Sunday, June 27, 2010

The New Beverage Pours

Lately, I've been observing more and more TV ads featuring beverage pours. Well, I admit I have been watching more and more TV, but there is definitely a trend toward animated pours. Think Ocean Spray. Print ads, packaging, televisions ads are all using dramatic swirling beverages.

This reminded me of a discussion Gregory Bertolini brought up at our San Diego Workshop last fall - that beverage pours are such a big part of the food photography industry that there are specialty studios that shoot nothing else. I asked Greg for more information on this topic and here's what he has to say:

"Pours. There are two basic kinds: the simple pour which consists of pouring a liquid and capturing/freezing it by simply using a fast shutter speed or strobe light to stop the action. This is what most beginners, and those that rarely need a pour shot, do. And the complex 'controlled' pour shot. This involves using laser beams, with micro-second timing delays attached to specialized high speed strobe lights. This is how the professionals who shoot ads for soft drink and alcohol companies do it. This process is complex, takes training and expensive equipment.

"I have shot both ways. But I would not consider myself an 'expert' in splash-pour photography. There are splash and pour studios in New York City that specialize in this field; these studios usually offer both still and film services and are closed-lipped about their techniques. They often use computers with custom software to control the capture of an image and to control slow motion effects in film and video."

I did a Web search for these New York pour studios and Greg's right, they're a secret! See if you start seeing the predominance of pours in the world around us, not just in beverage marketing but in many other ways.

Greg's work can be seen at his Website, All four images shown are from one single issue of More magazine, July/August 2010. The bottom two are cosmetic ads.

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