I had the opportunity to photograph the interiors of a new bar called Whiskey on Water in Worcester. The previous business was a sports bar that suffered some water damage and decided not to reopen. The layout is incredible, it’s one of my favorite bars in the city.
I photographed the bar during two separate times of day to show the versatility of the space. The bar was dressed up for a magazine shoot so all the liquor had to be brought in from another location. I was shooting pretty open to throw as much light as I could on the bottles and tap handles and to cut down on the distractions in the background. Work was still being done and there was still construction materials that I obviously didn’t want in these images.
I chose not to retouch the copper stills because it would have been difficult to make then look realistic. I think they look pretty decent as is. If I had to photograph them again, I probably would have created a giant light tent – for lack of a better term – around them and used a couple of strobes to create the light source. But again, I think the reflections add to the feel of the bar.
This side view of the bar was photographed during the day. I think it shows the bottle display, copper still and the ladder very well. One problem that I encountered was reflections on the actual bar. It didn’t look go at all and clone stamping/healing brush just weren’t getting the job done.
I used my pen tool in Photoshop to create a work path and isolated just the surface of the bar. I created a new later and did do some cloning to get rid of the stronger reflections. I found a stock image of a counter top that matched the bar fairly well and pasted that into my work path to cover up my clone stamps. I then decreased the opacity so the surface wouldn’t look completely fake, and when also allow the reflection of the still and some of the bottles to faintly show up on the bar for a most realistic look.
Settings: ISO 2000 Focal Length 40mm Aperture f/5.0 Shutter speed 1/40sec
I used the same technique for this image of the bar below.
Settings: ISO 2000 Focal Length 35mm Aperture f/5.6 Shutter Speed 1/80 sec
They did an amazing job with the lighting and I wanted to really show off all their hard work. I asked the manager to keep the bar stocked because I wanted to come back at night and capture the soul of the bar. On the ceiling and under the bar they installed color changing LEDs that can be changed remotely. To capture the starburst pattern on the hanging lights I used a long exposure (30 seconds) and a aperture of /f16. I probably tweaking the curves a bit and added some fill with my shadows slider in Lightroom to fill in the corners.
Settings: ISO 320 Focal Length 27mm Aperture f/16 Shutter Speed 30 Seconds
Settings: ISO 320 Focal Length 24mm Aperture f/22 Shutter Speed 30 seconds