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Behind the Scenes: Shooting an Iconic Whisky Ad on a Giant Ice Cube


On this Resource Magazine behind the scenes video, NY based food photographer Adrian Mueller shows how his collaborative creative process, how he works with lighting, and ice to shoot a Maker’s 46 whisky inside a block of ice.

Food (and liquid) photography is both extremely technical and yet very pre-planned but creative process. On this behind the scenes look at a Maker’s 46 whisky shoot we can see some of the challenges Mueller was facing when shooting this image.

First, you need to understand the medium that you are shooting – in this case  Maker’s 46 whisky is made only in the winter so ice was an obvious choice . Working with ice isn’t simple – it doesn’t stay frozen so you need to work fast (or turn on the AC – even if it is cold outside – just like Mueller did).

Next you need to consider lighting. Reflections is a big issue here (they can be difficult with glass objects such as bottles) so you will need plenty of diffusion. You will also need to consider the background – in this case Mueller used moulted red wax on top of a metal sheet to create a very specific texture that he was looking for.

By the way, if you are into creating your own metal sheet backdrops (or backgrounds) for food photography – check out Brooke Lark from cheekykitchen blog. In the video below she shows just how she creates her backgrounds (we suggest using gloves and something to protect your breath – these sprays are not something we would recommend breathing- even outside).

How to create a cool DIY aluminium backdrop / background for your food or product photography shoot

We highly suggest that you check out food photography sub-section here on LensVid which includes a large number of very helpful videos on the subject. If you are more into behind the scenes videos – you can check this page.

  • Zack

    They took all the trouble to photograph it in actual ice, and then the final product looked like they photoshopped the bottle in there… Bad editing.

    • I tend to agree – something in the Photoshop looks over done – at least in the video.

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