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From Wine to Whisky – The Story of a Wine Cask

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Running a pictureblog has meant keep learning new things. Not just about photography but also about things I photograph. Like the bottles of Whisky. While looking on the net for info, I came across this interesting infographic about the life of a barrel.

Apparently the Whisky breweries don’t use new barrels but use the ones that have already been used by the Wine makers. I am sure that the price offered by the Whisky companies for the barrels is quite lucrative otherwise how can you explain that while initially a cask was used for 30 years, now it is only used for a maximum of two years my a wine company before it is shipped to Scotland.

The Life of a Cask From Wine to Whiskey

The Life of a Cask From Wine to Whiskey

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Walmart and other pickpockets

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A few days ago, I was visiting a relative and there I met someone who was very excited about the FDI and retailers like Walmart coming to India. “Things will get cheaper once those malls open”. This was a statement not coming from a naïve teenager, or an uneducated simpleton or from someone in the government who stands to financially gain from this situation. I tried to tell him how this could not be as great as he might think. “The things will be cheaper but do you know how that is going to affect an economy that has exceptionally large number of entrepreneurs?”

Apparently he didn’t and couldn’t give a fuck to how small businesses always suffer in cities where these retails chains open. So I tried to tell him that even if the things are cheaper, you don’t end up saving money. “The layout of these store means you end up buying things you don’t need just because they are on a sale. I end up buying biscuits that I have to throw away after months when they are past their use by date or I end up buying things that I originally didn’t intend to buy like the ‘two for one’ macaroni that again doesn’t end up being used. You need to be exceptionally disciplined to go to a store like that and buy only the things that you need. I know for a fact that I save money if I buy groceries from a mom and pop shop even if the individual items are more expensive.”

To this he said “Well, people will buy only what they can afford, they are not taking money out of someone’s pocket” I realized that I have agitated him enough and continuing this conversation will end up only embarrassing our host so it was time for me to shut up.

However, here are a couple of info graphics that I sincerely wish I could share with that person.

What the government doesn't want us to know

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The Photographer’s Outlook on 2013

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Download the infographic:

The Photographer’s Outlook on 2013

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Stunning product photography on a budget

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I have been doing a fair amount of product photography for my blog. The only equipment I have is my camera and I have been able to get some decent results just using the natural light or regular home lights so here is a step by step tutorial on how to take good images without spending a lot of money on expensive tutorial. Here I have taken some images of an empty bottle of Old Smuggler Scotch Whisky.

Here are the things that I used to take these pictures

  1. White Ivory Sheets – For backgrounds, You can use any other colour that compliments your subject. For example if you are photographing a white or light coloured object you may want to use a dark background sheets. I use ivory sheets because of smooth , non-reflective texture
  2. Scotch tape – This if to tape the sheets on the wall
  3. A table (optional) – Required if you want to take a shot from a low POV.
  4. 2 CFL – In this case, I used only one. I sometimes use two, depending on the subject. The reason for using a CFL is that it doesn’t cast harsh shadows and in a lot of cases, like in this one, you can take pictures without having to use a light diffuser.
  5. A cable with a multiple holders for CFL

In my pictures, sun is the main source of light and is complimented with CFL lamps if required so you will need a place that gets enough sun light. However take care not to take pictures in direct sunlight to avoid harsh shadows.

My setup for Product photography

Now once you have set up your equipment for the shot, you are ready. Now you have to compose your shot and that is where you have to use your creativity. I usually start with straightforward shots and let the object guide me, sometimes I may be inspired by something that I have seen somewhere else or have tried myself previously.

I usually shoot in manual mode as that allows me much greater control. The shoot at an ISO of 100 and an aperture of 2.8 (for shallow DOF). I like to use a shallow DOF because it helps you isolate small areas in your shot and it also helps in hiding the imperfections of the background. The shutter speed is adjusted based on the available light and what kind of exposure I am looking for. In this case, most of the shots are over exposed.

Results

Here are some results for you to judge the effectiveness of the setup.
Old Smuggler Scotch Whiskey

Old Smuggler Scotch Whiskey

Old Smuggler Scotch Whiskey

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