Great Trick for Pouring Liquid in a Product Shot

Photographer Rob Grimm has posted a nice little BTS of his 'Micro Brewery Project' - where the photographs feature some various beers from the United States based on "unique bottle design, label, and/or flavor profile." The video starts out with a great, little trick for creating an even pour in a photo. The bottle itself is clamped in place, but by using twine, nail polish remover and fire, you can cleanly remove the bottom. With the bottom removed, you are able to get a less messy pour as well as a little bit more liquid into the glass.

In the end, you will see that the final shot is a composite - the glass and bottle, the beer and the cracked ice background are cherry picked. He also doesn't go into detail on the lighting specifics, but from what we can tell (and the glimpses are pretty quick), it looks like:

Broncolor Heads
Broncolor Para Soft 220 FB Umbrella
Beauty Dish

Remember to use caution when lighting glass on fire, and don't forget to sand down the edges.

Thanks @RGGPhoto for sending us the tip!

Milk Stout-Medium
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Tobias Solem's picture

So this really was about how to remove the bottom from a bottle.

James Darden's picture

Back when I was a kid, my father had a bottle cutter that was a glass cutter blade on a cradle. You would put a jar, bottle or whatever in the cradle and etch a line in the glass. Then holding it over a lit candle, rotate it a few times over the flame. Then use an ice cube to cool it. Then gently tap the line to separate the pieces.

This seems to work pretty well but couldn't you use a large funnel then remove it using a mask and do a composite to get the bottle back in? You could take repeated shots (refilling it after each shot) of an uncut bottle pouring the liquid out to get the right shot of the bottle in case you needed to see the contents. The dark bottle makes it easier to avoid that.

Gary Winchester's picture

Yes you could use a funnel, but most funnels dont have the same volume of neck and you end up getting a smaller volume pour. Plus you don't get to light the funnel on fire.

Lee Morris's picture

I love this video. Simple, short, and lots to learn if you really watch what he is doing.

Gary Winchester's picture


Jaron Schneider's picture

Important to remember the cold water part. You don't expressly say it but I gather that's a big reason the bottom falls off. Massive temp change.

Gary Winchester's picture

Actually the water temperature part, as we found out, wasn't too important. Half the time the bottoms popped off while we were still holding the bottle, contrary to what we thought about the cold water. Very bizarre and super effective way to do it.

Jaron Schneider's picture

Interesting. I'm certainly going to try this with a batch of Hendrick's Gin bottles I have.

Jayson Carey's picture

A friend of mine imports a brand of vodka called Shpilka, and I owe him a favor. I might have to try this out as well...

Gary Winchester's picture

I'm the studio manager with Rob Grimm. We actually use strictly Bronocolor gear with the Para 220 and pan head reflectors with polarizers to modify/eliminate bottle reflection. Polarizing the lens (120mm Macro) and lights allow you to eliminate certain reflections, basically bending light to fit you needs.

Chris Knight's picture

Thanks for clarifying!

Justin Haugen's picture

Teach him how to pour a beer the right way!

Gary Winchester's picture

Justin, that's actually the 100% correct way to pour a Nitro infused Beer like this Milk Stout. It actually says it on the bottle and is why the beer is completely upside down in the image.

Justin Haugen's picture

schooled! I don't drink stouts, I drink IPAs and Pilsners lol. Thanks for correcting me =)

Kevo X Thomson's picture

At 44 seconds in, there appears to be an edit. I want to know how the beer was disposed of!

Zack Williamson's picture

Awesome bts video, and for anyone who hasn't tried it, that's a really good beer too :)

Ryan Ketterman's picture

Excellent BTS bid. I hope that he didn't waste the beer from that bottle. That would have been a major production foul.

Ralph Hightower's picture

Neat trick! But unless pouring a beer from the bottle straight upside down is unique for Left Hand Brewing, I pour mine out at an angle.

Gary Winchester's picture

It's the correct way for Nitro infused beer, which is why we did it that way in the video and in the Ad.

Andrew Griswold's picture

Pretty slick trick. Wanting to get into more product photography inside and outside the company I currently work for its incredibly useful to see all the BTS videos for food shots and liquids mainly as my company is in the drink mix category around the world. This is a bit of a secret but beer is going to be our next project so this is perfect for me to check out. Thanks for the post!

Mansgame's picture

Slick but the picture is not believable. Beer (or any drink) won't pour out that smoothly if it was a real bottle because of the air rushing into the bottle to take the place of the liquid from the lip of the bottle. This is pouring down easily because the air is getting sucked from the top.

Moe Osama's picture

Nice Trick

J.C. Overgaard's picture

This isn't the best way to remove a bottom safely. Just score it once very lightly with a glass cutter, then hold it over the sink (with a towel or something soft in the sink to catch the part that will fall) and pour very hot water (just short of boiling) over it while cold water is running, and go from the hot to the cold quickly. it'll drop off like it was never connected. You'll get a very clean edge.

Video comparing lots of different methods, including that one, here: