I am looking to create a shooting environment for product photography, particularly wine and beer bottles. I understand that this type of photography is very difficult to get good results and considering I have a budget of around $500 its going to be even more difficult.

At the moment I'm thinking of setting up a white background with two large soft box's on each side. Then a light pointing at the white background behind the bottle to provide some light behind the bottle.

Am looking for suggestions for the set up and potential equipment in my price range.

Thanks in advance


This is probably a cliché answer, but the first thing you should buy is a copy of Light, Science and Magic. It covers in depth how to photograph glass (bright and dark field).

It requires a lot of trial and error to get right, but in addition to soft boxes and your white background, you'll almost surely need something subtractive - dark cards to flag the light, especially with light colored glass. To make light colored glass stand out against a light background, you need something dark to be reflected by that glass, hence the need for flags

  • Second this. As you'll see in the book, you need to light (or not light) the edges of the bottles to give them definition.
    – John
    May 26 '14 at 18:34
  • Is flag same as reflector?
    – Boris_yo
    Oct 6 '14 at 15:37
  • @Boris_yo opposite really. it's something to block light, like a black card or non-reflective material
    – MikeW
    Oct 6 '14 at 18:01

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