06.05.12, Week 38: Whiskey on Wood

by pbnb

Last weekend I was out of action due to a stomach flu which pretty much knocked me flat, so this week’s post is a bit late. I’m also cheating as I hadn’t managed to take a picture and didn’t want to put up one from my archive, so this week’s shot was taken after the post date. I’ve been wanting to have a go at some kind of product photography for a while, and I thought that I’d have a go with my decanter and tumblers. They were my eighteenth birthday present from my parents so are special to me. I actually got the idea when I was sat in my room, thinking and enjoying the whiskey that the decanter holds.

The floorboards are from my room in Manchester and are actually what really sold the house to me when my housemates and I looked around it. I love exposed floorboards that are real wood, so it’s been really nice to be able to live in a room that has them. I thought they would make a nice background to place the decanter and tumblers on, and perhaps one that seems appropriate for the connotations that come to mind when I think of decanters and whiskey. I wasn’t following a guide to taking product photography, nor did I have any particular brief in mind; I just created an image that seemed to showcase the items.

I found the shape of the items quite difficult to frame, because the decanter is so tall and thin it takes up quite a lot of vertical space which the squat tumblers do not require. It’s therefore important to position the items carefully in order to get a good angle onto the products without having too much foreground or background. I think I nearly got the balance right, but the framing could do with being a bit more cropped in order for there to be a little less space around the items. I’m pleased with how they’re positioned, I think it’s good to have the tumblers in the foreground, but actually focus on the decanter as the main part of the image because it allows the decanter to effectively stand over them.

I am slightly disappointed that the tumblers aren’t quite level with each other in terms of the position, but that isn’t the part that most detracts from the image. I’m really annoyed that I didn’t fully align the gap in the floorboard that runs through the centre of the decanter with the centre of the stopper. It bothers me every time I look at the image. However, as those who have read some of my previous posts will know, the perspective created by the lines running from the front to the rear of the image is particularly appealing to me. I am just disappointed that I didn’t fully use the centre line to create symmetry throughout the image.

This week, one of my subscribers, Marion, nominated me as one of her fifteen most versatile bloggers, she had this to say about my blog:

Nik Bond is my next photographer. He makes me laugh because he tells us how he has set up his shot in such a way that I get a perfect picture of his flat and flatmates! He tells me all the technical stuff, but honestly it is his prose that I look forward to. Quite simply he is a brilliant experimenter.

Thank you for nominating me Marion, and thank you for sharing my blog with other people, I really appreciate it. What I like most about what Marion says is that she looks forward to my prose; I take great pride in my writing and it’s really gratifying to have that noticed. As I have received the nomination, I now have to tell my readers seven things about myself and then nominate fifteen bloggers to receive the award from myself. So I am going to give that some thought over the next few weeks and do a post with it. I have to admit I don’t read a lot of blogs, I spend so much time reading for my degree that it’s nice to do other things in my spare time like writing this blog. I’ll have to do some searching and see what I like.


Those of you who listen to BBC Radio One will know that Ben Howard recently did a cover of ‘Call Me Maybe’ by Carly Rae Jepsen. I didn’t, because I don’t listen to the radio, but luckily a friend of mine shared it on Facebook, for which I am very grateful. I’m not going to launch into a rant about how unfair it is that Ben Howard isn’t more popular than Carly Rae Jepsen considering their relative talent, there’s been masses of that on the internet since this cover came out, you only have to look at the comments on YouTube to see that futile debate. I’m also not going to go into it because my girlfriend happens to be a massive fan of the original version, and, as I’m sure you’ll all understand, I don’t want to start anything on that front.

What I will say is that you should definitely go and listen to some of his music, all of it if you can. These two videos are live versions of ‘Only Love’ and ‘Further Away’, they’re not the same as the versions on his debut and only album to date, Every Kingdom, they’re extended and pretty special. I got the album yesterday and have not stopped listening to it since, if you like it, try to get the deluxe version, the songs on the second disc are all as good as those on the first. I think ‘Black Flies’ is my favourite track, and I hope he puts out some music of that style in the near future. Having said that, it’s all really good so go and listen.


      • Date taken: 08.05.12
      • Aperture: f/2.8
      • Speed: 1/80 sec
      • ISO: 400
      • Focal length: 24mm