I’ve never really considered myself an artistic person, at least in a classical sense.
Even though I provide photography and video production services for my Real Life Job, I’ve always thought of my abilities to be strictly tied to work itself. Rarely did I believe I had reason to share a picture with others unless it was something my boss asked me to do.
Then Instagram happened.
It wasn’t so much that it was a transformative realization that people are taking pictures all the time and sharing them. It was more the idea that all of a sudden, the way I look at things at work was easily transferred to my everyday life. It wasn’t a case where my eye was just glazing over at the world around me anymore. With a smartphone in my pocket, I was able to capture and manipulate the visuals that struck me as odd, important or simply fun.
I have been lucky to come across many talented beer-themed photographers who use their bottles, cans and other props to create some beautiful images. Oliver at Literature and Libation is a master of patience and unique framing. G-Lo at It’s Just the Booze Dancing is awesome with lighting and depth of field. Rebecca at The Bake and Brew does more with minimalistic shots than I could ever imagine.
Of course there’s the Godfather, so to speak. John at Beertography. That’s just scratching the surface.
This is all to say that I’ve grown quite fond of the idea of photography and enjoy the challenge of trying to create something interesting. That’s why I wanted to share some of my favorite pictures, even if there’s nothing fancy about them, really. All my shots are taken with my iPhone 5 and because I typically shoot right where I drink, my inventiveness is kept to a minimum:
Maine Beer Peeper – The Right Stuff
Bell’s Oberon – Summer in a Glass
Westbrook One Claw – Practice in Patterns
Troegs Nugget Nectar – Hello Summer
21st Amendment Lower de Boom – Anchors away
Ass Kisser Strawberry Wit – Pucker Up
Green Man Imperial Stout – Back to Basics
You can check out more pictures of beer (and more than beer) over at my Instagram page. My name is bryandroth if you want to look me up.
Got any photo tips or stories to share? Please share them below.
“Don’t drink to get drunk. Drink to enjoy life.” — Jack Kerouac
31 thoughts on “Beertography: Celebrating Our Malty Model of Fermentation”
Great pics! I like the Ass Kisser Strawberry Wit – Picker Up the best!
Thanks! My wife was kind enough to let me raid her makeup bag for that one.
Beertography is one place I’d like to step my game up. My problem is I always get so damn excited to drink the beer, I don’t have patience to seek out a good shot 🙂
I was joking with my wife last night that I have a bunch of new beers in the fridge I want to try, but can’t, because I don’t have photos of them yet. 🙂
This is one reason I always use label graphics on my beer reviews. I like take pictures of beer, but it’s usually never on something I’m reviewing at home.
I still have a bottle of Rogue’s Voodoo chocolate, peanut butter and banana in my fridge because the last time I went to review it, the bananas had turned brown and the kids had polished off the PB. I recently hid peaches way back in the fridge for my Festina Peche photo. What is happening to me!?!?!?!!.
If it’s something I know I want to do something “special” with, I’ll always stage the photo before opening the bottle to get angle/lighting to whatever will work best. My biggest pet peeve is opening the bottle, pouring the beer and then the foam is gone by the time I actually drink the thing! I try not to spend more than a minute taking pictures, anyway.
I think the biggest thing I’m always considering is color. I try to keep the effort minimal, so if there’s something I can do to match bottle/label/beer color, I like the way it turns out.
Thanks for the holler-back, girl. Yea, I don’t know either.
I’m always impressed with people who can capture great shots with a smartphone camera. My little Android leaves much to be desired. I think I may just be a little partial to the heft of my DSLR.
Keep up the great work! Happy beertographing.
It’s really a matter of ease for me. I always have my phone nearby, so it’s easy enough to bring it into the kitchen with me to grab a shot.
As I commented somewhere else (twitter maybe), my HTC Rezound can take a pretty great picture if everything is good lighting wise. White balance, low light, harsh fore-lighting can throw it in a tizzy. Some of my photos look like they’re shot with some kind of instagram filter. They’re not, that’s just my phone having no idea what to do with my kitchen lights.
I can’t tell you how much time I spend trying to get the right angle to adjust white balance. It’s usually just moving my hands around until I hit it just so, but it can certainly be a pain.
I should’ve mentioned that I sometimes use the ProCamera app on my phone, which allows for manual adjustments both before and after shooting. There’s some good in-app editing aspects to it.
All my pictures get a trip through PAINT.NET for clean up. But the auto fix on that thing sometimes makes it worse. Sometimes I can make minor adjustments (brightness/contrast), but I guess the old adage is true, “start by taking a good picture.”
Thanks so much for the mention Bryan! As I’m sure I’ve mentioned somewhere before (perhaps Beertography, perhaps our blog), the whole Beertography thing has rekindled my love of photography, and thanks to the instant gratification of digital photography, I am much more experimental then I used to be with regards to lighting and focus since I’m less concerned with color accuracy and just trying to have some fun with the image. Here’s a quick tip: buy yourself an LED flashlight. Makes for some cool lighting effects when used properly.
Is there a size/type you like most? Seems like Amazon has lots of LED options…
We only have one and it’s the size of a conventional flashlight. Looks like a mid sized Mag light.
I only take pictures with my iPhone as well. When I’m taking them I try to think about how you would take the shot and try to emulate it. I never come close but I think my pictures have been getting better. Thanks for the help whether you knew you were providing it or not.
Ha! I’m glad to be of help. I assume it comes from my love of cinema, but I really like Dutch angles, as you can probably tell from many of the pictures I share. There’s something fun about giving the extra tilt to fill the frame.
Typically, I simply try to do what I can to focus on the label itself, but getting up close and personal with a bottle/can is easy.
Nice photos! Proving instagram can actually be used for good. If you know what you are doing already that is 🙂
No duck-face selfies allowed!
if you could make a tulip glass make a duck-face i would be impressed.
These are cool. I’m far from a photography expert, but have recently been running a lot of my battlefield pictures through Photoshop and playing around with them. Doing cool vignettes and HDR tones. The thought had crossed my mind to pull some of the beer photos I also have before using them on my blog. I always thought they were decent enough since almost every beer picture I take is under a lamp on the very same night stand at home.
I love playing with lighting. It can be rough at times because the two places where I typically take a picture are (1) in a corner or (2) in an open room with uneven light.
I imagine you can get some cool shadows with your setup?
Yea, the lamp has different light settings. So, it makes things a little different.
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