I was recently approached by a San Diego wine maker to produce some catalog images for their in-the-works online store.

When shooting catalog images of wine bottles there really isn’t a lot of room for originality, and that’s cool because you’re basically just trying to produce clean images that showcase the label and the basic color of the wine inside the bottle (is it a red or is it a white?). Within these requirements you basically have one choice to make: What will the highlights down the sides of the bottles look like…hard or soft? Personally, I’m a fan of a more diffused highlight, I think it looks cleaner and showcases the glass of the bottle better than a hard white highlight. Just a matter of taste, really. Both are perfectly viable options that you see all the time in this type of photography.

The setup required to produce these images was small, but it required some very specific elements in order to control the light properly and produce the highlights I wanted. Below is a diagram of my setup to clarify things.

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