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Layers

Layers

No deep story behind this one; I just felt like playing with lighting and close-up shots. This one had the added benefit of getting me to practice some of my old bartending tricks--in order to get the color change from the bottom to the top of the liquor, I layered blue curacao on top of Chambord. There's green apple schnapps on the bottom, too, but by the time I got this shot set up, the Chambord had completely diffused down into it and I had to settle for only two layers.

It's actually kind of a good thing that I had this idea, because it got me to clean out my liquor cabinet a bit. The apple schnapps actually had several dead ants floating in it. Shows how often I use apple schnapps.

Technical info: Shot with a Nikon D40 and Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 lens at 55mm, in manual exposure mode. Aperture 5.6, shutter 1/2 sec, ISO 200. The glass is lit with a Nikon SB-400 from camera right and above, set to 1/128 power. I taped a white piece of printer paper to a box for a fill card on the left and hand-held a red Netflix envelope under the flash for additional, warmer fill on the right. The background is lit with a flashlight, which is shining onto a wall through a wine glass and a pilsner glass. I used a cordial glass instead of a wine glass for two reasons: first so that I could have it be completely framed by the light on the wall without getting too close to the wall, and second so that I could use less liquor. By getting close up, I was still able to give the illusion of a full-sized glass.

I'd also like to take just a moment here to feel good about myself, as apart from the normal RAW conversion process (which includes some sharpening), this image hasn't been manipulated at all. It's straight out of the camera.

Thoughts for improvement: I was constrained here largely by the need to balance the flash with the background light. If I could get a brighter background light, the layers would be more noticeable in the liquor and I could also get more definition in the glass. It would also be good to get some better fill cards, as you can actually see the Netflix lettering in the glass if you look closely. I also should have done a better job cleaning the glass, as there are a few streaks near the rim.