How to shoot an iconic whiskey ad on a giant ice cube

Aug 4, 2016

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

How to shoot an iconic whiskey ad on a giant ice cube

Aug 4, 2016

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

Join the Discussion

Share on:

whiskey_on_ice

When I first saw this one I thought that it had to be CG. I was wrong, very wrong. Built around a giant ice cube, this is actually a very intricately designed photograph.

In this video, Resource magazine go behind the scenes with photographer Adrian Mueller, giving some great insight. Using a variety of lighting and prop making techniques, the final result is simply amazing.

YouTube video

Adrian used a Hasselblad H1 canera with a Phase One P45 digital back. Using the same equipment over several campaigns gives a consistent look throughout. So, consistency was the key gear motivation.

The idea for the shot was to have it look like it was on a frozen lake. They started with a block of ice about 3ft square and 6″ thick (1m x 1m x 15cm). The ice was then cut and carved to mimic natural ice cracks. These cracks and crevices were then lit separately from the product. To really make them stand out.

blocks_of_ice

The video shows the whole crew dressed for winter weather. Despite being shot on one of the coldest days in New York, prolonging the life of the ice was still a problem. The heating turned off, the windows open, and the AC on all to try and keep the room as cool as possible. Anybody who’s stood under studio strobe modelling lights will understand just how easily ice might otherwise succumb.

Of particular interest to me was the creation of the background. Much easier than trying to carve your own ice. Dripping hot melted wax over a sheet.

whisky_background

I’ve seen backgrounds like this before in photographs, but I always assumed it was layers of thick paint. Using wax is so much simpler, and faster to dry. I imagine, it wouldn’t be any less messy, though.

The final result just doesn’t even look real. Perhaps it’s just the how surreal the ice makes the situation appear. Perhaps it just looks too perfect. Whatever it is, I love the result.

whisky_advert

Does the shot work for you? Was it worth the effort to do it for real? Or would CG have been simpler for the same result? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

[via Lensvid]

Filed Under:

Tagged With:

Find this interesting? Share it with your friends!

John Aldred

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

Join the Discussion

DIYP Comment Policy
Be nice, be on-topic, no personal information or flames.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

5 responses to “How to shoot an iconic whiskey ad on a giant ice cube”

  1. Chris 'Sharky' Wright Avatar
    Chris ‘Sharky’ Wright

    I think the ice just looks too perfect.

    1. Territory Hobby Pics Avatar
      Territory Hobby Pics

      Yup Indeed

  2. Territory Hobby Pics Avatar
    Territory Hobby Pics

    Absolutely adore anything related to DIY

  3. Mark Niebauer Avatar
    Mark Niebauer

    I don’t get the feeling its on ice though

  4. david Avatar
    david

    i do like the shot, but never thought it looked like ice.