My plan for this project was to create an advert for Robinson’s new range of products called “Squash’d”, a compact bottle of very concentrated cordial designed to be added straight into water. When experimenting with the product itself, I noticed the way the cordial was interacting with the water, before it was properly dispersed and mixed in. I thought that images of the different coloured products interacting with the water, similar to the photos below, would make an appropriate backdrop for the product shots. I began to research examples of this style of photography, and how it is best carried out.
First Shoot - Product Shot
In post production my aim was to eliminate as many reflections from the product as possible, and to bring out the dark black colours of the bottle and the bright colours of the graphics on the label. To start off with, I opened the image in Photoshop and cut the product out from the background of the original photo using the pen tool, then pasted it over a plain white layer. I then added a levels adjustment layer, so that the entire product was black, and using the layer mask, a drawing tablet and soft brushes on a low flow, I removed areas of the black that I didn’t want to be visible. Underneath this layer I then added a vibrance layer, so as to make the graphics that I had removed the black from look much brighter and more saturated. To finish off the image, I then used a white brush on a low flow to add some shine and reflections to the outside of the bottle.
Second Shoot - Product & Water Interactions
Photoshoot Set Up
The setup for this shoot was quite simple, although quite time consuming. After researching the best technique for this style of photography, I found that it was important to use a large volume of water. This was in order to get more successful shots, as the coloured liquids would disperse too quickly in a smaller body of water, which would make it difficult to take clear quality photos, as the water would have a tint to it rather than being clear.
I filled an 8 gallon fish tank with water, and placed it on a table with a makeshift white infinity wall behind it, so my photos would have a white background. I used a tripod and a fast shutter speed along with a bright studio light in order to get clear, crisp photos. During research I also found out that the thicker the liquid is being poured into the water, the longer it takes to disperse, so with this in mind I mixed my different coloured products with some sugar syrup to create a thick, gel like mixture. Before pouring the liquid into the water, I had to make sure that the camera would be properly focused, so used a pencil in the water to find the correct focal point. I also found out that in order to get the best shots, it was better to pour the gel directly from the cup into the water, as using pipettes had a much poorer outcome.
I started off by adjusting the background colour of the image using the selective colour tool, to make it as white as possible, so that the bright colours would really stand out. In some cases it was also necessary to use a white brush on a low flow to colour over any areas of discolouration left behind after using the selective colour. I then duplicated the background layer and added an unsharp mask to increase the detail of the image slightly and make it look sharper. The final step was to remove any imperfections of the image. When taking the photos, some air bubbles had formed on the sides of the tank, so I used the spot healing tool to remove all the white air bubbles from the image.
To make my finished outcome I needed to put all three coloured shots together for the background of my composite image. To do this I cut each image out using the pen tool and copied them individually into a new A3 document with a plain white background. There was a lot of white left around each image when I did this, so I had to use the eraser tool on a low and soft flow to get rid of as much of the left over white. After I did this, there were still some traces of white background left around the outlines of the colour. To rectify this, I added a Multiply overlay to each shot, making the edges much softer and transparent, so that each shot blended nicely into each other and they all looked like a single image. I then added my product shots with an outer glow and drop shadow to make it stand out a bit more from the background image, and finally I added my text.
After experimenting a little with layout, this was my final outcome.
After photographing the juice interacting with the water, I thought it would be interesting to experiment with some moving image, to create a short advert. I filmed the juice being squeezed into the water, and then added some of my photographs and text over the top of them as animated graphics. To animate the bottles at the end, I used the key frames tool in final cut pro to increase the opacity of the graphics.
Final Video Advert