Perfect Product Tank Shots

How exactly do you create shots like this, ensuring that the products stay in the correct place and remain perfectly lit, without wasting days of shooting time?

All is revealed in this step-by-step class. You’ll see the simple trick Karl uses to fix the products in the perfect position and the setup he uses to create the image.

Using a combination of speedlights and studio flash, Karl takes you through his lighting choices and explains why a fast flash duration is necessary to freeze the moving subjects.

You’ll also learn how to create white backgrounds and how to avoid reflections in glass when shooting images like this.

In this class:

  • Techniques for fixing products in position
  • How to create white backgrounds for product photography
  • How to avoid reflections in glass
  • How to freeze moving subjects and splashes
  • Combining speedlights with studio flash lighting

To see how Karl retouched this shot, check out Perfect Product Tank | Post-Production.

If you enjoy this class, be sure to watch Shooting Liquid Bubbles With a Single Speedlight and Clinique Shoot 1: Planning and Lighting.

Questions? Please post them in the comments section below.

© Karl Taylor


  1. Gary Stasiuk

    Hey Karl
    Attaching the product using silicon, as you have done, must be contingent on the label being able to hide the glue I would imagine. If you were dealing with a perfume bottles, I suppose you could use silicon or maybe even hot glue as you have used in other shoots but you just need to be inventive in where to set the glue in order to hide the mess as best as possible. In some cases, are you also using the acrylic rods/sticks while shooting glassware?

    1. Hi Gary, yes this is always a problem. The glue gun glue doesn’t like water for too long and comes unstuck. Other methods are UV glue and also the industrial clear double sided tape which is good if you have the back of a flat bottle, this is less ‘blobby’ but has a slight diffusion to it. Unfortunately with any method there is some post production involved in removing glue, supporting rods or acrylic sheets.

    2. Hi Gary,
      there is some crystal clear silicon like glue you can get in your DIY store. I’ve used this already to glue to glas plates on each other w/o any visibilty than a slight color shift.

  2. Hello
    I have a question: why don’t we put the SoftBux lighting, for example, directly behind the aquarium and give us a white background?

    1. Hi John, you put black fabric or a black box around your lens all the way to the glass. If no light can hit the glass then there can be no reflections.

  3. Hi Karl, Absolutely love your videos and have learned precisely what I needed to take my product photography to the next level. I’m interested in doing water/splash photography and wondered what size tank you would recommend?

    1. Hi Harvey, that’s a bit of an open ended question as there are many types of product splashes some from above, some from the side etc etc. However I’d have a shallow large tray 1m x1m for the above shots and then a large fish tank probably 1m wide by 50cm deep as a minimum for a tank shot. Many top pro product photographers like Jonathan Knowles have multiple size tanks in their studios. See the live talk show with him in the Live Shows replays.

  4. Hi Karl, Question..using your hasselblad , did you have the autofocus sensor on? or did you focus manual and shut AF off?

    1. Hi Mike, I pretty much use my Hasselblad in MF most of the time, or I focus once in auto to then lock it into manual focus.

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