Technique – Hot Toddy

Technique – Hot Toddy

A hot toddy is normally a drink you have before going to bed or in cold weather.  Some think it helps relieve the symptoms of colds and flu.  In this technique post you will see images which will make you instantly think of a hot toddy, and a brief description on how the image was made.

Photography by Gareth Williams, Hot Toddy

Photography by Gareth Williams

Photography by Gareth Williams, Hot Toddy

The Setup

The setup I used for these images is a basic one that can be set up almost anywhere, as it does not take up much room.  I cleared a table in our shed for this shoot.

The materials used for the setup consist of:

  • Two short pieces of wood (I used some 3” x 2”offcuts).
  • Two pieces of black mountboard (offcuts will suffice).
  • Clear glass chopping board.
  • Red Gel.
  • Small glass of water (don’t use one of your best glasses).
  • Lighter fluid (the sort for petrol lighters).
  • LED Video light.
  • Some matches
  • A fire extinguisher / Fire Blanket (just in case).
Warning – Please ensure the surface you are using is non-combustible and always be extra careful when using fire.

Place the Pieces of wood on a stable surface and place one of the pieces of mountboard on top, followed by the glass chopping board this means you will get a good reflection.

Place the red Gel over the LED Video light and place slightly behind and underneath the glass chopping board and mount board

Place the second piece of mount board behind (a few inches will suffice), and use something to keep it from falling over.  My piece was leaning against the shed wall.

Place the glass of water on the chopping board.  Set up your camera on a tripod and compose the shot and achieve focus, switch to manual focus.

Gently squirt a little (you don’t need much) lighter fluid onto the surface of the water.

Have your remote release ready, and light the fluid with a match.

Trigger your camera (making sure it is in burst mode).

Camera Settings

Canon EOS 7D & EF70-200mm f/2.8 L IS USM

Mode: Manual

Whit Balance: Manually set to 9600°K

ISO: 200

Aperture: f/2.8

Shutter: 1/400 sec

Focal Length: 90mm

Flash: No flash used for these images



Gareth Williams LSWPP – Portrait Photography Dundee


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