Liquid Gold

Suntory Whisky Toki - where old meets the new.

That makes so much sense, especially when you realize that “TOKI” means time in Japanese. Just like the country of Japan that sparks two associations at the same time, old tradition and the new modern; this whisky needs a similar presentation. So if you put a very sleek, modern, uncomplicated and to the point glass bottle – in an environment that represents modern, yet traditional association to the Mountain Fuji in the front and background, with a material that was actually made to be used in space by astronauts, you get a “Vivid Harmony where old meets the new” which is their very theme.

Technical aspect of it is: Canon EOS 5D Mark IV, Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L USM, Elinchrom BRX500 (x2), Elinchrom D-Lite 400it, Elinchrom Mini SpotLite projection attachment, Elinchrom Rotalux MiniRecta softbox, 10° honeycomb grid on standard reflector and B+W 10-stop ND filter.

Cheers Mirza!

Did someone say Drone?

This was a super fun shoot for our client Skyrocket Toys. An exciting product that can actually fly.

Even the name is cool, it’s called Sky Viper Drone. Because the Sky Viper engineering has enhanced the Cleanflight control firmware which is commonly used in racing class drones. The result is Viperflight, a state-of-the-art technology that makes Sky Viper drones incredibly stable, fast and easy to control. Super easy to control actually, and fun to use in the studio too.

It’s lines as well as the “viper head like” logo inspired this shot.

We wanted to show the sleek design and exciting lines that viewed from this angle make it look almost menacing. With the dark background and the spot lights pointed only to selected areas like the front camera (yes you can shoot HiRes video with it - just imagine the possibilities), the logo, front “fangs” and the blades.

And yes this calls for a #lovemyjob

Now for the technical part:

2x Elinchrom BRX500, 2x Elinchrom D-lite 400it, 2x Elinchrom Mini Recta SoftBox, Elinchrom Mini SpotLite projector attachment, Canon EOS 6D, Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS USM.

Cheers! MirzaStudio

Dinosaur in London - need I say more? :-)


This photo was taken at Natural History Museum in London, UK. It was a rainy day, and this place provided a perfect hideout.

Natural History Museum - London, UK

Natural History Museum - London, UK


This shot was taken around Noon on a rainy summer day. For someone who is used to dry summers in Los Angeles California, it was surprising to be reminded that summer rain can be cold. Options to take some good shots in those conditions, and still stay dry, were few.



Because this was taken around Noon, there was still plenty of natural light coming down through the massive and beautifully decorated ceiling windows. They projected the overcast light creating the perfect softboxes.



I used my trusty old Canon 5D Mark II with even older Canon 17-40mm f/4L lens. Lens being so wide, it's more forgiving to body movement, so the photo came out pin sharp even the light was far from optimal. I had no tripod with me, so I placed my camera on a staircase ledge and used slower shutter speed to try and capture people with slight motion blur, to add to photo's dynamics.



For this specific kind of a shot you actually need a good lens. If you like to walk around a lot and have steady hands, you can go without a tripod. Placing a tripod in a heavy traffic spot that I chose for this shot can be daunting, and also people who are passing you by won't be as relaxed as they would with someone who only has a camera in their hands. Regarding the light, since this is a massive structure - lighting it artificially can be either astronomically expensive/impossible so you should simply try and use the famous English slightly overcast weather to your advantage. Try as many frames as you can until you find the perfect one, and enjoy in this life that we live as photographers.



As a great admirer of English architecture, in that glorious city I chose to spend few precious moments at the best Natural history museum in the world. Entrance with a fully assembled dinosaur was awe aspiring, and I wanted to capture museum's patrons in motion, to show the living and young among the extinct and ancient. Have you noticed the huge tail in the center? 



I shot in RAW format (which I always recommend since it gives one so much more processing latitude and sheer power) and processed the image in Adobe Lightroom. I used higher than usual amount of "clarity" (between 50 and 70) to emphasize the rough textures of old brick walls and stone arches. The whole image was desaturated slightly to honor building's age one more time, and sharpened slightly prior to print.


In my camera bag

My street setup today consist of Canon 5D Mark IV camera and following Canon lenses: 16-35 f/4L IS, 24-70 f/2.8L II and 50mm f/1.2L, circular polarizer, two ND filters and remote cable release, all tucked inside my favorite ThinkTank Retrospective 7 bag. Commercial shoot setup consists of Canon 1DX Mark II camera and following Canon lenses: 16-35 f/4L IS, 24-70 f/2.8L II, 70-200 f/2.8L II IS, 50mm f/1.2L, 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS and 8-15mm f/4L Fisheye. I also carry around few filter sets, Canon 600EX-RT speedlite, Elinchrom Ranger Quadra strobes and Slik Pro 700DX tripod with Vanguard SBH-250 ball-head. Camera bags are ThinkTank Urban Disguise 60 II, Kata DR 467 backpack and phenomenal new Elinchrom ProTec location bag.

Let it shine!

Leave-on Ultra-shine spray for your hair with Omega 3 - There is just no need to say anything else!

Or is there?

This was a fun shoot, totally inspired by the fancy liquid that we love. The bottle itself is nice, as well as the really high quality ingredients like Moroccan oil. To balance out the sunset glow of the oil, we used orchids because we thought – sunset, omega-3, hair, love = tropical island and voila orchids!

To recreate the magic of the sunset when someone would use the oil we used Canon EOS 6D camera, Canon 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM lens, 3 Elinchrom BRX-500 strobes, Elinchrom Rotalux strip-box, 10° honeycobm grid with accessory holder and color gel, and Elinchrom Mini Spot Lite optical projection attachment with soft focus on the label.




Why this photo?

As a product photographer, I was always inspired by the liquor photography. Just look at all those artistic bottle designs that you can only see in perfume bottles. That special design that sends us all a message that this liquid is something to behold. It's a promise by the manufacturer that you will enjoy every single drop of this heavenly drink. 

Rémy Martin XO cognac

Rémy Martin XO cognac

It is so special, that pouring it in any regular glass would diminish the elegance of the experience. And I thought about that glass, searched for it, and finally found the balance that this one has with the enchanting swirls of the bottle. Then it was a matter of the surface you would place the two on. It could not be any simple table, it had to be an old antique mahogany table surface. The one to help you transform yourself closer to the very selective gentlemen's club, where sipping it would mean that not only you belong there, but you can taste the essence of success. 

Before and after

Before and after

Why the purple background you might ask? Because purple was always regarded as a Regal color that fits perfectly to the idea I had when composing this image. Attention to detail always rewards you in the end. 

How I managed to get the glorious amber liquid to shine in this shot is more technical in nature, so for those of you that are interested, feel free to check out my Facebook page for the specifics.