Tag Archives: henry alvarez

Magna Beer – Water Shoot

So I don’t think I’ve ever grown up.  I mean, really…still playing in a pool of water only a few inches deep…makes you think back to that little plastic pool you had as a kid.  What can I say, water is fun to shoot…in and around, if a little messy.  I had my two compatriots, Henry Alvarez and Jesus Baez with me to create some great beer advertising imagery.  This is not a project you can do alone.  It requires teamwork.

The idea was simple:

1. Go to Home Depot and buy new Drill!! (been looking for an excuse for that). Love me some Makita.
2. Create big pool enclosure out of 1’x6’s reinforced by 2’x4′ pieces at the corners. Make sure to screw from the inside out or risk the screw going to deep and puncturing a hole in your enclosure…
2. Fill pool with water(and hope it doesn’t leak).  For this, I bought a 10’x25′ 6 mil drop cloth that I doubled, so that, effectively, you get 2-6mil plys for your waterproofing.
3. Set up boom and tie off beer bottle to it via fishing line.
4. Light it and throw water at it and me until the perfect capture is made…

So is this work or play??  Play was definitely in the shooting…work was most CERTAINLY the cleanup…hand bailing out of 400 gallons + of water isn’t good for the back. 🙂

So here’s the money shot.  Click the image to see it bigger…you can see more detail in the larger pic.

The pool was 8′ x 8′, and the bottle was set near the front of the pool.  I believe the f/stop was 4.8, which allowed a nice depth of field behind the bottle for the water droplets to go in and out of focus based on how far from the camera they were.

Here’s a closeup shot.  Strangely enough, all the best shots came when the camera and I got wet as well…gotta take one for the team sometimes. 😉

…and the team that helped create it(below).
Jesus Baez on the left and Henry Alvarez on the right.  I’d like to thank both of them again for their help and hard work, especially on breaking down the set and draining the lake…not fun…

I may post a little video later of us doing the shoot, but I’ve got no time to edit the video now…so we’ll see about that later…til next time…

Thanks for viewing,
James

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Agave Love

“Para todo mal, Mezcal y para todo bien también”  For everything bad, Mezcal, and for everything good, too…or so the saying goes in Oaxaca, Mexico where Mezcal is made.

I thought I’d share some of the work I’ve done  for Los Amantes Mezcal this year.  Most recently, I shot some images for a recipe book they’re working on at Casa Mezcal, a wonderful bar on Orchard St.

This is the first ad that I did for Los Amantes Mezcal, earlier in the year.   We were going for a very traditional look.  I ended up doing a long exposure to get the candles and ambient light in the shot.  I also did a little painted light using a flashlight on the bottle itself to lighten it up.  This was all set up in my studio.  All the post production and creative direction was done by Henry Alvarez.


Los Amantes did a label redesign, and thus needed the bottle shot for their new ad.  This has to be one of the hardest still life projects I’ve taken on recently.  The bottle itself has a lot of details that had to be lit, but it couldn’t be “too lit”.  If I lit it from underneath, the bottom of the bottle wouldn’t have the three dimensionality that it has and it would have lost a lot of it’s character.  The color of the liquid had to be just right as well.  So…this was probably a 4-5 hour session for this single shot.  Glass reflects everything so it just takes time and care to work through all the little details of it.  I like the moody feel that Henry and I ended up with.  I feel it gives the bottle some nice character.

Ahh, but what can you do with this wonderful liquid??

I’m here to help out. 🙂  I recently shot the images below for a Los Amantes recipe book.  So I fully expect you all to try at least one of these…
They were all shot at about 2 seconds each on tripod to get the ambient light and added some hot lights for an accent light.  So you can try to make these yourself, or if that’s too much trouble, you can go to the bar where these were shot at:

Casa Mezcal
86 Orchard St
NYC, NY 10002

“The Mezcal Margarita (or Mezcalita)”
2 oz of Los Amantes Joven
1.5 oz of Orange Cognac Liqueur (such as Bauchant)
1.5 oz of Fresh Lime Juice
1 oz of Agave (or simple syrup)
Salted rim optional
Combine all ingredients over rocks, shake and serve in a coup glass, preferably frosted.

 

“The Pianissimo”
1 oz Los Amantes Joven
1 oz Aperol
1 oz Pineapple Juice
¼ oz Agave (or simple syrup)
¼ oz Fresh Lemon Juice
5 Cucumber slices
Muddle 4 Cucumber slices with agave and fresh lemon juice, add all other
ingredients and ice, shake, strain and serve on the rocks in a tumbler with a
cucumber garnish.

 

“Pedroʼs Basilica”
1 ½ oz of Los Amantes Joven
¾ oz St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur
¾ oz of Fresh Lime Juice
½ oz of Fresh Pineapple Juice
¼ oz of Agave Nectar
Several leaves of Basil (including one small one for garnish)
Several slices of half a Fresh Yellow Bell Pepper
Muddle the basil and pepper slices with Agave and Lime Juice, add ice and other
ingredients, shake, strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with the small basil leaf
after slapping it between your hands to release the essential oils in a cocktail
glass.

 

“The Bloody Mez”
2 oz of Los Amantes Joven
5 oz of Fresh Sangrita, recipe to follow (or substitute fresh Bloody Mary mix)
Lime Wedge or Jalapeno slice for rim garnish
For the Sangrita:
3 oz tomato juice
2 oz fresh orange juice
Squeeze of lime juice
Dash of Mexican hot sauce (or Tobasco)
Dash of Worchester sauce
Pinch of celery salt
Pinch of regular salt
Several slices of a piquillo pepper (or Anaheim chile, or jalapeno),
muddled
Mix all ingredients together and shake well before combining with mezcal
Pour all ingredients together over rocks and serve in a pint glass or highball.

 

“Relax on the Rocks or Sip it Straight”
These two are unmixed drinks
1 simple glass of Los Amantes Joven neat with a lime slice garnish
1 simple glass of Los Amantes Reposato on the rocks (preferably one big rock, like they do at
Scotch bars) rimmed with gusano (ground, roasted worm salt)

 

“The Palomez”
2 oz Los Amantes Joven
1 oz Fresh Ruby Red Grapefruit Juice
½ oz Fresh Lime Juice
½ oz Agave Nectar (or simple syrup)
Splash of Soda Water
Optional salt rim
Combine all ingredients over ice, stir, add splash of soda and serve with lime
wedge garnish in a highball.

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