The Westcott Skylux is a superb solution for photographing beverages. In this video, I will demonstrate my go-to lighting setup for photographing glass bottles. I prefer this method when photographing any glass or bottle from a bottle of beer to a glass of cola because it creates a dramatic separation from the background and reveals the shape of the bottle with a smooth gradient in a very sophisticated way.
You could achieve a similar look with one softbox and a white reflector on the left side but the look wouldn’t be quite the same. With a three Skylux setup you could easily use a white card to create the highlight on the left and use the third Skylux with the basic reflector attachment to highlight the label. Keep in mind that in order to remove any highlights that appear on the front of the bottle you will need to cover any light source you use to light the label with a polarizing gel. Polarizing gels can be purchased at any major photographic retailer or online at any of the major suppliers. In this video I have cut a polarizing gel to the size of an Ice Light but the Skylux would work just as well.
There are many ways to light glass but I find that this is a superb starting point and I urge you add this technique to your repertoire as one of many tools to create your own lighting style. Happy shooting!
This article is courtesy of Portland commercial food photographer Steven Hansen.