Why the empty glass?

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A friend of mine was talking to me the other day, and he made a general comment about my bottle and glass photographs.  He said that he thought they would be more effective if there was whiskey in the glass.  And he is actually partially correct.

So why don’t I have whiskey in the glass for these shots?

In all honesty it is about purpose, workflow, and ease of the shot.

Most of these shots are taken for my whiskey reviews.  I always drink my whiskey (unless in a mixed drink) from a Glencairn glass.  And most people know the size of a Glencairn glass so putting it with the bottle gives a good representation of the size of the bottle.  For those not familiar with the Glencairn glass, feel free to take a look at my blog entry dedicated to it (here).

The purpose of those shots are to showcase the whiskey bottle, not the whiskey itself.  It lets a reader see the size, shape, and other aspects of the bottle so that when they go to the liquor store they can immediately recognize the bottle on the shelf.  And while I openly admit the shots would look “nicer” if I poured the whiskey into the glass, it leads to the issue of workflow and ease of the shot.  I do not take these shots right before I do my reviews.

I take these shots, usually, well in advance of my reviews.  And I take them, in most cases, before I even open the bottles.  This allows for a full bottle shot (as seen on the store shelf), and in my opinion just looks nicer (for the bottle).  Opening the bottle will at times change how that bottle looks as well.  It also would require me to pour the whiskey back into the bottle and rewash the glass.  Does that make me lazy?  I guess to some, but since I don’t get paid for these reviews, for me it simply isn’t worth the bother.  For others, it may be; and a good many other reviewers do tend to show whiskey in the glass.  I believe that this has to do with when they take the shot and what they took it with.

So why not just take the shots right before I do my reviews?  Good question, and that might make a lot of sense.  But the issue there is that when I do the review, I want to do the review, not spend time processing an image for it.  My shots are taken with a nice DSLR camera and in RAW format.  They are not taken with cell phones in JPG and then uploaded online.  There is nothing wrong with cellphone shots, or shots taken in JPG format though.  It is just not what I do.  And all RAW format pictures must be processed before sharing.  It is just the nature of the beast.  But I think it is worth it.

With that said, I take my photographs well before I do my reviews (as I stated), and sometimes days before.  I take them when they fit into my other scheduling and workflow times.  And I also work up my blog page, minus the tasting notes, in advance as well.  This allows me to grab the whiskey, pour myself a dram, and get to the enjoyment of the golden goodness and the review itself.  No photographing, no processing, no page editing, just enjoy the review and drinking itself.

I also post my reviews directly after I actually do the review.  If I post it at 3:00 in the afternoon, that is when I actually reviewed the whiskey.  If I post the review in the evening (when most are posted), that is also when I actually reviewed the whiskey.  My reviews are not done in advance and then posted at an optimal time to get views (many places do this and I understand why, but it isn’t what I do).  You get my review when I do it.

If I were to produce a shot for purely artistic purposes, or for the distillery themselves, I would most certainly pour a dram for the shot (well, ok, there have been times I have not, but you get my point).  However, for the purpose of the review, my workflow, and scheduling, I just have not found it to be worth the pour.  Plus, since I started doing them with empty glasses, it keeps to the style I already have.  While my review shots are “artistic”, that is not their purpose.  I guess you could say that is just an added bonus.  I personally don’t think, for their intended purpose, the empty glass detracts from the image.  It is similar to when people put a ruler in their shots to show scale.  The Glencairn glass is just a lot prettier.

I am truly glad that people enjoy the images and the reviews though.  As I have stated before, this blog and my reviews were started because I was asked to do so many times by people.  I enjoy sharing and adding to the overall community out there.  Thank you for stopping in!  Cheers!

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