Saint Vivant Armagnac

Saint Vivant Armagnac VSOP

I wanted to create the “classic” luxury brandy shot with the golden spot background  and the glow in the bottle. I also need to test a new lens, camera, and lighting, so with some reflectors pilfered from Peter Lippmann and a sheet of glass for shooting I set up the studio and got to work. The lens is special, a Carl Zeiss 100mm f2 manual focus Macro Planar ZF.2, that was somehow converted from its primary role as a Arri motion picture lens to work with a Nikon DSLR. I bought it to shoot products and headshots, and after a couple of days of testing I must say that it is the finest lens that I have ever owned, sharper than my camera sensor and with the best bokeh that I have ever seen for portraits. Everything shot with it just snaps and looks three dimensional, with perfect colors. Amazing.

The camera tested is a Nikon D3, and for this shot I set it to full blast RAW 14 bit. The dynamic range of this camera is awesome, and that can be seen clearly in this product shot filled with sweeping gradients and subtle tones.

Lighting was accomplished with a  Broncolor pack, a Pulso focusing head with a deep gold gel firing at a black card (for the glow), and another head in a socked beauty dish that was modified with black paper to give a linear spectral highlight on the left side of the bottle. The hard part was arranging the reflectors to light the label and make the liquid glow. Photoshop work mostly involved removing pollen from the bottle and glass surface and some mild dickery correcting imperfections in the glass and glow.

The Armagnac with the phallic bottle is, ironically, from Condom France.

One Response to “Saint Vivant Armagnac”

  1. Damien says:

    Nice shot! Very sharp!

    Great choice of bottle… and lighting color. By looking at the picture I can almsot feel the warm feeling of the Armagnac in my throat as I’m (mentally, unfortunately) drinking it. ;o)

Leave a Reply