Using the correct lens focal length can help reduce lens distortion. Most errors come from taking an image with too wide an angle. This will result in the middle of the bottle buldging out towards the camera to some degree. If you are just beginning, this can go unnoticed, but something will just look 'off' about the image.
If you find your wine bottle image suffers from the dreaded 'lens distortion,' do not panick! Using Photoshop's 'Lens Correction' tool (under the Filters pull down menu) can normally save the day. However, this is just time wasted if the problem can be avoided in the first place.
As mentioned in prior blogs, I find my 70-200 mm zoom lens at 70 to 80 mm works well for me. But you should also invest in a simple level tool (a couple of bucks at the hardware store) to ensure the following:
- Lens is level perpendicular to the floor.
- The bottle is also 90 degrees upright
It should go unsaid that your camera should be mounted to a tripod. So ensure the lens is level is only a few second chore. However, many if not most wine bottles are tapered. This makes leveling a bit of a challenge. To resolve this, I purchased a square plastic case that I use as a stand. (It was a long time ago, but I believe I got it from Tap Plastics.)
Elevating the bottle onto the square stand make easy work of making sure it is flat and level. To adjust, I just slide a few 3 x 5 cards under the stand. Tip: always level the stand with a bottle of wine on top as the weight of the bottle can cause the stand to tilt a bit.
Elevating the bottle onto the plastic box also has a secondary benefit. You will reduce the reflection at the very bottom of the bottle that the table normally casts. Again, this saves me a whole lot of time in post.
So, Tip #3 is subtle, but significant in terms of ensuring your bottle photograph looks proportionally correct. If you have any other ideas, as always please share in the comments below. Liking, sharing, and leaving comments goes a long way in supporting this blogger's efforts.
Thanks for reading!