Clinique Style Advertising Shoot: Lighting & Splash Shots (Part 2)

In this second part of the Clinique style advertising shoot, Karl makes some further adjustments to his lighting and works on capturing the splash shot.

You’ll be able to watch as Karl demonstrates how to increase contrast in the bottles and creates the black logos. He also shares his tips and techniques for capturing splash shots.


  • How to create a Clinique style advertising style image
  • Backlighting through the bottles with high contrast on the edges
  • Black reflection in the Clinique logos
  • Getting the right splash shot with high contrast edges


  • Reflectors and flags to add highlights and contrast
  • Use card to reflect light back into the logos
  • Use fast flash duration and mirror lock-up to get best splash shot

With the initial lighting setup done, the next phase was making small adjustments and adding contrast in the bottles.

In addition to adjusting the lighting ratios, I refined the black flags (which I introduced in the previous class) and also added black tape on the back of the bottles to increase the contrast on the edges of the bottles.

Clinique product shoot techniques

Increasing contrast in the bottles.

The next challenge was adding black into the Clinique logos. This was a crucial part of the shoot as Clinique advertising images always show the logos as black, even though they’re silver. I knew reflecting black into the logos would darken the whole shot and require some composite work in Photoshop (You can watch the full post production for this shot here).

With the logo shot complete, the final stage of this shoot was the splash shot. Splash shot photography requires a lot of patience and a little bit of luck. To increase my chances of getting a good shot, I made sure to use a fast flash duration and use the mirror lock-up mode but it still took over 200 attempts before I got the shot I wanted.

Splash photography

It took over 200 attempts to get the right splash shot.

After getting the right shot, I could move on to photographing the smallest bottle of the composition, which I knew would require some special treatment for the matte surface and different lighting.

To watch part one of this shoot, click here.

The final image:

Clinique advertising image

The final Clinique style adverting image

To learn more about product photography, read my top tips for product photography here. You’ll also find a selection of product photography classes on our website. I’ve put together a selection of classes below which I think you may find useful.

If you have any questions about this shoot please post in the comments section below.


  1. Hello Karl,

    What a complex shooting. Thanks for your time!
    One question, what about if I can’t control the speed of my flashes?. Any solution?
    Would it be possible to add water without HS flash?
    thank s a lot

Leave a Comment