Shooting a Beverage Commercial Using a Fish Tank Daniel Schiffer gets us behind the scenes of his latest commercial video shoot

Photographer, Daniel Schiffer has done it again, taking us to watch a behind the scenes of his latest creative video shoot and this time it is a real commercial for Vodka Soda (yes there is such a thing) and he is using some interesting techniques to create his artistic vision including a fish tank, colors and a ton of black covers.

As commercial food and product photographers (and videographers) ourselves, we love watching what Schiffer is doing in his behind the scenes videos. Lots of time he is able to achieve so much with such basic gear with lots of dedication, patience, careful technique and planning but most of all unbelievable creativity.

In this video, he wanted to make a dark look at the bottle of canned drink. To do this he needed to make the work environment as dark as possible so black backgrounds and low key lighting.

This video was created using a lot of masking in post (which is not shown in the video although Schiffer does mention it several times (basically many of the shots were impossible to do without hiding some elements in post-production).

One interesting trick shown in the video is to have a black material (foamboard for example) with a small hole in the middle for the lens – this will allow you to prevent getting any sorts of reflections back to the lens (essential for the part when he uses the fish tank but also useful to prevent light leaks during other types of shots).

To make the drink look more appealing Schiffer used a spray. As any product or food photographer will tell you using glycerin looks like water but it remains on surfaces much longer is very useful (our tip – do the same with Evian Facial Spray it works amazingly well).

Schiffer used a small slider and a rotating head to simulate a movement of the Soda cans (two at once) you can do each one and combine them in post but it can be complicated and usually, you should try and get as much as you can in-camera.

Another nice trick Schiffer had in this video was showing how oranges are squeezed by using two pieces of glass – this seems to work very well (just make sure the glass is 100% clean.

The final shot was using the fish tank and this requires some problem-solving. As we mentioned you need to make sure light is not going to be reflected by the walls of the tank so use black material all around. For these types of fish tank clips using colors in the water is great and so is shooting slow motion (Schiffer used an RX10 IV which can shoot 500fps at 1824×616 – not exactly super high res but apparently usable enough for an online commercial).

For more video and behind the scenes from Daniel Schiffer, check out our dedicated page here. If you are into food photography and videography we have a special sub-section here on LensVid dedicated specifically to food photography.

Iddo Genuth
Iddo Genuth is the founder and chief editor of He has been a technology reporter working for international publications since the late 1990's and covering photography since 2009. Iddo is also a co-founder of a production company specializing in commercial food and product visual content.

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