Complementary Color Cocktails: Photograph Glass, Liquid, and Smoke | Tabitha Park | Skillshare

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Complementary Color Cocktails: Photograph Glass, Liquid, and Smoke

teacher avatar Tabitha Park, Product & Food Photographer

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      Complementary Colors


    • 3.



    • 4.

      Analyzing Lighting


    • 5.

      Glass, Liquid, Ice, and Rim Demo


    • 6.

      Garnish, Texture, and Styling


    • 7.

      Capturing Smoke and Steam


    • 8.

      Implementing Lighting and Workflow


    • 9.

      Lightroom Edit


    • 10.



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About This Class

This is a beginner to intermediate level photography class focused on mixed drinks and cocktails!

  • I'll be diving into some intricacies of capturing glass, liquid, ice, smoke, and steam
  • We'll have a quick lecture on Color Theory and how to use Complementary Colors to make our photos stand out
  • I'll walk you through how to read the lighting in existing images and ways you can recreate different setups on your kitchen table at home
  • This class is packed with tips and inspiration to take your drink photography to the next level
  • Everything I'll be showing you can be done affordably with stuff you may already have!
  • No professional studio equipment is used (besides a DSLR) and this class is not dependent on Photoshop to get great results

BYOB - this is going to be a party :D

Meet Your Teacher

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Tabitha Park

Product & Food Photographer

Top Teacher

Hi! I'm Tabitha and I teach photography classes. I'm a lifestyle, product, and food photographer living in the Pacific Northwest with my husband, our 17 gorgeous chickens, and Smallcat! I love plants and coffee and naps. In my spare time I'm a reckless gardener (irl and in Stardew Valley), and unapologetic hobby starter. Currently hyperfixating on crochet, embroidery, and spoon carving!

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Level: Beginner

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1. Introduction: Hi, I'm Tabitha. In this photography class, I'm going to show you how to photograph mixed drinks and cocktails. I'm going to talk a lot about color theory and how you can use complementary colors to make your photos stand out, as well as how to photograph glass and liquid and ice. We're going to talk about composition and styling different things you can add for garnish and texture in your photos, as well as how to read an image and replicate its lighting. I'm going to show you a couple of different lighting setups that you can recreate in your own home. You don't have to use any studio photography equipment or Photoshop to get the images that we're creating in this class. We're going forward like a lifestyle blogger, Instagram feel for these. Pretty casual, but we'll end up with really beautiful results. My name is Tabitha. I'm a lifestyle photographer and a content creator on Instagram. I teach a bunch of classes here on Skillshare, and I'm really excited about this one. Cheers. Actually tastes good. These are fake ice cubes. This is just a prop. 2. Complementary Colors: All right. Diving right into color theory, I mentioned that we would be utilizing complimentary colors. If you've seen a color wheel, you might know that complementary colors are any colors that are directly opposite each other on the standard color wheel. We have red and green, those are opposites, yellow and purple, and blue and orange. You'll notice with all of these pairs, we have a cool color and a warm color. They are opposite. They make each other stand out more. We also have red-orange and blue-green. We have red-violet and yellow-green. We've got the tertiary colors and all the blends in between that. Aside from these classic primary colors, I also wanted to include the RGB model, so talking more about additive light. With these, if you're using paint and you mix red and green, you're going to get this really dark brown color. It's going to get darker when your colors mix. When you use the RGB model, you're using light, and so you're mixing red light with green light. Extra light is going to make it brighter and turn more white, so the very center of the RGB model is white, and then the colors that cross are a little different. For those, red is opposite cyan, green is opposite magenta, and blue is opposite yellow. These are little bit different. We have blue and yellow instead of blue and orange. We have red and cyan instead of red and green. But I also wanted to include these colors because I feel like they can be really effective and it opens the avenue for a lot more options when you are playing with your props and your styling. Yeah. Just so you know, even though colors are technically a science, we can stray a little bit. The main point of this class is to just understand it and keep it in mind. Once you start looking for complementary colors in the photos that you see online or wherever, you'll start to see them everywhere. I feel like every time I'm driving down the street, I'm like, "Oh yeah, that compliments that." It has become ingrained in me. Maybe it's just because I have been so immersed in it for this class. But you really, really do start to notice that, and I feel like having that theory or idea in your back pocket is just an extra tool in your arsenal. Yeah, definitely don't hesitate to post a picture. If you pair red and yellow together instead, even though they're technically not complimentary colors, don't feel like that's not allowed. Just understand why we do it and then make it your own. Yeah, use your best judgment. You know what looks good and you know what's going to make a really good picture. It's intuitive. Yeah, with that in mind, I've made things really easy for you. In the next video, I'm going to go through my Pinterest board and talk with you about all the things that I've collected there in each of these color categories. 3. Inspiration: One last thing I forgot to mention before we jump into Pinterest is black and white. While black and white are technically not colors, they are still opposites of each other and so I think it's important to include them in the scope of this class. Let's look at Pinterest. In the project section, you'll have a link to my Pinterest complementary color board. Here, I've organized everything in your color groups. We have red/green, yellow/purple, blue/orange, red/cyan, green/magenta, blue/yellow, and black and white. I've also included two bonus boards. This one is for garnishing and texture including smoke, steam, dripping, etc. This board is all about different lighting like setups that I found inspiring. If you're having trouble trying to figure out what exactly you're going to do for your project, gaining some inspiration in here is helpful. One thing before we jump in, I want to mention is to respect other artist's work. If you see a picture that you absolutely love, do not copy it exactly. Take pieces of the picture that you love and implement them in your own work, but don't rip off another artist's work because it's not cool. If you want to create a picture just like this, maybe use edible flowers but do a moody feels so it's not exactly the same. Keeping that in mind, let's jump into my red/green board. I wanted to show you, I was super inspired by this particular drink. It's a blood orange soda and it has these beautiful sugared sage leaves. You'll see, I have pictures that are pretty similar. It's a very similar drink but has a different feel. I used a lot of darker colors rather than the bright, airy look. I don't have a straw in mine. It's different enough that it's not ripping her off, but I definitely went to her page and like look to her recipe. I was hugely inspired by that. A lot of the drinks in here are links to recipes and other artist's blogs. If you want to make an actual drink, you can find the recipe that way. The red/green board, I find super inspiring. It has a ton of ideas that range from your classic Bloody Mary with different vegetables all the way to more Christmas-looking pictures with mint and pomegranate or cranberry. There's a ton of different looks in here while still observing the red/green feel. Another thing I want to mention, if you're like, "Why are there turnips in here or beets or whatever?" Before I decided that this class was ultimately going to be on photographing cocktails, I was throwing in just any photo that had complementary colors in it. Throughout these boards, you'll see random images that are not cocktails. That's why those are in there. I still think they're beautiful and I didn't think it was worth the time to getting rid of all of them. Red/green and then let's jump into one that's completely different like blue/yellow. I love this board because it's super cheerful. We have a lot of lemons present. Even blue drinks with blue Curacao and stuff like that. This one doesn't have a whole lot going on because surprisingly, it was really tricky to find a lot of blue/yellow-looking drinks. You can see that there's a lot of blue backgrounds in here. We have a blue table or a blue plate for that one. There are some ideas there. I think green/magenta has a ton. Green/magenta is a board that used to be two boards and I merged them together so we have green/purple as well as green/pink. Magenta is all encompassing for anything that was dark purple or more pale pink. There's a mix of ideas in here that range from really, really purple to very, very pastel, almost like peachy colored. This board is super pretty. Then I just want you to drop into the black and white board. This one is where you'll have a super dark stout beer and it's black. You cannot see any light coming through that. We've got the black and white specular high-contrast look. None of these pictures are grayscale, but they're actually really dark black and bright white images. There's also a lot of cookies and cream inspired shots here. That's definitely an avenue that you can explore. Then our bonus boards, this is our texture board. It includes steam, and smoke, and dripping. This is from dry ice and splashing, tons of fun stuff in here. Edible flowers, fancy curly garnish and ties, tons of stuff. If you are looking for exciting ways to add a little extra something to your pictures, this board is for you. I especially love this shot. You can tell that these are really highly carbonated sparkling soda because we've got the light hitting all these little droplets. It looks super refreshing, and crisp, and delicious. Then the last one just has ideas for beautiful inspiring backgrounds and setups, different kind of glassware that you can use, ways to show off the bottle and inspiring lighting setups that I found really beautiful. That's my Pinterest board. I hope that you find something inspiring here, get your mind going and thinking about what you're going to create for your class project. In the next video, we will analyze different images to interpret the lighting and recreate it on our own. 4. Analyzing Lighting: So for reading light, let's drop down to my lighting and scenes board back on Pinterest, and I will show you some lighting scenarios. So first of all, let's go into backlit. This is an awesome example of a backlit photo. I can tell it's backlit because I'm looking at the background which is like a blue, maybe it's a cloth or a table, but it's bright blue back here, and it's more of a navy blue down here, which means it's brighter back here. The light is back in the background. Another thing you can look at is the shadows. So this little ice cube right here is casting a shadow that's coming this direction. So that is another supporting reason that our light is hitting from the back. Backlight is super beautiful because it makes everything sparkle, and I love it. They're shooting at a 45-degree angle here, rather than doing a flat lay from above or shooting straight on. This is really effective because it optimizes your background, so you don't have to worry about random junk in the background, and you're not focused on a lot of the stuff that's going to be in the shadows. We're really looking right at our fruit on top here, we've got a little bit of a shallow depth of field. I'm guessing they're probably shooting with like a 50-millimeter lens and using F4 because the front edge of this glass is out of focus. This fruit here is in-focus, which is good because that's what our eye automatically wants to look at. Then back here, it's out of focus, but it's not so out-of-focus that it's unrecognizable. You can still tell this is the greenery, and this is the edge of a rind. This picture is super pretty, and I love, this is a great example of backlight. Backlight also is going to light up your fruit. You can see that they positioned their orange in such a way that the light will come through it and show off all the veins in the pulp. I think that that looks really pretty also. If you were to tip your orange and not get the light coming through it, it would make it a lot darker, more like what you can see down here in the corner of the frame. I love that they sprinkled ice everywhere because I feel like that makes it look even more crisp and refreshing and delicious. Next, I wanted to talk about side lighting. So let's look at this picture. This picture looks pretty well side-lit to me. I can tell by the shadows that's one thing that you want to first look out when you're reading in images, where are the shadows, and where are the highlights. So we've got a shadow coming off the bottle here, we've got a shadow coming off the glass here, and then this whole side of our sprig of greenery is also in the shadow. Then our highlights, you can see we have some glare in this bottle. We've got one strong highlight coming about midway, almost right in the middle. If it was right in the middle, that means it's coming from directly in front. Then we have this one on this side that's coming from a sidelight, So I'm guessing we have probably two windows that they're working with. A window that's on the side and then a window that's more like coming at a 45-degree angle. The nice thing about having a bottle in the photo is it reveals all so you can use it as a cheat to see where the lights are and also, the top you can see is lit up here but not back here. So that leads me to believe that there's probably not much of a reflector in this shot, maybe just a teeny bit of extra light bouncing around. So yeah, we have the light that goes through the glass that has the drink in it. That helps light it up, so it's not super dark. But our bottle has really dark whiskey in it that isn't lit up that well. It's brighter down here, which is lit up a little better. So you can see that the color more there. But anyway, that one is really beautifully side lit. Then let's do another one. This one, this one is gorgeous. I love this. I'm guessing this lighting is probably early morning or late afternoon because of how long the shadows are. The shadows are longer when the sun is lower down. They cast these really beautiful long, deep shadows. This one is diffused lighting because our shadows are really big. It's not like a harsh line, it fades. So I'm guessing they're shooting either through a curtain or they've got an overcast day or a snowy day that they're working with. I don't think there's much of a reflector just based on how deep and dark the shadows are. Actually, look right there, see this little bright stripe of light? That leads me to believe that we do have something over here that's casting a reflection. You can see it just a little bit in that glass there and that bit of glass there. So maybe just a teeny reflector to bounce a little bit of extra light in there. I love that they have this bottle back here because it catches little bits of light, and that adds a little sparkle to the background, especially because it's out of focus. Another thing that's great about this is it has words, but you can't read them. So one thing to keep in mind if you're actually photographing a bottle of liquor or whatever, and it has words in it, you have to make a deliberate choice whether you want those words to be read or not. I would definitely either make sure that they are clearly in focus and easily read like you would do for an advertisement, or that it's far enough in the background that you can't really read it. It's just an idea at that point. If you've got it somewhere in the middle and you can read it, but it looks a little bit out of focus, it makes it uncomfortable for the viewer because they want if you have words in your picture, your viewer wants to read them. That's just normal. A normal habit is if you see a word is to read it. So if it's fuzzy, it's a little awkward because it seems like the photographer doesn't want the person to read it, but they can still read it. So it's this kind of in-between. That's one thing that I like to do is either push a bottle further back in the photo or close enough that you can clearly read the text. Anyway, sorry, that's a minor thing. But yeah, so we have backlit, side-lit. Let's talk about direct lighting. This shot has a lot of direct lighting, so I'm guessing they have a window coming in from here that's casting these really long shadows. At this point, I'm thinking the light is coming straight through, which means it's low enough in the sky that it can just shine right through that window. I think they have either something on the counter that's blocking the light, or they have like a windowpane or something, but it's causing these really harsh shadows and this kind of specular beams of light that add a really cool mood or feeling to this picture. One thing to watch out for when using direct light, and I'm honestly afraid of direct light. If you've seen any of my other classes, you know that I tend to tell people to shoot with really diffused lighting because you'll get really great results. So direct lighting is a no-no, but it could be super moody and beautiful, so don't be afraid. In fact, I even challenged myself to shoot in direct lighting more so that I can get used to it and use it to my advantage. Direct lighting is characterized by having really deep dark shadows and really bright overexposed highlights. So you can see this bit of peel right here is completely overexposed. If you were to print this image, that would be just plain paper peeking through. It would be so bright and white. Then up here, we have another bit of overexposure on the greenery, the foliage, but it adds again a really cool mood. So I really feel like this is super effective. So yeah, I don't know if they have. I'm not seeing any evidence of a reflector in this one. I would say they probably have a really bright window with light coming in this way and then maybe another window back here that doesn't have direct light, but enough light that it's hitting this wall so that we have definition back here and a gradient of that background texture. So anyway, really gorgeous shot. That's how you would work with direct lighting. I don't know if I have any other direct light shots that I can show you, yeah, maybe this one. This one I feel like is direct light because of how harsh the line in the shadows are. So we have the light coming from the window back here and it's shining this direction. Our shadows, they're not really big and faded. They're really pretty harsh. So I'm guessing that this one is direct light coming this way, casting these big monstrous shadows. Then you can also see the shadows on the basil are really pronounced, which helps show off the texture there. So this one is direct light, but it's coming definitely from the side on here. Super effective if done right. Then also because the light's coming through the glass, you get these cool reflections, and it lights up your drink. So if you were to not have this much light coming through, this drink might look really dark and muddled, but because we've got that direct light it helps brighten it for us. Here's another direct light, this one's coming from the back, so it's backlit and it's direct, super pretty. Let's do a really bright image. This one's super bright. So this one I would say is that dewy diffuse sliding. It's probably a gigantic window and we're getting light from the top all the way to the bottom and it's just pouring over this image. Our shadows are very minimal, they're diffused, they're hardly there at all. Then I'm guessing we probably have a reflector that's helping light up anything on this side also. Yeah, it looks like the light is predominantly coming from this way and this way because I can see a harshness in the edge of that glass. But glass is funny sometimes it shows those things that look one way but are really another way. Anyway, but this setup we've got white and white and then they've accented with dark pieces to help give it some contrast. I love the way that that looks. So again, this one's a really bright diffused window. They probably have a white curtain on it or some tracing paper. They've really overexposed this picture so that it's really bright and airy and wonderful. Then let's do a moody shot, let's do this one. This is super moody and we have a little bit of smoke, which I love. This one, I'm guessing we just have one light, we just have this window shining in here. You can tell that's our primary light because this highlight is so bright. Then also this sprig of rosemary, it's lit up on this side, but this side is in the shade. Usually to get smoke to light up like this, you need a light coming in from both sides, actually look at this right here. This little bit of glass is lit up, which is probably from a reflector. So we have our big window shining diffused light in. It's hitting that Reflector and kicking light up on the edge. You can see it right here too. So we definitely have lights coming in from both sides and probably from the back a little bit too. So at an off angle, back here and then the reflector coming in like this, or possibly even back here and shining this way. Anyway, that is this moody shot. We have a black background and keep in mind, the black background is so dark, there's no light that's spilling over onto it, which is why I'm thinking the light's coming from an angle rather than from the side. If it was coming from the side, it would spill light all over this backdrop and it would brighten it up and not give it this dark moody feel. So that's why I'm thinking the light is coming from around the edge of the backdrop. This stays in the shadow and this comes around and fills in these areas right here. Super gorgeous. I don't know if they actually lit that rosemary or if it's incense like I had for my picture. But anyway, love that. So tons of different ideas in here. One thing to keep in mind, if you are photographing something like this fruit that's on top of the water. If you change your angle, this might all turn bright white because the light is reflecting off of it and into your camera. So if this turns bright white, you'll want to change your angle a little bit so that you can really see all of the texture like in this shot. So yeah, it definitely takes a lot of practice reading images, looking at them. Just some key things to keep in mind when you are reading is looking at the shadow. The direction of the shadow will help you see where the light's coming from, looking at the highlights, and then also you can tell if the lighting is diffused or if it's direct based on the shadows edge. So this one you can tell is direct light because the edge is super straight and harsh. It's definitely a line rather than a blob of soft ombre diffusion. Then also that's supported by the fact that you can basically see the sun in this shot. So the sun is shining through the window, casting this gorgeous shadow, and then the shadow is actually being lit up also by the color in the glass. This is an awesome shot and it tells all here. Hopefully, that is helpful when you are looking for how to replicate the shadows and the lighting in the images that you create. 5. Glass, Liquid, Ice, and Rim Demo: Really quickly I wanted to talk about photographing glass and liquid. So we have our glassware here, it's important to get glass that's clean and glass that's really, really clear. If you have a cloudier glassware or you're working with plastic that's not scratched up. It's going to show in you images and it's not going be as nice. I definitely recommend having a good couple pieces of glassware to work with so that you can have effective images that way. So glass is funny if you shoot it from, like if you light it from the front you're going to get glare right in front and you don't want that, so you want to light it from the side or from the back. Another thing to keep in mind is reflections, if your glass is really, really shiny and your lit up like if the light is hitting you, you're going to appear in the reflection of your glass and so it's important to make sure that not a whole lot of light is hitting you and if it is make sure you're wearing like dark colors or neutral colors so that you don't appear in the reflection of your glassware. When you're photographing liquid it's important to keep in mind if you're photographing things that are cold, you want to work quickly so that your ice doesn't melt. You can also use reusable ice cubes, these are fakes so they'll never melt. They're nice, but the drink is still cold and so it's going to produce condensation on the outside of the glass. I feel like condensation can either make or break an image, sometimes it makes it so that you can't really see what's inside, it covers it up and so you want to pay attention to that and wipe your glass awful lots so that you can see what's inside. Sometimes I think condensation adds a little extra freshness like when you see an image with the droplets on it, it just looks delicious. So that's up to your own discretion, whatever you decide to do on that. The liquid that's inside your glass, the lighter it is the easier it is going to be to photograph. This one is about a medium opacity drink it's medium red. If it was a little lighter, light can pass through better and if it's darker, it's just going to seem muddled and a little trickier to photograph. So if you're photographing a tumbler of whiskey and it's very dark, amber colored it's going to be really tricky to get the right light hitting it and so if you're just starting out or if you're not having very good success with what you're trying, maybe try a lighter color liquid in your glass. Again with the ice cubes, if you are going to take your time shooting and you're worried about your ice melting and looking small and diluting your drink you can use fake ice cubes, I found some at warmer. They have seams on them which you can see if you're using close-up pictures but for the most part, I think they're pretty cool. You can also get ice cube trays that'll make really big ice cubes, those take a lot longer to melt and typically they look really cool. Then let's see, glass ice water, I think that's pretty much it. For a little extra texture. You can add like salt or pepper or sugar to the rim of your glass and now we'll add a little something. Just keep in mind you have to rim your glass before you fill it and so make sure that you pay attention to that because it's super annoying to fill your glass and then remember that you are going to add a rim to it and then have to pour it out and clean it out and it's a whole thing. So just remember rim your glasses before you fill them and be careful not to like crush the rim while you're pouring your liquid in. Then really quickly I wanted to show you a demo, a slow motion of how to actually rim a glass if you've never done it before, typically you would use lemon or a lime juice or water but because the sugar crystals dissolved when I used those things I decided to improvise with some apple syrup. So I measured my martini glass on my plates, I knew how big of a circle to paint with my syrup and then I just barely, barely lightly touched the surface of the syrup with the very edge of my glass. I want to make sure that I get all around but I don't want to have so much syrup that it's dripping everywhere in making a huge mess. So once I feel like I've got a pretty good even coat on there, I twirl it so that I can use centrifugal force to hop or spray the extra syrup off or evenly coat it and then I just barely tap it into my little bit of sugar crystals. I don't want to crush the glass into the plate because then it'll push the sugar off of the very top edge of the glass, I want to get a good edge so that it's on the inside, the outside, and the top just lightly, lightly dusting all of those surfaces and then once I feel like I've got a pretty good coat, I can admire my work and then very delicately pour my drink of choice inside. Then in the next video, I'm going to dive even deeper into more garnishes and more textures that you can add to give your pictures some personality. 6. Garnish, Texture, and Styling: One last thing that I think is important to mention is when you're making drinks for this class, obviously you don't have to use alcoholic if you don't want to, you can make teas or Italian sodas, soda water, or eggnog, coffee, whatever you want. You don't have to use alcohol. But when you make your drinks, make something that you want to drink so that you will drink it after. You don't want to be wasteful. It can be tempting to be like, "Oh, let's just put a ton of red food coloring in this." Then it ends up getting thrown away. I think it's important not to be wasteful but again, like I have a glass of sugar water that's sitting here that's just going to, well, it's not going to melt, but it's just deteriorating, I can always mix some vodka in here and then have it later since my ice cubes didn't dilute it, so something to keep in mind, try not to be wasteful if you can. Different things that I like to use when I'm mixing are, I have this lingonberry concentrate juice that I found at IKEA. They have blueberry, they have elderberry. These are just like simple syrup. Just, it's syrup flavored juice basically. That's like the base for when I'm doing a picture. If you're not really that well-versed in making drinks or you have no idea where to even get started, I recommend getting some juice concentrate. Usually it's like syrupy or even like, you can find strawberry syrup for ice cream kind of a thing. You can use that stuff to add a little bit of viscosity to your drink and then mixing club soda, sprite, water, any other clear liquid that's going to help fill it up. Because if you were to just shoot the concentrate, it would be really dark and thick and hard to get through it. What I've done here is I added probably like a tablespoon of lingonberry syrup and then I filled the rest with Schweppes club soda. That added a little bit of fuzziness to it, which I think looks really cute with their raspberries. I chucked maybe like eight raspberries in here to add a little bit of texture and dimension and then again, the fake ice cubes. This was really effective. If I wanted to drink this, it actually is drinkable. It just tastes like sugar soda. If I wanted to kick it up I could add a shot of vodka or a shot of rum, like a white rum. I could add mint leaves to it and then it would actually be like a mojito. It would be something that I would normally drink. So yeah, there's that. But again, you don't have to use alcohol if you don't want to, or you can just use like a lot of alcohol if you want to. Keep in mind that no alcohol was wasted in the making of this video. So yeah. Another thing that I like to do is make like detox water, which is it's just where you fill up a mason jar with cut up fruit and then you fill the rest of it with water. Add a straw, boom, your Pinterest right there. You'll see like a ton of drink ideas in my pin board, whether it was things that I actually thought sounded good or just things that photographed beautifully. Tailor it to you, make drinks you'll actually drink and share with your friends. It can be cool to get, obviously like for this, I would just photograph just this drink. It would be the single drink in the shot. I might have a couple of rogue raspberries in the background, but it will be really clean and simple. But if I'm having a lot of friends over, we're doing like brunch at my house on a Saturday and I want to get a great shot, I can do like all six of my drinks and have like a tray and make it have like a party feel. Like this is what we're actually all drinking and it's exciting and fun and so changing the number of drinks in your picture whether you have one or two or 10 can be a way to add different excitement to your images. Next, I wanted to show you different things that I like to garnish with. We have berries like blackberries and blood oranges. These are cool because they have really dark insides. It's super red and beautiful and striking. I like to slice these pretty thin and then shine light through them so you can see the texture. Or I use regular oranges. I use a potato peeler to get the skin off so that I can put it in like an old-fashioned. I just get a long stripe of it and then twisted up for a cool look that way. This is a micro planar. It's like a mini cheese grater and you can use it to get the zest off of lemons or limes or grapefruit or whatever you're using. You can sprinkle that in the background for a little bit of texture or you can put on the top of your drink. This is vegetables that I like to use. This is a Bloody Mary, so we have celery and then I stick a dill pickle in there. I realized it wasn't going to float, so I would have to stab it right into the celery. I stabbed it in the front and I thought it looked stupid so I've put it in the side instead and it have like the feeling of a little saguaro cactus, so I liked that and kept it. Then I added another stalk of celery for balance. Typically, if I was making this drink like for a friend or whatever, I would chop off the leaves off the top. But for the picture, I thought that they added a nice feeling to them. Then I add a bit of cracked pepper to the top and later you'll see I added pretty much all over the place just for a little bit of a pattern in the background and then I'm styling here with some extra dill pickles and throwing some toothpicks on there to give the idea that we're going to be like poking them and eating them. Later on, I actually removed some of the toothpicks because they were casting a glare in the front of my glass, that was distracting in my picture. It'd be pretty easy to edit out but if you know, if you correct that thing while you're shooting it's less work and you're editing sequence. Then I also like to use lots of herbs. This is Rosemary. You can use it for like a foresty feel, it smells super good and it has nice leaf shape. This is mint. We throw this in mojitos or use it for deserts. It is super fragrant. I like to pinch off the top and then put that right on top of my drink as a garnish. This is sage. It's really beautiful and light. It's very soft, has a pretty intense flavor. For one of the drinks I made, I ended up sugaring in the leaves. You let them soak in water and then you press them into a bowl of sugar and let them dry to give off this crystalline, sparkling texture. Next up we have different spices. This is Star Anise, it has a very distinctive shape that I think looks really beautiful in pictures. This is cloves. Again, this one is easy to like, sprinkle or stab into stuff, its very prominent smell. Here's coriander, you could put this with the Bloody Mary. This is poppy seeds. You could rim a glass with then. You see that I rim the glass with these black sprinkles, so that was fun. You can also use turbinado sugar if you're going for like a natural look. These are sort of like vanilla colored sugar crystals. Here's some margarita salt for the edge of a margarita. You can accent we straws or umbrellas. These are sparkler birthday candles. I got these because I thought they would make a fun like 4th of July picture. But when I let the birthday candles, they didn't sparkle hardly at all. If you wanted to do a sparkler image, get actual sparklers and work with those. Another way to make your images standout as by adding movement. Here I am pouring coffee creamer into a mason jar of hot coffee. It didn't turn out as great as I expected, but you get the idea. This is a glass of wine. I love how this came out and then this is me just repeatedly dunking this teabag in this little cup of water, getting the drips and the color pouring off into the glass. This is a great lead into the next section where I show you how to photograph smoke and steam. 7. Capturing Smoke and Steam: This section is all about photographing smoke and steam. Here's my setup on my kitchen table. I have two black foam core boards that are my walls and then I have a blackboard in the background. I've got a little bit of white foam core peeking through on the corner, the back left corner. Then I have the window light shining through on the back right corner. I'm basically creating like a cross beam of light shining at my subject. When I first started photographing smoke, I was like, "I'll just trap a mat underneath the glass and then we remove the glass and smoke will come up." It was very, very ineffective. My friends suggested that I use incense and burn that in background of my picture. It was such a perfect idea. I've never used incense before so I didn't really know how to make it work. You light it and then you have to put it out so it smokes. Then I just set my stick right behind my drink so that it would cast smoke streams behind it. This was super effective. I photographed this little shot just to get my lighting and settings just right. I poured the shot into a glass and watered it down a little bit so that light would pass through. I use one of those big ice cubes to give it extra brightness and then added some spices like cinnamon sticks. Later I put in some [inaudible] and clothes for a little more texture. Underneath my glass, I have a piece of tin foil. I mostly have that there so that my little piece of cloth won't catch on fire. I've got the blue cloth there to color contrast from the orange, so blue and orange, but I ended up removing the foil. I just folded it up really small, so I have like a little tiny tray for my incense to sit on so that I wasn't putting smoldering incense bits onto my towel. I was able to get that right behind the drink so that you don't see it in the pictures. Later I crinkled up the towel to help conceal the incense stick. I really love how this turned out. While I was shooting, I ended up blowing gusts of air on the side so that the smoke would swirl around, so that I could get it to look like it was coming off of the cinnamon sticks. That's the best shot that I was able to get for that and I love how it turned out. Just key things when you're photographing smoke is, making sure you have lighting coming from both sides, so we have both back corners. When you're photographing, don't get that light in the edge of the picture. You're getting a clean shot of the background but you have the light coming in from the right and behind the drink, from the left and behind the drink. This will give you really pretty highlights on the edges of your glass to help define the glass. It will also hit the smoke so that it stands out from the background. I use the blackboards on the side to block the light from hitting my foreground and my background. You can see in my final picture, my background is still really dark. If I didn't have that board there, the light would just be splashing all over and it would make it too bright and it would be basically the same color as the smoke, so it wouldn't make the smoke stand out. Key things to making the smoke stand out, we need a dark background and we need to light it properly. It does take practice but once you get it, it will be so worth it. Some technical things when I'm shooting, I usually shoot with a shutter speed of one two fiftieth of a second, around there, sometimes little faster or slower. You can experiment a slower shutter speed's going to make your smoke blurry and a faster shutter speed's going to capture it really sharply but it's going to capture less of it. Play with that back and forth to get the best combination. With your aperture, if you have your incense quite a bit further behind your drink, it's going to be a lot blurrier. It's important to keep it really close to the back of your drink so that it can look like it's around the drink and not behind it, if that makes sense. The next step I wanted to talk with you about my setup for photographing steam. I set up this little cup of tea on the edge of this suitcase in a way that's very, very similar to the smoke. It's hard to tell but I have a window in the back left and a window in the back right. They are shining down onto this edge of the suitcase. You see the little light stripes? That's the light coming through my blinds, and it's creating this really, really hot spot right there. I was challenging myself to photograph something using direct light, you can see the results of that here. I set my cup of hot tea on this improvised suitcase side table, you can see I have tons of smoke coming off of it, getting lit up by that backlight window. The window is higher than my tea, so below the window is darker even though it's a light gray wall, it's dark because it's in the shadow. The difference between that shadow and the brightness of the window is enough that it makes the steam standout. But once I get the tea in there, I start to photograph it, moving it around, trying to get the tea incorporated in the water, creating really beautiful stills as I go. Part of the time the steam was striped because of my window, so I ended up adjusting the shades so that it was open fully or closed more. I also changed angles so that I could get different looks. Recomposing, getting closer, further away, changing everything up, moving my subject around so that it's lit up really well and trying different things. What I recommend is to just mix it up, try things you wouldn't expect and just be constantly composing and recomposing as you go. 8. Implementing Lighting and Workflow: All right, this section is all about lighting. We're going to dive right in and this is my setup. It's really messy. I have preliminary putting things where they should go. I've got all my ingredients on the side. I'm going to create my drinks, but not until I get my lighting just right. I have my backdrop, it is clamped and sturdy, and then I also put a piece of tile on the foreground so that, that's what I'll be working on and then I set a couple glasses on there just so I can see how the light's hitting them and adjust accordingly. For this shot, I'm actually going to try and mix of different lighting. So I'm going to try side lit and I'm also going to do some back lit and mix it up and show you what I do when I typically shoot a drink. We're going to start out prepping our ingredients. I ended up chopping all my blood oranges and then picking out the best ones to put in my shot. Then I'm just moving things around, figuring out where I want to lay it out, just starting piece by piece, intentionally putting things where I think that they'll look nice, mixing it up. I also add bits of the extra sage that I didn't sparkle for color and filling in the background of the image. I start out by filling up my glasses with ice. I want to use a ton of ice because I know it's going to melt and the more ice I have, the colder my drink is and the slower it will melt, and so once I get things looking good, I'm going to pour my pre-mixed drink into there. I fill it up almost all the way and then I top it with Schweppes club soda and then they put the two pretty slices of blood orange on top and adorn with the sugared sage leaves that I made previously. I have some extra sugar, so I sprinkle it around to give a little bit of contrast and pop to my background, which is a plain gray and then I just moved my camera so you can see what I'm doing as I'm shooting. Here's some shots that I was able to get. This shot is awesome because its side lit but it's side lit at a diagonal, so it's got a little bit of back lighting which is accenting the texture in the pulp of the orange, if that makes sense. So it sparkles there. But if I turn just a little bit, maybe even like two to four inches toward the window, I can get this shot and it really makes that orange stand out. So it's really sparkly, it's technically more back lit, but it's not fully back lit. When I say side lit or back lit, it's not necessarily always directly side lit or directly back lit. It can be a combination of the two, that's what I've done this shot and then I also did a flat lit. I did this shot from above, its side lit and you can see it's showing off the texture on the top of the rind and also casting these big beautiful shadows. This is a shot where it's just taken from the front. This is our classic side lit. You can see the front drink is a little darker than the back drink because it doesn't have as much light hitting it, the drink looks a little bit muddled here. It's not my favorite, but you can get the idea if it was a lighter colored drink, it might be more effective. Next, I change it up, I'm twisting my board. It's nice when you set up on a board because then you don't have to move every single piece. But I twist my board more toward the window and then since I'll be shooting with the window in the background rather than the blackboard. I will close my curtains so that I don't have like my backyard in the background of my pictures. When I was shooting, I took a couple shots and I noticed that the light that was hitting the orange was just a little too bright and so I ended up pulling my orange slices out and then putting them in sideways so that I could get that beautiful light coming through them, showing off a different dimension of the orange slices. Then again re-adorning them with the sage leaves and here is a couple of images that I got from that angle. This is a pull back toward the end of my session, I move my board back onto the black background because since I moved to the oranges, I wanted to shoot them with this black background inside and see what I got there. Here's an image of those. I love how these turned out. They're really pretty, but they're still deep and saturated at this point. I've got a lot of condensation dripping down onto my board so it's really wet but I like how it looks. It looks real and it's not perfect and it doesn't have to be. Of course, don't forget to get detail shots. This is a detail shot of this sugared sage and I love how that turned out. Next up, I wanted to talk with you about how I got a really moody shot of this wine, this is a really syrupy Cabernet Sauvignon. It feels a little weird to say Cabernet Sauvignon because around here we have this inside joke or we call it cabinets of big men, we're very cool. Anyway, Cabernet Sauvignon, I was not concerned about giving light through it because it's so dark. Mostly I was concerned about making the color stand out. I figured if I was pouring it, it would create bubbles and those bubbles would have that beautiful purpley color that I was going for. A pouring shot, really tricky. You can see this is my setup first of all, I have made a little tint, a tunnel, a cave on my kitchen table. I have to foam cord boards as the walls. I have my chalkboard backdrop in the back and then I've laid black poster board on top and loosely secured them with masking tape. It's pretty sketchy like my cat ran into my tripod and the whole thing collapsed and I was really upset. I don't recommend moving really quickly past it something like this or bumping into it because unless you set it up more securely than I do, you might have some issues. Anyway, so looking into this tunnel, you can see that I have created a small window of light where it pours in and it just lights up one beam of my image. This is super dramatic lighting, but it's very effective for this shot. I do product shots for Chocolove, I did this shot for them specifically and I wanted to create a feeling of complexity and creating a moment it's dark, it's late, it's sultry and I love how this turned out. This is a shot, you can see my background, my setup. You can see my hand pouring the wine, I didn't have perfectly manicured fingers on my final shot, I actually ended up editing out my hand and cropping in. So I felt like this close crop was really effective. You can't see my backgrounds, you can't see the foam core or the masking tape or the mess around my house. You just see this little glimpse, into this moment in time where it's like a perfect bottle pouring this delicious glass of wine. Yeah, you have to improvise, you use what you can and you just make it happen and to get this pouring shot, it was actually really tricky. I set my camera on my tripod and then I set it up on the self timer mode. After a few seconds, it takes a bunch of pictures in succession. It takes like ten pictures with like half a second in-between. Because it was too far away from me to hold it and be taking pictures at the same time and I didn't want to splash everywhere, I had to focus on pouring the wine consistently, making it look beautiful and then my camera would take pictures as I go. You have to put your trust in your camera and for me it worked out, so that's great. But yeah, so I love how that turned out and then I just wanted to show you a pullback of how I did my Bloody Mary shot my kitchen is a disaster. But we just push things out of the way to get them out of the picture. This is just my same chalkboard backdrop that I use in almost all of these setups and it's super effective. If you haven't already taken my backdrops class and learned how to make this, it's so easy and I seriously use it for everything, so I definitely recommend that. But yeah, so hopefully this was helpful to see how I set up my lighting scenarios. Sometimes it's as simple as rolling out a piece of white paper and then shooting with my white curtain backdrop. It's just really brightened airy like detox water shot and sometimes it's more complex like building a cave. Seeing what it looks like when I'm shooting and then applying that into how you're shooting. You can take your pictures to the next level, hopefully. Yeah. 9. Lightroom Edit: This next section is all about editing. When I do most of the pictures that I take, I shoot with my DSLR and then I import my files into Adobe Lightroom. Lightroom is a program that you can get for $10 a month and it includes Photoshop and I totally recommend it for if you're just getting started editing or you're trying to build a portfolio and improve your images. Lightroom, once we get our photos imported, they show up down here and I like to go through and star, hit "Number 1" or hit "Number 2", star the images that I want to edit and then I can filter it and just look at the pictures that I actually liked. For this, I'm going to do a quick run through of how I would edit this shot. Looking at it, first of all, my horizon is not straight. I'm going to hit the crop tool, which is this little box up here. Then with the crop tool, if you drag inside the image, it'll draw a crop or if you drag outside, you will see this little arrow and I can adjust the angle. I'm going to click and drag and adjust the angle so that my picture is nice and straight. Then I'm actually going to crop off the bottom a little bit just because there's not a whole lot of information down there. I'm keeping my line right at my liquid level and that is going into the rule of thirds, keeping that there. Then we have this little corner of billowing smoke right here on this crosshair. So this picture is super balanced and effective. I really like how that is looking. I'm going to click the crop tool again to accept. Then let's edit. Starting at the top with my exposure, this picture is pretty dark, so I'm going to bring my exposure up just a little bit, not too much because I want to add a lot of contrast. Let's add some contrast. Contrast makes your shadows darker and your highlights brighter. This picture is going to be really moody. So I want a lot of contrast. Our shadows seem really dark, so I'm going to bring those up a bit. This is pretty subtle, but it does a lot for the smoke, so I want to do it, and then whites also will kick up the smoke and the ice and so that I want to bring up quite a bit. Then blacks, I think I'll take them up just a little bit. Then I want to increase the vibrance and the saturation. I'm going to bring those up to probably like five or seven. Then right now, looking at the picture, my smoke looks really cool. I don't mean cool like awesome, cool like really blue. I want the smoke to look more gray. That means that my temperature needs to adjust to be warmer. I'm going to bring this up a little bit till my smoke looks the way that I want. Much better, a lot more gray. I feel like the drink looks a little greenish, so I'm going to adjust my tint by bringing it more into the magentas, just a little bit. Awesome. Now I'm going to adjust my clarity slider. Clarity, I never adjust when I'm photographing people, but because this is a drink, I'm okay with having it be super extra. The clarity, if you bring it all the way up, looks really industrial and intense and so I usually like to just keep it pretty mellow and low key. Then let's drop down to the tone curve. You can touch the tone curve and adjust it that way, but I just prefer to use the sliders because they're a little more precise and I understand what's happening. I'm going to bring my darks up just a little. This will add some information in my mid tones, and then I'm also going to bring my lights up and my shadows down. I think my highlights are a little bit hot, so I'm going to scroll up. Rather than using the highlights in my tone curve, I prefer to use the highlight slider in my basic section right here. I'm going to bring those down just a hair so that we have information in the bright spots. Then lastly, let's adjust the sharpening. I like to sharpen an image so that it looks really clean and crisp like when I share it on Instagram. You can just adjust the sharpening or you can do a controlled sharpen. If you go down to masking and drag it up, it doesn't really look like it's doing anything until you hold down the option key while you slide. If you're sliding and you have the option key held down, everything white is going to get sharpened and everything black is going to not get sharpened. So you can use this to pick exactly what parts of the image that you want to receive the sharpening. I'm going to put it about right there and then I'm going to drag my sharpening. I still have option held down, that's why it's black and white. That's easier to see what's getting sharpen. I'm going to do about halfway and call it a day. Let's do some cloning. Scroll, let's see. We have this little clone tool right here. I can see my glass is scratched and so I wanted to get that out of the picture. I'm going to click on my clone tool, adjust my brush size with my scroll wheel to fit right over that cool scratch. It's sampled from here, which I'm happy with, so I will accept that. If I want to, I can go in and take out these weird air bubbles in the ice. I can take out this little tiny dot right here and this splash on the edge of the glass, just cleaning up anything that might be distracting. Then before I finish, I'm holding down the space bar so I can grab my picture and move it, I have this incense burning in the background and so I want to get that out of the picture. I'm going to take it out right on the edge just by clicking once. It samples from up here, which is not what I want, so I'm just going to adjust it so that it samples from the edge of this glass. There we go. Then I am going to take out a lot of that darkness right there also. I'm moving it so that the thing that it's sampling from is more in a blurry part of the picture. If I were to put it right here where this is in focus, it's going to take the texture and apply that there and it looks super obvious. So make sure to match the amount of blurriness when you're cloning so that it looks more believable. That looks pretty good, and then I'm going to take out this line right here. Can you guys hear my computer? It's having a hard time. It's breathing really deeply, because I'm recording my screen and editing at the same time. Anyway, let's adjust this, we'll take this guy out. Just like that. I hate it when it does this, samples from like way over here. Actually, it looks okay, we've got this bright spot, I'm going to get rid of it, so it's not like an ice or something like that. Let's take a look. Yeah, that looks pretty legit. Sweet. Cool. We have that removed. We've got our smoke that looks really awesome. I think it even needs to go just a little warmer. Yeah, that's nice. Then also this part of the glass is pretty dark. It's shadowed, it's got the cinnamon. I'm going to do a selective mask on there. So I'm going to click this little mask brush and then go to dodge light in. It just has a little bit of exposure there. I'm going to scroll in and then color in this section right here. That just brightens it up a little bit, adds some color. You can see here's my before, and then here's my after. Just added a little bit of brightness to that spot to help make it stand out. Then I actually have this weird little white dot right on the edge that I think is distracting. So I'm going to crop that out. I'm going to crop out that little bit of spice too right here so it's not in the picture. Bring this up just a little, bring this down just a little. Love it. Awesome. That is my finished photo for this and then let's say I want to edit the rest of the session just like this. I'm going to hit this Copy button, press "Enter", go to the next picture, which hasn't been edited, and then hit "Paste", and it will paste all of my edits except my cloning and my painting and my crop, and so I would have to crop out this bright white line right here, fix my horizon, bring out my crop, and then take out that little nick in the glass. Very similar picture, really easy to edit a whole series of photos with the same settings. Then let's say I want to export it so that I can share it on Skillshare. I right-click, go to Exports. Then I'll put it in a subfolder Instagram, change my title, this is Smoky Whiskey number 2. Then I'm adjusting my file settings. File settings, I usually limit my file size to 1800k because that is a size that is okay to post on Skillshare. I'm super annoyed when I have a file that's a little bit too big and Skillshare is like "Oh no, you can't upload that," and I'm like, "Fine," and then I have to re-export it. I usually just have this check just so that I don't get hit by that filter there. But anyway, if you didn't want to limit your file size, one thing that you can do, I used to always have my quality at 100 percent because I'm like, well, the highest quality, the best, but I read online that they've done tests and they've found that 90 percent is basically identical to 100 and the file size is much smaller and so for the quality, usually I leave it at 90 percent if I'm not going to limit the file size, but I'm limiting the file size so we're going to have that checked. I typically change the size of my image to be 2,500 pixels on the long edge. That means if it's a tall picture, like this one that I'm exporting, this edge is going to be 2,500 pixels. But if it was a horizontal picture, it would be this edge down here that would be 2,500 pixels. Then obviously if it's a square, it's going to be 2,500 by 2,500 and my resolution is typically at 240. I changed my output sharpening for screen, standard amount of sharpening and then I just do nothing when I export it. Export it, it throws it in my folder and I am ready to use it. That is my typical Lightroom Edit. 10. Outro: That's it. Thanks so much for taking my class. I hope that you learned something. Please share your projects on the project section. I love to see the work that you create. If you decide to share your images on Instagram, tag me. My handle is just tab little park. I love to come and see your work. If you have questions or need extra help, leave a comment in the community section and we can work through any photography related issues that you might be running into. If you've got suggestions for future classes you'd like to see me teach. I would also love to hear that as well. Yeah, thanks so much for watching.