Ok, so it's a "making off" entry again:
What seems like a cool day at the beach, was a windy south-easter day, hot!!!, and sandy. Anybody's who's been at Milnerton beach, over lunch, early December, can testify to the general weather conditions. To get that angle on a shot, it means you're lying flat on your stomach to see through the viewfinder, eating sand, and shielding your eyes from sand traveling at you at 40km/h. Trying to keep perspex upright can be a challenge!! Just after spraying the bottle with some water to create the fresh droplets, a gust of sand would leave it looking grimy. Time to wipe it off again. Luckily it all turned out well. Art director Taryn shown in the pic and the final. Sorry for horrid scan, but it's the only one I have on hand!
The brief was "fashion" flash with drop-out background lighting. It needed to look summery, yet "fashiony". This meant having studio flash on the beach, so I opted for the Profoto II7B pack with 2 bare heads. Since we were shooting over lunch, the sun was coming at an angle of about 80 degrees, so I had to use both heads to counter the sun's blast! The 2 heads were positioned left of the bottle, diffused by an upright piece of 3mm perspex. This creates the nice even highlights as well. A similar perspex was placed on the other side to create a soft highlight reflection (softer than an opaque reflector). The sun created the zing on the bottle, and I needed to balance the flash exposure just right, so the sun still afforded a nice spill-light effect from the side. The reflection of the sand made the wine come alive even more, although the side lighting did quite a bit in bringing the colour up a bit. Post-production (done by the capable people at WINE) included retouching the odd stray reflection and cleaning off the odd unwanted grain of sand. They then went ahead with layout and making it print ready at repro. I supply the optimized hi-res TIFFs (from CR2 files, processed with CS3) to the client, with basic touch-ups and level corrections.
So there you go, the cover of WINE, January 2008.