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Wine Photos - How do you take a decent (not professional) wine pic?


#1

I often feel I should upload more photos to Community site to participate in mid-week / weekend quaffing threads, or special seasonal indulgences. The truth is however that I can not take a decent wine pic to save my life.

I look at some of the photos that get posted, and think they really capture ‘the end of a working day’, or ‘something nice for this dinner’, or ‘I am watching my favourite film’ more than the professional advertisement.

When I try however there is something like a pile of washing in the background, or plates with half eaten food, or it’s too light, too dark. Or I realise I have zoomed in to close, or too far away, the picture looks wonky or blurred.

I maybe over engineering the problem here but I wonder how many people just snap and upload vs. creating a scene, using a filter, positioning glass and bottle, tweak with an editing tool after the shot?

I am no photographer, but does anyone have any tips that work for them? Natural or edited…


#2

I can only answer for myself, so… I used to take photos with my tablet - but the quality was quite poor and the images grainy, so the other half suggested I used the proper digital camera. Very old school! :camera:

I am a rubbish at taking photos - almost as rubbish as being photographed, but over time managed to find a couple locations in the house where there is good amount of light - in the summer usually in the conservatory/garden, in the winter either kitchen or lounge (a couple times a week we dine less formally in the lounge).

Personally I wouldn’t know where to start with messing with an image (filter, tweak etc.) - especially as it’s taken on an actual camera, but there is certainly an element of ‘setting the scene’ - which in my case amounts to ‘candles’. I love candles - our house is full of them, especially in winter - so it’s nice to include them in the photos.

I have to say - I love seeing people’s photos of their wines/dinner. I never thought I would - but actually it increases (for me, at least) a sense of connection and intimacy, considering we don’t really know each other in real life.


#3

Thanks! Some great pointers - the digital camera approach is something I might have to try. My old(ish) iPhone just does not have the auto-adjust capability to make wine look awesome so I will see if a different camera adds a difference.

I am totally with you on the enjoyment of community member photos as well, it is like you’re being invited in to their home to try the wine. Many make the wine look so appealing that it finds its way on to my ever growing “wish list” :wine_glass:


#4

Really interesting discussion - thanks for starting it! I agree the photos you guys all share here are excellent.

I’m the most amateur of photographers (all done on my iPhone!) but did have to take quite a few shots for blogs/publications over the years, and my top tips I’ve picked up from people over the years are:

  1. Natural light! (As @Inbar says above!) You can’t beat it for getting a decent photo - especially foodie stuff. Either outside or near the biggest window you can find. :wink: When this isn’t available, using Instagram’s edit function, you can adjust the ‘warmth’ right down to reduce the yellowy tone from evening shots.
  2. Interesting angles make up for a multitude of photography sins - just experiment and see what works for you.
  3. Keep an eye on the kinds of photos you enjoy across social/here on the Community (I follow various wine-y hashtags on Instagram) and you’ll see certain styles of photos being used often - I often copy the styles of photos I see trending (for instance, holding the bottle aloft with a nice background or flatlays) No shame in pinching inspiration from elsewhere!

#5

Pleasure :fist: Great advice as well - thanks :pray:

I am keen not to over expose (pardon the pun) the challenge, as I feel the same that photos are really good on the community site. I have seen some amazing photos on insta as well, but at times it looks like the room is decorated or organised especially around the wine :joy:

Some people have a good eye, and a knack for it - I however think I’ve chosen the right setting but it never works. I will probably have to go back to basics:

  1. Holding a glass of wine
  2. Having the bottle on a side table
  3. With a dog asleep in front of an open fire, in front of me
  4. With natural light
  5. In a home library

It is firmly on my todo list for this weekend, as well as getting a dog :dog:, and a side table, and build a home library, and fill it with books.


#6

:joy::joy: I think that’s as good an excuse to get a dog as any!

One of my two dachshunds, Digby, had a cameo in one of our Christmas Instagram posts


#7

That’s a really great photo - and exactly the sort of scene I had in my head :bulb: Now I will check that wine out as a result.

The camera loves Digby, a natural in front of the lens.

“Ok - give me sleepy Digby, give me you’ve just been on a long walk. Give me you’ve just had a big old bowl of food and you want to sleep it off.”

So versatile :wink:


#8

I think the most important thing is to concentrate on what it is you want to show and to remove everything else.

Get close to the subject with your phone or adjust the photo after taking.

The best way to do this is to crop the photo using a graphics program. There are many free ones available.

Also to resize it so its not a huge amount of megabytes…


#9

Thanks Peter - sage words. You are quite right, I try to focus on the background and landscape to much and get frustrated when the scene does not integrate. Where perhaps I need to pay a lot more attention on the wine instead👌


#10

So true, in so many situations!!


#11

I find that for some reason if I take the photo after drinking all the contents of the bottle, the photo is of a poorer quality than if I took the photo with only part of the contents drunk :rofl::rofl:


#12

:joy::joy:

I see a new camera feature recommendation winging its way to Apple / Google shortly, or after your next bottle of wine :wink:


#13

I don’t bother taking pictures of wine that often (maybe at the end of a big dinner, not so much at home) but I’m pretty keen on photography. A couple of the main things have already been mentioned:

  • ensure nothing distracting in the background (this also applies to taking label photos for CellarTracker!)
  • light should fall on the subject (so typically behind or to the side of the taker) - for wine photos I would always avoid backlighting, e.g. in front of a window
  • focus on the main subject (e.g. the label)
  • I prefer straight lines, so I tend to rest the base of my camera or phone on the table or work surface and tilt until the sides of the bottle are parallel with the sides of the frame
  • don’t get carried away and start eating before taking a picture of the food!
  • use a quick edit program like Snapseed to increase contrast and sharpness a bit, and crop as required. This needn’t take more than 30 seconds

#14

This is really good advice.

Thanks a lot for taking the time to detail such strong pointers. I will get hold of the editing tool you mention :pray:


#15

Maybe a bit obvious, but take photos from several different angles, and more than one photo from each angle, then choose the best. Also, don’t take it from too high an angle - @Bluebeard’s advice about resting your phone or camera on the table is good.


#16

Yes agreed - there’s a saying that the difference between a professional and an amateur is that a professional deletes more photos…