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Journey at Home: Photographing a Wine Glass

Day 14

The benefit to sheltering-in-place is that I am able to take time to learn some things that I never seem to have time to learn. Over the past year, I have been gradually increasing my Lightroom and Photoshop skills. I've taken online workshops, watched many demos on YouTube, and gotten advice from colleagues. I also starting learning the Topaz suite of tools and am now exploring Luminar 4.

Photographing glass, wine glasses in particular, seemed a good challenge for me to take on. Especially today, because I am attending a virtual wine tasting later this afternoon. I found a good article on how someone like me, without a professional studio setup, can assemble a workable setup.

Controlling light is the most important aspect of photographing glass. After trying a few locations in my tiny cabin, I found a very dark corner where I could eliminate most of the light coming in from the many uncovered windows. That allowed me to control lighting myself. I have two Lume Cubes and a small book reading light and no shortage of wine glasses.

What you see in the image is not actually wine. It is water dyed with red food coloring. I didn't want to risk spilling a good glass of wine, as my setup is rather precarious. I'm essentially capturing the image in the dark, with a wired remote and a tripod. There are too many things for me to trip over or accidentally knock into the glass. Besides I did this work early in the morning, far too early to pop a cork!

Capturing an image is just the first step. The "darkroom" is next. In today's digital world, that's using post processing tools. You might think that using a computer would be faster than darkroom work, but I don't think it is. For this project, I decided to use every tool I learned—Lightroom, Photoshop, Luminar 4, and Topaz Studio. Further, I took the opportunity to try out an advanced dodging and burning technique I learned recently and to experiment with blend modes. I did all the final assembly in Photoshop, which made it easy for me to add text and my signature.

Now I am ready to drink a real glass of wine!

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