Matamaka: To Spritz or not to Spritz?

As a photographer and retoucher, I love glass. The clarity, reflections, and refractions create amazing opportunities to capture something beautiful. Thus it’s always a pleasure to do a hero bottle shot, a shot that is specifically to make the product look as good as possible. A while back I was tasked with doing the Hero shot for Matamaka Beer, a brew made in New Zealand for the Kingdom of Tonga. They required two shots – one ‘straight’ shot, with no glorification or distractions, and one ‘spritzed’ shot, or in other words, looking like it had just come out of the chilly bin at the beach, ready to drink.

The first shot was no real hurdle, with a bit of back lighting, superimposing shots, and a fair amount of retouching it was looking pretty good.

The second shot was a bit more of a challenge. Prior to this, I have dodged spritzing a fair bit, using pre-shot droplets and overlaying them onto the subject. Due to the bottle shape, and the quality of end product needed, that process wasn’t going to hold up. After a fair amount of researching with water, I found it was just too light a liquid to hold any sort of desirable shape for any length of time. Gelatine was found to be a good mix, thickening up the water, making it ‘glob’ together and stay there. To cut a very long (and probably quite tedious for some readers) short, after quite a lot of fiddling, experimenting, and retouching, a final product was achieved that I think looks pretty damn good.

The best thing about it is that now my systems are in place for a repeat shot. Where this took me the best part of 2 days to achieve, now that I’ve found what works (and what doesn’t), it would now take drastically shorter time frames to do it again with another bottle. Onwards and upwards!

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