Due to Whisgars’ large inventory, we were required to set up the shoot on location instead of booking a studio, which created several challenges for us to overcome. As Whisgars 23 does not have a spare room available that we could convert into a temporary studio, we had to set up our equipment next to the bar and seating area. This meant that our set-up had to be compact enough to fit into limited space and it had to be easily portable. Another consideration was time. With roughly 100 bottles and over a dozen cigars to shoot, we had to make sure that our setup provided consistent lighting that worked for bottles of varying shapes, sizes, materials and colours and we had to complete the shoot by mid-afternoon when the venue was set to open its doors to customers.
The setup was kept fairly simple with two main lights firing through a diffusion panel and a third light acting as an optical spot to highlight labels. A large foam core reflector was placed opposite the strobes to reflect light back onto the bottles and illuminate them from the side. Staying true to the ambience of the venue we used one of their wooden tables as a shooting surface and placed another light fitted with a red gel beneath, illuminating a brick wall that made for the perfect backdrop. In order to bring out the colours of the whisky we placed reflective sheets behind the bottles, carefully cut to match the shape of the subject, which illuminated the liquid from behind by reflecting our main light source through the glass.