Day 56 – Lighting Wine Bottles

Last Thursday’s lighting class was held in our instructor’s studio and we were to shoot bottles of wine; one shot using diffused and the other using reflected light. We were put in groups of about six, and in my group, I was the first to attempt the assignment. As these sorts of things are a process of seeing what works and what doesn’t, I wasn’t able to get too many shots off (two to be exact) before I had to step away and let another have a go at it.

My shot was just barely okay, and I didn’t get the lighting quite the way I wanted, nor was I able to highlight all the parts of the bottle that I wanted so I knew that I’d have to do the assignment on my own. That’s what I worked on today.  Here are the two that made the cut.

Chardonnay lit with diffused light © Carissa Snedeker

Pinot Noir lit by reflected light © Carissa Snedeker


  1. I really like (guys have a hard time saying “love” . . . don’t sound manly, you see) the lighting on the Pinot Noir bottle. It could be the warmer tones make it more appealing to me, for the other is also well lit.

    Then again, I think the shadow play with the red wine works very well.


    • I’m really happy with how I lit the Pinot Noir bottle. It is perfectly exposed and I love the reflected light on the label (rather proud of myself for that) and the back light that brings out the color of the wine and creates a bit of a rim light. I have a version of this bottle lit with diffuse light, but wanted to light a white wine for the assignment as well.

      Next assignment – will work on tomorrow – recreate a Old Master still life. I need to go to the grocery store first!


    • Thanks Joanna. I may give the chardonnay another stab as I was able to do a softer diffused light on the pinot, but didn’t try the same technique on the chardonnay. As I mentioned above though, I’ve got a still life to do and between gathering all my props and setting it up, I may not have time to mess with this other one too much more.


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