Photographing some of Scotland’s finest single malt whisky sounds like it should be a fun day out in the studio and it was, creatively that is. As with most food and drink photography though, the produce is not necessarily at it’s best by the time we have fiddled around with it in order to make it look at it’s best for the client.
To photograph Scotland’s finest spirit, I was using the Sony A7rii along with the Sony FE 90mm Macro lens with various Strobes, Yongnuo flashes and remote triggers. The Sony FE90mm macro lens is incredibly sharp and is superb at picking out the detail in the ice.
Lighting was handled by a strobe that was positioned to shoot through a 2 1/2 inch hole cut into the table top. This results in the single malt drink becoming the light source with minimal light spill to the surroundings. Some shots required some additional feathering of light which came from another strobe on a very low setting with a snoot attached pointing directly at the single malt whisky.
The Sony A7rii was attached to a Manfrotto Magic arm that was itself mounted to a rig that comes down from the ceiling. This helps keep floor space clear and allow quick and easy repositioning of the camera. If you’re looking to buy one yourself, go for the friction version, Manfrotto 244N, rather than the lever 143A version. It’s more reliable and easier to maintain.
Using the right equipment is essential to getting the right shot. I find being able to get around the subject quickly and freely is just as important as the camera and lens you use. It not only makes our job easier, it also saves time and that saves our clients money. Always a good thing I believe!