Bottle shots are one of my favorite things to photograph! I don’t know why, but there’s just something so fascinating about seeing all those pretty colors and sparkles up close! Here’s one that I took specifically for this post today (Scofflaw Nail Varnish [rain dogs], a limited edition polish).
When I take my bottle macros, I use my Nikon D700 with Nikon 60mm f/2.8 macro lens and my cute little Foldio portable light box. I place the Foldio on its side (shown in the 2nd image down) because the light reaches the bottles better than when the Foldio is upright. I do not like the backdrops that came with the Foldio, so I bought some black and white felt pieces from the craft section at Walmart, and they work perfectly!
I set the polish bottle on a 3/4″ platform (the platform is placed underneath the felt) to raise it up a bit so I don’t have to tilt my camera down. Because I want to shoot the polish bottle straight on, I want the camera to be on the same level as the polish, so I set it on the counter in front of the Foldio. Doing that also keeps the camera steady and avoids motion blur. For all you manual camera users, when I take my bottle macros I adjust my camera settings to 1/160 shutter speed, f/4 aperture, and ISO 1000.
This is what my bottle images look like after I’ve done a very minimal amount of adjustments in Lightroom 3 and Photoshop CS6. I save my image in full resolution before I resize and crop it down for Instagram or my blog. This way if I ever need to refer back to my original edit, I can do so without losing any resolution.
And here is a screen shot of the image in Photoshop while I’m cropping the image so you can see how I crop it.
Now I have been taking all of my bottle images with my big girl camera (aka Nikon D700), so for this post I attempted to take a bottle image with my iPhone 5s. Once I got the picture into Photoshop, I realized it was still kind of blurry. I’m thinking if I had pulled my phone back a bit so it could focus better, then I could have cropped it in tight, and it would’ve been in focus. So, it isn’t perfect, but it’s definitely doable.
Next up, let’s talk about choreographed polish bottle images. These are also very fun for me to capture. It forces me to get creative, and think outside the box. I mean, you have to when you’re taking pictures of nail polish bottles. 😉
The most important thing when taking these kinds of pictures is light! If you don’t have enough light, your images will be too dark, and possibly blurry or fuzzy. Other than that, it’s all about having fun! Find unusual locations to place the polishes, and include props to make them fun and interesting. Here are a few of my choreographed polish images.
I take the majority of my choreographed bottle images with my Nikon D700 and 50mm f/1.4 or 35mm f/2 lenses. Sometimes I’ll take quick ones with my iPhone too.
So, get out there and have some fun with your polishes!
(All images owned and copyrighted by Beckie Kengle. Please do NOT copy, save or print. For image use, please contact Beckie via email at polishedbybeckie[at]gmail[dot]com)