Basic Product Photography Finals: Kraken rum

Illustrative: For my second series of product shots I chose Kraken rum as I thought the bottle was an interesting shape and the label is great too. It took me a while to get it right but after some trial and error I managed to get the shiny silver of the Kraken logo and the bright white on the illustration of the bottle to show up with a white reflector, while still maintaining the rich matte black of the rest of the box. Initially I tried it with a silver reflector but that created a reflection in the glossy bit at the top (what you can see in this image is actually part of the design of the box), and also created flare on the matte part of the box. I also like that the raised letters on the side of the box are visible in a slightly 3D way. On the whole I’m very pleased with my Illustrative shot, except for the fact that the shadow behind the box makes the background look grey on the right side. In retrospect, I should’ve used another reflector to deal with this problem when shooting.

Creative: For my Creative and Complex shots I decided to go with the theme of sailors at sea, partly because sailors have always been notorious for drinking rum, but also because the rum is called Kraken and has an illustration on the label of a kraken, a mythical sea monster, with an old ship caught in its clutches. Hence, for the Creative shot I composed it as if the bottle were sitting on the desk of a ship’s captain, weighting down an old map with a couple of antique navigational instruments (a compass/sundial and a pair of dividers used for estimating distance on a map). As this was the first time I was attempting to shoot glass, a highly reflective surface, I did a lot of research into the best way to go about this. In the end I decided to use dark field lighting as I figured this would give me the effect I wanted. This involved putting a relatively large softbox behind the bottle, right against the edge of the table. I covered the softbox with black paper down the middle, leaving a strip of light on either side. This created the highlights down the edges of the bottle, whilst ensuring no light shone directly through it. In hindsight, using black material instead of paper would’ve given me more flexibility in terms of the width of the strips of light on the softbox, which would mean I could achieve wider highlights down the edges of the bottle. I also had to use a second light, with softbox attached, to illuminate the label and navigational instruments, as well as some of the map. This was the tricky part, as I had to play around with various angles of the light in order to avoid major specular highlights on the bottle. With this setup it’s impossible to avoid them completely though, so ultimately I settled on this image because the highlights are fairly soft and not obviously softbox-shaped. In actual fact I quite like how it brings out the 3D writing on the bottle. Other positive points are that it’s a really sharp image and I think the way the light falls away behind the bottle is quite effective. In post production I desaturated the image slightly whilst leaving a little bit of colour, to give it a more “olde worlde” feel. I’m really happy with how this shot turned out considering it was my first attempt at shooting glass in studio.

Complex: For my Complex shot on location I went to a beach in Oban with the intention of creating the impression of the bottle washing up on shore somewhere, still intact, seemingly the only thing to have survived a wreck (potentially caused by a kraken?!). To achieve this, I partly buried the bottle in the sand at the shore line and let the waves roll in around it so that it looked like it had naturally embedded there over a period of time. As I had hoped, the weather was overcast so the sunlight was nicely diffused and didn’t cause any harsh specular highlights or flare on the bottle. There is, however, still some reflection of the sky, which I may have been able to avoid if I had someone with me to hold a flag. I like the shells, seaweed and other debris in the shot as it reinforces the idea of flotsam and jetsam, as do the waves rolling out just at the edge of the frame, which also help to balance the shot. Unfortunately, the tide came in rather quickly and was high for the best part of the day that I was there, so I had to work fast and then try other compositions higher up the beach. Some of the resulting shots are potentially better than this in some ways, however this was the closest to my original idea so I decided to stick with it.

Night to Remember

Word Count-1892

Prompt-The Kraken Spiced Rum and the phrase “Damn, that was a night to remember.”

Characters/Pairings-Gabriel x reader, Sam and Dean mentioned.

Warnings-Drinking, fingering, unprotected sex.

A/N-This was written for @winchester-writes Birthday Challenge. I blame this all on you Rose. Between the prompt and the research, well smut happened.
Apologies to @skybinx-blog, who betaed this, I feel asleep on the couch after work.

            Sam and Dean had dragged you to the bar saying that you’d been sitting in the bunker by yourself far too much lately.  Some night out, it took less than an hour for both boys to find a hook up leaving you alone at the bar.  As you finished your Kraken and coke the bartender set another drink in front of you.  Puzzled, you looked up at Glen.

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