I'm not going to lie. This shot wasn't planned to be a Valentine's Day photo. All I wanted to do was to shoot a bottle again. Luckily, the first bottle I found was shaped like a heart. It's has been laying around here for years, and today was the first time I actually noticed this shape.
I did try out several ways to light the bottle with umbrellas. I put one umbrella on each side with a green background, but I didn't think it looked good at all. It may be because of the background, but also the ribs in the umbrellas. They just show too good. I really wanted pair of softboxes! The highlights didn't work with me either. The bottle has a lot of curves in the glass, throwing reflections all over the place. Here are two examples on how ugly these photos looked:
Then I started thinking about lighting the bottle from below, removing the need for umbrellas. I took out a glass plate from one of the kitchen cabinets (that was pretty scary, having Friday 13th in mind...) and put it on top of a cardboard box. I had covered the inside of this box with black cloth to minmize the reflections. In the bottom I put a SB-600 with red color gel and a home-made snoot.
By bouncing the commander flash in the ceiling I could trigger the SB-600 in the box.
As a background I just reversed the green background, and voila, a white background I could do whatever I wanted with. I placed another SB-600 in front of this white paper, also with a red color gel.
Backround flash: 1/128 power, 85mm zoom
Box flash: 1/8 power, 24mm zoom
Camera: 1/250 sec @ f/8, ISO 200
Lens: Tamron 90mm f/2.8 macro
Camera: Nikon D300
I was completely surprised to see the heart-shape inside the bottle. I knew that the bottle was a big heart, but I didn't expect to get a nice heart inside it. After some trial and error, I found a camera angle that made the inside-heart look most heart-alike. (Has this sentence ever been written before?) Changing the angle and/or camera height just a little would ruin the heart, so I'm glad I found it!
This was the best shot, IMO (the raw file):
I imported the file to Photoshop and increased the contrast a little with curves and removed some of the dust spots and reflections in the glass. Finished with a crop and sharpening.
Happy Valentine's Day!