Well, as promised here is a second shot of the Absolut Bottle I posted yesterday with an explanation as to how I lit this photo.
I used three small flashed for this. My Canon 580 EX provided side lighting, a Vivitar 385HV illuminated the backdrop and a small Olympus flash for the top lighting. The Canon and Vivitar flashes were triggered with a wireless remote system I bought off Ebay which so far is working beautifully and the Olympus with an optical slave.
The base for the photo was the black lid for my slide light box. On top of the is I place a piece of glass to capture the reflection of the bottle. My background was a piece of black velvetine and was about 5 back from the bottle.
I had the Vivitar flash on a short lightstand behind and below the bottle pointed up at the background. The Canon flash was on a lightstand to the side pointed toward the bottle. And I had my lovely assistant Leanne holding the Olympus flash above the bottle.
The bottle was surround by a very expensive light box. This was constructed from an old printer box that I cut the bottom and two ends off, and cut a hole out of most of one side. I place a piece of drafting vellum over this whole to provide a softer, larger light source. The Canon flash was fired through this hole.
I also cut a small hole in the top of the box and outfitted it with another very expensive piece of photo equipment. This was in the form of two paper towels laid upon eachother and then folded over onto each other for a total of 8 plys (I purchase 2 ply for extra absorbancy!) I also used a one stop scrim on the Olympus flash to cut the amount of light, though I could have either moved the light further away or used more paper towels. Had I used another flash with adjustable settings (too lazy to go upstairs to get one) I would have just powered the flash down.
Finally, to add a little bit of definition on the bottle, I place a piece of black foam core to the left of the bottle, inside the light box I built.
Below are two setup diagams, one a top down view and the other a view from the camera angle.
This shot is a little different from the first in that I used a lower camera angle to get a straight on shot but less reflection. Lighting does not need to be expensive. I could have easily used three desk lamps and in the past, I have. I have the flash units so used those instead.
Other than the stobes which could have been substitued with household lamps, the most expensive thing in this setup was the bottle of Vodka itself. Everything else are just household items. What, you don’t have drafting vellum? Substitute a piece of typing or tracing paper…or another paper towel.