Beer Bottle Advertising Shot

Make beer look brilliant with this step-by-step demonstration.

In this product photography class, recorded LIVE, Karl shows you how to produce an advertising-style shot of a beer bottle as he photographs the top-down view of Chang beer partially submerged in rippling water.

You’ll see the step-by-step setup, including the preparation of the background and positioning of the bottle and lights.

As Karl builds up the lighting, you’ll cover important considerations for lighting bottles and liquids. You’ll also discover techniques used by many pro product photographers, including how to replace liquid in a bottle, fix products in position, and create gradient lighting.

You’ll learn about Angles of Incidence and Reflection, and why this concept is important when it comes to determining where to position your lighting.

In this class:

  • How to photograph bottles
  • Techniques for lighting liquids
  • Product photography tips
  • How to photograph products from above
  • Angles of incidence and reflection
  • Techniques for lighting and photographing water

If you enjoyed this live show, other product photography class you may enjoy include:

Questions? Please post them in the comments section below.


  1. The only problem that I see about your course you do not give people the link where to buy for example that tray you using to put the bottle on please give directio. On where to buy and also size because will make a little easy for us to really accomplish what you doing and be more create we do not know where to buy thing also

  2. Richard

    Great shoot. I am wondering if it would work to spray paint the back side of a clear sheet of acrylic/plexi black with the shape of the bottle taped off so it remains clear and unpainted.

    1. Hi, yes this would be possible but it would be better to use a big piece of black card with the bottle shape cut out and underneath so you didn’t waste plexi sheet which would be difficult to get the paint off.


    Since you have hundreds of videos you can imagine that people watch them from iphone to ipads to laptops or desktops, it will be great if your website would remember the position of where you are at instead of each devices giving you a different timing.
    You tube has this function I think you should add this to your amazing website –

    1. Hi, you can bookmark any video and when you login again it should start playing from your bookmark. We are working on automatic ‘resume’.


        It does only if I continue from same platform but as soon I go from an iMac to ipad to iphone its not syncing to where I left.

  4. Steve Elliott

    First off, many thanks. Your courses and method of teaching is far beyond anything else that I’ve experienced before.

    My question is: Have you used the adaptalux series of lights with regards to product photography?


    1. Hi Steve, thank you kindly. I’m afraid I’ve not had any experience with that brand, having quickly looked at their website they look more specifically aimed at macro work and the small design of them wouldn’t be as effective for a lot of products. I suggest you watch more of my product photography section and courses and you’ll see how I approach it. All the best Karl.

  5. To darken the taped bits around the bottle, what about sticking black paper in the same shape as the bottle on the underside of the tray?

  6. johnvanveen2020

    I’m suggesting the use of lithographic film from the plate making process. It would be a cost effective way to create full sized mask for immersion in the water tray . No need to cutout plexi : your printer (one Who makes plates of greater than 17″ x 25″ can supply it with a” trap ” for sizing nuances particular to interaction of your edge lighting needs .
    Thank you for your always refreshing content. Cheers

    1. Gary Stasiuk

      I thought the fact that the problem occured was great.. because I could see myself with an issue like that. Testing things in the right order often comes down to experience and errors made previously. Seeing Karl with a problem saved all of us from that travelling down that same issue.

      1. Yes but don’t worry I’m doing it again from scratch in a week or two and then releasing it as a course with the problem solved! 🙂

  7. Stephan Jarvis

    A great show, Karl, and very timely! I attempted a similar shot earlier this year but ran out of skill and knowledge. Was recently thinking about having another go and now feel better prepared after watching this. Looking forward to seeing the reshoot you mentioned doing!

  8. Great show… the problems encountered are valuable learning curves… best-laid plans of men and mice situation… you always make it look easy, however, tonight’s show proves it’s not as straight forward as people would imagine… you present the most informative photography lessons and reveal warts and all… your enthusiastic presentations are very much appreciated… many thanks.

  9. Hi Karl,
    very interesting Show!! My question is, how do you make a quote for a potential customer in advance, if during the preproduction of a shooting, things happen, you haven’t even thought about when making a quote. Like e.g. the tape in the shot which should be replaced with a new acrylic sheet because of the different color.
    How do you prepare a customer, when a shooting is going to cost more, maybe significant more, because of necessary changes while shooting takes place?
    Of course I am aware, that a quote can only be as good as your experience, but maybe something has to change, and that costs extra money, which was not calculated when making a quote for the customer.

    1. Hi Stelianos, yes quoting the right price comes with more experience but generally speaking I’d have quoted a one day shoot for this and had it wrapped up no problem, even if I had to get a sheet of acrylic cut on the day. It is likely had this been a big brand shoot I would have also had 1/2 day pre-production test and prop sourcing for that first anyway and then there would be 1/2 day to a day of post production too.

  10. Hi Karl, maybe to have a total black surface , you can use a clear acrylic , paint it with black under and let the shape of the bottle clear.

    1. Yes that’s an option but personally I’d have gone with a piece of black acrylic cut to the right shape and hole out of it as it’s just more precise, which is what I’m going to do when I repeat this shot again soon. Also see the Chanel No.5 on it’s back class.

  11. Hi Karl,

    I’m referring to your power cable issue yesterday, I have had that problem quite a bit with my MacBookPro I suspect it has something to do with the cable itself being old; but I have found that since I disabled my monitor from going to sleep the problem has been resolved.

    Ps Apple support where useless.

    Cheers John Couper

    1. Thanks Jon for that info, this particular cable is getting a bit worn but I think it turned out that I’d actually knocked the cable out during the show and didn’t realise and then it took a while for the computer to get enough charge back to start up again.

  12. DougHowell

    Super cool having the crew back! Karl I learn more from the hiccups than the pristinely edited stuff, seriously.

    1. Thanks Doug, I agree there was some great tips along the way in this one. The slight technical computer and software hitches were a nuisance but stuff happens when we’re live! The key problem at the end was having to move the camera for the water reflections as the angles of reflection weren’t quite right for the ripples in the initial camera position, which was rectified with a slight tilt of the camera but the consequence of that was then the bottle was no longer at the correct angle for the initial lighting when it was perfect. However given a little more time I would have unglued the bottle and angled it up slightly to bring it parallel to the sensor plane and the lighting would have been perfect again, but unfortunately we ran out of time. The good news though is that I can see a super shot from this setup so I’m going to repeat this in the coming weeks and film it with the final touches and we’ll publish it on the platform to reveal the final part of the process. The difficulty was trying to accomplish a day shoot in just a couple of hours so given a little extra time of not being live and I can record the whole process to the end and I can probably include the layering of the best ripples together too. All the best Karl.

    1. Thanks, ran out of time unfortunately to fix everything but one thing that came to mind after I angled the camera slightly for the ripples then I would have also unstuck the bottle and angled it upwards a little at the top of the bottle so it was more parallel to the camera.

Leave a Comment