Food and Drink Photography
Illustration by Petra Stefankova

Creating ice shards and water


From:

Food and Drink Photography

with Bill Robbins

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Video: Creating ice shards and water

For this movie, let's take a look at how you might create the look of ice shards from wax that looks so real they will actually melt. All the special effects products that we're going to look at can be bought from commercial supply houses for film and theatre production, but sometimes we come across a way to create a look for a lot less money. Now here is our hero setup with a bottle of beer that looks like it's just been pulled from the cooler and has some of the ice shards around the base which have started to melt.
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Watch the Online Video Course Food and Drink Photography
1h 58m Intermediate Dec 01, 2011

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Award-winning food and advertising photographer Bill Robbins has been sharing the art and science behind shooting food and drink photographs for years. Join him as he shows how to enhance a food's color, shape, and texture and how to convey a sense of mood, environment, and story. The course also addresses essential gear, effective prop placement, and lighting techniques, and includes tips for styling various dishes, staging and photographing drinks, shooting on location at a restaurant, and editing the final photos.

Topics include:
  • Understanding what makes a food photo appetizing
  • Comparing emotional and graphic compositional styles
  • Choosing the right camera
  • Evaluating lens options
  • Choosing light reflectors
  • Finding creative backgrounds
  • Creating specular and diffuse lighting setups
  • Creating different looks for each dish
  • Creating a chill effect for drinks
  • Shooting on location at a restaurant
  • Editing photos
Subject:
Photography
Author:
Bill Robbins

Creating ice shards and water

For this movie, let's take a look at how you might create the look of ice shards from wax that looks so real they will actually melt. All the special effects products that we're going to look at can be bought from commercial supply houses for film and theatre production, but sometimes we come across a way to create a look for a lot less money. Now here is our hero setup with a bottle of beer that looks like it's just been pulled from the cooler and has some of the ice shards around the base which have started to melt.

So let's take a look at some of the commercial products that can make that happen. The first thing that we're going to look at is acrylic shards. So you can see they come in different shapes, different sizes, but these are clear, and you can see they look very natural. Our second product is the Poly shards, and these are a little bit different in that we can split them and resize them. So you might wind up using both of these in the same photo, as we did in our little setup over here.

Our third product that we're going to talk about is the aqua gel, and you might remember the aqua gel from a previous movie that we did on chill where we had a really beautiful drip run coming down the side of a bottle. This can also be used for creating a pool of water out on our set. Our next product is something called Poly Gel. Poly Gel is somewhat similar to the aqua gel, although it's not quite as thick.

So we can take a little sample here, and we'll just plop it down on our set, and you can see that it's pretty pliable. And this will also form into a pool of water. We can manipulate the edges to create any shape that we want with it, so it's a really great product. Let's move to our next example, which is the gel wax that we can get from any art supply or hobby store.

The thing with the gel wax is you want to make sure you get the clear gel wax. So this is the same wax that people would put in a pot, melt, and pour into a candle mold. So we're going to use it for a little bit different purpose. So I've torn off a piece from the main body in here, and I'm setting it up on our little platform. And I'm going to turn on my little butane torch, and I'm going to shape this, and you're going to watch how the edges start to melt and start to look more and more like one of our ice shards.

The cool thing about this is that as I do this, the wax is melting, and it's going to give me some really nice little drips of water that come off of it. So we can form this pretty much any way we want, just with this little burner. So we're going to let that set up, because that's pretty hard right now, and then we're going to move it over here onto our set. So you can see, I've used these products and techniques, and they all have their own unique uses.

So grab your gel wax, your Poly Gel, and get busy making your own cool setup.

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