This short but awesome behind-the-scenes video from Adrien Veczan shows his setup and technique for capturing a product photo of a bottle of cranberry vodka. Check out the video and then read on to hear a little bit more about his approach and method, which utilizes different lights to paint different parts of the bottle for his final image.
A Canadian photographer with a background in photojournalism, Veczan has been working lately on more product and food & drink images. His style is to use lights almost like brushes, as he endeavors to paint light over objects to craft every shadow and highlight.
For his Bear Hug Vodka bottle shot in the video, Veczan explained to me that it's not the light source we see, as with traditional light painting, but rather the reflection of its light.
Using a long exposure and moving the lights gives me much more control than if I was using only strobes. First off, it allows me to light different parts of the shot independently. There's no need to compromise, I can use a softbox on one part and a snooted flashlight on another.
To get this with strobes, I'd have to use a ton of little black cards; but with a constant light, it's just a matter of going slower where you want more light and faster where you don't.
Having a kit of different lights enables Veczan to experiment and create very unique looks for his backgrounds. Through a lot of trail and error, he was able to come up with the background you see in the final image.
I used two lights for this background: a quick swoop with a short LED strip, and the other was a juggling toy called a POI that has a cycling RGB LED inside. I have an entire arsenal of things that emit light beyond the normal photography equipment; party supplies store are full or lights you can experiment with.
Veczan openly admits that his techniques take him much longer in the studio, but he enjoys working on the nuances of lighting of every part of an object in just the way he wants. You can follow him at @veczan on Instagram.