BTS for Kirin Beer with Splash

Canon 7D Mark II + 100mm Macro IS

ISO 200, 1/250, F16

Stripbox x 2

Small softbox x 1

White foam board x 1

White poster paper x 1

flash x 4 (background/two sides/top)

Kirin Beer Can:

OK, there must be an easier setup for the beer can. I might have made it complicated. I could have shot the kirin can in a straight up standing on table with easier stripbox placement I just opted to shoot it in this way to get the look in an angle. (In fact, I initially was aiming to shoot three beer cans in different angle: two on top pouring down and one on the bottom to shoot up beer splash, however, it did not go well, I took out other two cans and just did one can)

The most challenging part is to get a good highlight on the front middle of the beer can. I tried to eliminate the dark center look, to achieve this I placed white poster paper just to block reflection of camera and whatever may be seen in front of it. I chose to shoot the can in dark black background to reserve the edge so it would not look washed out. The beer can then is edited to a transparent background in photoshop elements 15.

Splash and Photoshop Elements 15:

I shot hundreds of splashes and picked about 55 for potential use in a kirin splash composition. Not all splash came out nice and pretty, the lighting is sometimes undesired but I have tried very hard to look for the potential of each one to be used in my final kirin splash, I think I probably used about 25-30 splash for the result. I don't want to use the same splash repetitively it would look boring.

I have made 7 versions of kirin splash as I continued to find something not looking good and I made a revision with efforts trying to make the kirin look more pleasant and more nature in liquid form. I am using Photoshop Elements 15, while it is surely not as powerful as Photoshop I manage to take advantage of what it offers: Filter-Distort-Liquify.

I've tried to minimize the splash distortion because if it is overly done with liquify the content of splash would look too fake. Some splash were not modified and were to just show the liquid pattern. Of course, it would be the best to capture each splash in camera with a shape that's intended to be used for each part of the kirin but it might take me forever to get that....

In the images below, I show a few examples of splash I used in kirin splash and a few other abandoned kirin looks.

Finally, combined the beer can and kirin splash together in a new file with black layer drawing with Diamond Gradient. There is still room to make improvements for a more sophisticated background.. To beautifully blend in kirin splash with the artificial background lighting is yet another task to achieve.

Oh, it is very fun to repeatedly applying gradient on a colored layer to create various look, see the last image below. I think I will try to incorporate this in an image when suitable.

I do not necessarily think it is helpful to post every detail of post editing. I am not expert in Photoshop Elements and I continue to learn the features and workflow. Overall, it is a repeat action of layers of different splash and use brush to hide or show the parts.