Image Breakdown: Breaking Bad Meth Table
Continuing the Breaking Bad Vodka Series is another Image Break down. There shouldn't be any spoilers in this post for those who have not seen the show but you should go watch it if you haven't, this image series will be more enjoyable if you do.
This image was a little more basic of a concept for the shot but presented some challenges. The goal was to have the bottle laying in a pool of "meth". So what could I get to look like the blue meth from the show and how much I would need? So after some research and some trial and error of online purchases, I came across cotton candy flavored rock candy that looked the part. After buying a few bags and estimating how much I would need, well lets just say I was left with a lot of rock candy (8 lbs).
The setup for the shoot was relatively simple, but first we had to open the bottle and fill it to the brim with some extra liquid that way when we laid it down there were no air bubbles. As for lighting the bottles I started off with a back light much like any bottle photograph; this is because the back light helps illuminate the contents of the bottle. So a strobe was placed underneath a sheet of Plexiglas which was then covered with a layer of diffusion. This would be the base of our setup which the bottle and "meth" would be placed on. Then the camera was positioned directly above the bottle with a beauty dish above it to provide light for the cap and printed label.
As for the "meth" I used 8 pounds of cotton candy rock candy. It provided the perfect color and look to match the blue crystal Walt makes in the show. However once laid out, the rock candy ate up to much light so it had to be spread out thinly over the table to allow light from underneath to back light it. Then several exposures where taken with the beauty dish on and off and where brought into Photoshop to be edited.
After a few layers where brought in to photoshop I began editing the image. A few exposures where taken some with only the back light on as the beauty dish was used mainly to add some light to the top cap and labels on the bottle, but was not used for any other part of the images as it took away from the texture of the rock candy. Below is an animated walk through of the steps taken in post to bring us to the final image.