Need a frozen lake for a photo shoot? Here's how to fake it using real ice

New York-based commercial photographer Adrian Mueller is known for stunning images of food and drink that will make your mouth water. He puts a great deal of effort into nailing not just the look of an image, but the feel. For a recent campaign for Maker’s 46, a top-shelf bourbon from Maker’s Mark that is produced only during the winter months, he simulated a frozen lake inside his studio to capture the essence of the product.

Working on one of the coldest days in New York, Mueller brought in a huge block of ice that his assistants meticulously cracked and carved to make a resting spot for the bottle. All of the studio windows were left open and Mueller even ran the air conditioning in the morning to keep the room as cold as possible to maximize working time with the ice.

Mueller shot the project on the Hasselblad H1, with a Phase One P45 medium-format digital back. While not the newest or highest-resolution back from Phase, Mueller chose it because it was the camera he used when he first started to shoot for Maker’s Mark two years ago. By sticking with the same gear, it ensured consistency.

The shoot was done in cooperation with a Kentucky-based ad agency. “We collaborated on an idea, which expanded on their concept of using the wax from the iconic Maker’s Mark seal as a main element in the shoot,” Mueller told Resource Magazine.

Working in layers, Mueller took multiple exposures, setting the light specifically for just one element of the scene at a time, from the ice, to the bottle, to the background. He used highly diffuse light, with large soft boxes shining through additional diffusion sheets. All of the layers were then composited in post production to create the final image, which shows the Maker’s 46 bottle resting on the cracked ice with a warm red glow in the background inspired by the iconic red wax seal.

The full video is definitely worth watching for any aspiring product photographer. You can see the final image, free of ad copy, on Mueller’s website.

Music

From Jay Rock to Saba, these are the 50 best albums of 2018

We've spent the year listening to new albums, digging deep, and culling our master list into 50 favorites. From blockbuster releases to hidden gems, these are the best albums of 2018.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix, from 'Haunting of Hill House’ to ‘Twilight Zone’

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Emerging Tech

We’re going to the Red Planet! All the past, present, and future missions to Mars

SpaceX isn't the only organization pining to visit the Red Planet. Here's a detailed list of all operational and planned missions to Mars, along with explanations of their objectives, spacecraft details, and mission proposals.
Photography

These are the best action cameras money can buy

Action cameras are great tools for capturing videos of your everyday activities, whether it's a birthday party or the steepest slope you've ever descended on your snowboard. These are the best money can buy.
Photography

Canon holiday sale features the Rebel T6 2-lens kit for just $449

If you have a budding photographer in your life in need of a real camera, the Canon EOS Rebel T6 could make the perfect gift. Canon is currently offering the camera in a two-lens bundle for just $449 through December 29.
Emerging Tech

Light, speed: Lighting kit for DJI Mavic 2 lets you fly and film in the dark

Lume Cube, maker of small battery-powered LED lights for mobile photography, has announced a new lighting kit built specifically for the DJI Mavic 2 -- the first of its kind. Already our favorite drone, this makes the Mavic 2 even better.
Mobile

Leave the laptop at home, the iPad Pro is the travel buddy to take on vacay

The iPad Pro is a powerful tablet that's perfect for creatives and professionals. How does it fare when traveling with it as a laptop replacement? We took it on a two week trek in Japan to find out.
Social Media

Instagram’s 2018 year in review shines a light on where our hearts are

What did Instagram users share the most in 2018? A lot of heart emojis, heart face filters, and heart GIFs. The platform recently shared the year's top trends, including hashtags like #fortnite and #metoo along with a few surprises.
Deals

Want a fun, affordable instant camera? The Fujifilm Instax Mini 7S is just $49

Instant cameras have had a surprising resurgence of late, and no brand is better recognized in the instant photo space today than Fujifilm Instax. Walmart is currently offering the Instax Mini 7S for just $49.
Photography

Not just for Lightroom anymore, Loupedeck+ now works with Photoshop

Loupedeck+ can now help photographers edit in Photoshop too, thanks to physical controls for swapping tools, running actions, and more. The photo-editing console expanded to include Photoshop in the list of compatible editing programs.
Emerging Tech

The best drone photos from around the world

Most of today's drones come equipped with high-end cameras, which are quickly revolutionizing the world of aerial photography as we know it. Here are some of the best drone photos from around the world.
Computing

Need a monitor for professional photo-editing? These are the very best

Looking for the best monitor for photo editing? You'll need to factor in brightness, color accuracy, color gamut support and more. Fortunately, we've rounded up the best ones for you, to help you make an educated purchase.
Photography

2018 was a terrific year for new cameras. Here are our favorites

This year, we saw the unveiling of several exciting new cameras. We look back at our favorite models -- each delivering something unique, yet all are powerful and feature-rich. Camera fans, rejoice!
Photography

Grit and gear: How Chris Hershman went from retail clerk to music video director

How did Chris Hershman go from working a music retail job to working with bands like NEEDTOBREATHE and Switchfoot? The music video director and filmmaker talks to us about video, tech, and Nikon's new mirrorless.