Shooting the Perfect Mexican Martini

The Perfect Mexican Martini by Jann Alexander ©2014

Shooting The Perfect Mexican Martini by Jann Alexander ©2014


How to Shake the Perfect Mexican Martini:

  • 1 part 100% agave blanco tequila
  • ½ part Grand Marnier
  • ½ part fresh lime juice
  • Splash of orange juice
  • Splash of Sprite
  • Jalapeno- and garlic-stuffed olives
  • 2 tablespoons olive juice

Method: Mix all with ice in shaker and enjoy. Add more olive juice and or olives to taste. Make a second batch; it will always taste better than the first. Recipe via Just a Man and His Tweet.

How to Shoot the Perfect Mexican Martini:

  • Place all elements (include decorative glasses, shiny silver objects and colorful liquids) on a reflective counter with overhead lighting
  • Set iPhone 5s camera settings to HDR, no flash; then shoot, zoom, shoot, refocus, shoot, reframe, shoot, repeat, repeat
  • Raise a toast and drink your perfect Mexican martinis
  • Caution: Shooting under the influence is generally safer than driving under the influence
  • The next day, edit the best shot in Adobe Lightroom, especially taking care with tweaks that make a shot a photograph
  • Start the edits (from the top right column of the Lightroom window) under Presence and tweak Clarity, Vibrance and Saturation to your liking
  • Then move back up to Tone, and adjust Highlights, Whites, Shadows and Blacks as needed; Contrast if you share that addiction
  • Finally, enlarge the martinis first (to examine their original clarity, and to fondly recall their smooth taste the night before), and then use Sharpening to the amount desired, but only up to a Radius of 1.0 pixels (less works fine, too) along with the critical Noise Reduction, increasing the Luminance for a smooth finish
  • Like your results? Copy them (from the lower left column in the Lightroom window) and Paste them onto all of your other cocktails.
Shaken, Stirred and Edited in Lightroom

Shaken, Stirred and Edited in Adobe Lightroom


Method: There are more ways to edit in Lightroom than there are to shoot tequila. But this is a quick approach that works for me; your results may vary.

Also, recognize that you’re editing an iPhone photo. It’s an amazing image for its origin, to be sure, but it’s not equivalent to a photograph made with a DSLR. So adjust your adjustments and your expectations accordingly, and don’t ask too much of your enlargement (72 ppi onscreen will look grand) or your print (240 dpi and not too large will be its limit).

Your iPhone 5s photo started its life at a modest 3264 x 2448 pixels (and in the case of this image, was shot at 1/30 sec at f/2.2, ISO 125, no flash), so it’s best not to expect more of it than your state of being the day after you downed your Mexican martinis. 

Photographed with my iPhone 5s in HDR mode pre-consumption, and edited post-consumption in Adobe Lightroom. For more of my iPhoneography tips and tricks, take a look HERE. There’s even more mobile phone inspiration to be found weekly at Lens and Pens by Sally, and more ways to shoot alcohol at Sunday Stills (pun unintended). 

How do you shoot your Mexican martinis and how do you edit them?


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16 replies

  1. As Hemingway said “write drunk, but edit sober” applies here too 🙂
    These look delicious!!!!!!!*** You’ve made an iPhone photo look very amazing. Good work on the many shots (pun intended) you took.

    Liked by 1 person

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