

  1. Ha! I’ll bet your wife just loved you for setting this up in the kitchen 😉 You’re heading in the right direction here. There are some better methods for shooting on white than what you used here, just all depends on how far you want to go with this stuff. If you are interested shoot me an email and I’ll send you a couple of good links.

    I love the shot with the Big Head. It’s one of those happy accidents.


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