Moving, Shaking and Cocktail Making

Updated: Jun 1

Background


Supporting local business by helping the owners of The Old Laundrette exhibit their new cocktail menu.


Where I was


The Old Laundrette, Eccles, Manchester, United Kingdom.


The gear


Camera


Canon 5D Mark III


Lenses


Yongnuo 35mm f/2

Canon EF 50mm f/1.8

Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6


Storage

SanDisk Extreme PRO 128 GB SDXC Memory Card

SanDisk Extreme Pro 64 GB 160 MB/s CompactFlash Memory Card


Stabilisation

ESDDI 64 Inch Tripod

Monopod with three legs

Joby JB01510-BWW GorillaPod 3K Stand

XCSOURCE® MPU100 Universal L Quick Release Plate Bracket

Peak Design Cuff Camera Wrist Strap

Peak Design Capture Camera Clip V3


Lighting

Neewer TT560 Flash Speedlite

Neewer Dimmable 176 LED Video Light 5600K

Neewer® 6 x 9FT / 1.8 x 2.8M PRO Photo Studio


Luggage

Burton Day Hiker 25L Backpack


Backup


Macbook Pro 2012

Gnarbox - 128GB


Batteries

Canon spare batteries

Duracell Rechargeable AA 2500 mAh Batteries

Duracell Battery Charger


What I did


Working with the incredibly talented owners and bar manager, I met with the team ahead of the shoot to plan exactly what would be needed. This included products, equipment, editing requirements and turnaround time. I checked through some of the glasses and drinks we'd be shooting, and explored different options for composing and framing the images - I was immediately drawn to the original, industrial feel of the bar with exposed brickwork and complimentary metal trim.


The work spanned three separate shoots across February, in order to make the most of what little natural light was available. We shot coffees, teas, cakes, beers and a range of bespoke cocktails. Each photoshoot was friendly, informative and collaborative, which gave rise to an atmosphere and outputs that reflected the experience and preference of both myself and the owners.


My personal preference - and luckily one that was shared by the team - was to use a shallow depth of field to emphasise key details of each cocktail, be it the rim of a glass, a cherry or a floral garnish...


What I will do differently next time

The main challenge with this project was organising the photoshoots at a time that made the best use of natural light. Being very early in the British year, we had a very slim window of opportunity, which meant a lot of time was spent setting up and editing a photoshoot with less-than-ideal lighting. This required a mix of constant lighting and flash lighting.


A particular challenge was effectively white balancing shots near to the window, which become more orange and washed out as the light shifted from natural, hard light to artificial tinted streetlights. I overcame this using a mixture of targeted HSL desaturation and split toning.


The goods

If you're ever in / around Manchester, be sure to check out The Old Laundrette.