Gucci Guilty - product shoot

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Mads Bjerke Contributing Member • Posts: 793
Gucci Guilty - product shoot

New year and new challenges.
Here is a BTS of a shoot I just did for a Gucci Guilty perfume bottle.

This bottle has a mirrored gold finish and it will require some very specific techniques to capture. The surface will reflect everythng and I need to create a set that will control these reflections.

The goal is to have a clean bottle without the surrounding room being visible.

The shooting plan is to create a main image of the bottle that can serve as an e-commerce image and then create the full artwork using that image and a Photoshop collage.

Here is a Google image of the bottle:

I did two shoots - one of the bottle straight on and one with the bottle at an agle.
The angled image will be the main image used for this walkthrough.

Camera settings were:

GF120 @f11

I placed a grey vinyl backdrop curved up at the back to create an infinty backdrop that dosn’t leave a seam at the horizon.
Although the e-commerce images will be on a near-white background I prefer to shoot this on a mid-grey backdrop. This prevents what is known as blow-back where a strongly lit white surface will bounce too much light back onto the subject.
The effect of blow-back is reduced contrast and detail.
I intend to cut out the bottle and replace the background in Photoshop.

First a bit of basic physics theory:
When photographing reflective surfaces we must consider what is known as the ‘Angle Of Incidence’.

There are two scenarios:
1. We WANT to see the reflected light in the object:
The angle of the light hitting the object should be the same as the angle between the lens and the object

2. We DO NOT want to the reflected light in the object:
The angle of the light hitting the object should be DIFFERENT to the angle between the lens and the object.

The achieve the gold surface I want on the bottle I will reflect a white card in the surface.
I placed the card off to the left of the bottle and angled it so that, when viewed from the camera, I see the card reflected.
I also added a white foamboard to the lens to minimise reflections from the camera direction.


For the main Iight I placed an Elinchrom ELB500 with 100x130cm softbox above the set facing straight down (red arrows).

To make the liquid in the bottle glow I added a pece of gold reflective card behind the bottle and fired a second Elinchrom ELC125 with a snoot attached at the card (green arrows).

At f11 there isn’t enough DOF to get the whole bottle in focus so I did a focus stack.
15 images where taken using the in-camera focus bracket option set to auto.

The images where sent to Helicon Focus and stacked.

The TIFF file was then opened in Photoshop.


As always there is a lot of retouching required to get a clean and pristine image.
The bottle is very dirty and and there is a plastic straw inside the bottle that I prefer to remove.

Here is the basic TIFF image:

The dirt is everywhere:

After some hours of retouching I have ended up with this:

These will be the e-commerce images.

Now I need to create the main image.


I start with a 16:10 ratio landscape page and import the bottle image.

As I may want to resize the bottle I convert the layer to a Smart Object. This allows me to change the image size back and forth without loosing the quality.

The background will be a combination of several images.
The first image I import is for the main surface. It has a thin sliver of DOF where I can place the bottle:

I have to rotate the surface slightly so that the angle of the DOF matches the bottle

The second image I will use is for the background:

When placed behind the bottle and masked into the surface layer, we get this:

Now I need to blend the bottle into the surroundings to make it look believable.

Shadows are added to the bottle:

The bottle is too bright so I add a curve adjustment to blend it in better:

The gold surface of the bottle would likely reflect some of its surroundings so I need to emulate that.
I create a copy of the background image and rotate and stretch it - then place that on top of the bottle.
This layer is clipped to the bottle layer so that it is visible only where the bottle is visable.
The blend mode is changed to ’soft light’ and the opacity reduced to 25%.

We now have this:

Next up is the logo.
I have a vector image that I import into PS.

I open the layer style dialog on the logo layer and add a colour overlay. The colour is sampled from the bottle.
I also add a stroke to the logo to create the border on the text.

Finally I want to address the colour grade.
The colours in the surface and the background don’t match perfectly so I will load the artwork into 3dLUT Creator for some tweeks.

I split the tonal range into two:
The very dark tones are shifted towards teal/cyan.
The rest of the tonal range is shifted slightly toward orange/yellow.
I also shift the more saturated green/yellow toward orange.

This gives me the final grade:

Here is the final image:

Total time spent on the shoot, retouching and the artwork was around 18 hours.

Happy to answer any questions.

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Mads Bjerke

 Mads Bjerke's gear list:Mads Bjerke's gear list
Fujifilm GFX 100 Fujifilm XF 23mm F2 R WR Fujifilm GF 63mm F2.8 Fujifilm GF 32-64mm F4 Fujifilm 120mm F4 Macro +4 more
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