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Whether it's for a specific client or you just want to add cool stuff to your stock portfolio, taking pictures of a liquid splashes and glasses can be very fun and if you do the job right, you will end up with some awesome shots.
There are a couple of ways to do this, but we want to show you our favorite. First of all, you're going to need a camera, a tripod and a longer lens, preferably anything longer than 100mm.
Then, you're going to need a table, which doesn't necessarily need to be a product table, just something that gives you enough space to maneuver.
(Success Tip:Take better photos with this simple deck of cards)
You're going to need some flashes and modifiers. Now this is where it gets a little tricky. You can get the job done with speed lights, or flashguns, but we don't recommend them for this type of shooting. Studio flashes will give you more power and faster speed of operation, so we suggest you use those. But if you don't own any, again, you can get the job done with speed lights.
The choice of modifiers is also very important. You will get different results photographing the same glass with an umbrella, a soft box, or a bare flash. It's best to do some tests first and see which one gives you the desired look. However, from our experience, soft boxes tend to deliver the best results as they create the best looking highlights on the glass.
After you finish setting everything up, it's time to start shooting. You can trigger the flashes using a wireless device, or you can do it the old fashion way using a sync cable. Both of them will give you the exact same results.
This is a process of trial and error and it might take quite a few attempts before you get that shot you're looking for. Sometimes, it might not even happen and you will have to make a composite using two or three images. This is by no means a solution of compromise because it will often produce spectacular results with a lot of commercial appeal.
Reading about how to do this is one thing, but seeing the demonstration is another. Speaking of demonstration, here is a great video made by Photo Extremist that will show you everything you need to know about creating this kind of image.