How to Photograph Wine


Photographing reflective bottles of wine can be difficult when trying to get the glass and the label to look good. One solution is to make two shots and combine them in Photoshop. The highly reflective foil of this label text added to the difficulty of creating a compelling shot.

Set up the scene with props, etc. 

Set up the lighting.

Determine the Depth of Field.

Shoot the bottle.

Set new lighting, shoot the label.



In this first shot, I worked with the bottle and props, and I started tweaking with the depth of field so that the pear in the background would fall softly out of focus but the wine bottle was still sharp.  If you don't have a strobe system that can be dialed down to allow you to change your aperture,  try using a variable neutral density filter to get the aperture you are looking for.  I used a strong side lighting with a strip light here. 

Once that was determined, shot number one was created.  Keeping the camera on a tripod, and locked down, the lighting was changed for the label but the bottle and the camera did not move.


A soft box overhead with lots of white reflective cards would bounce soft light into the gold foil graphics and text of the label. Once everything looked clean,  shot two was created.

I brought both of these images into Photoshop.  You can drag one image on top of the other with the move tool while holding down the shift key.  This will align the two images perfectly.  Use the pen tool to make a selection of the label - then create a layer mask.  First layer shows the bottle shot, the second layer shows the label. 

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Now you are ready to retouch the bottle and the reflections to make a realistic shot. 


If you want to learn more about how to create better images while using Photoshop, check out my hands on classes - taught in my Pleasanton studio.

Copyright 2015, Terry VanderHeiden