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Author Topic: Techie Tip: Photographing Glass on a Budget...  (Read 656 times)

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Offline Pinkspoons

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Techie Tip: Photographing Glass on a Budget...
« on: June 07, 2007, 11:33:17 PM »
Getting bored of acceptable-but-flat photographs from my white photo tent, I decided to chance my arm on a black photography tent!

These have the same construction as a white tent, except that it's all black velour, but for three narrow panels of the standard white gauze. The black is supposed to give glass / silver something to reflect and refract off to give edges definition, and the white panels are to give dramatic lighting accents.

Anyhow, it still didn't really get the effect that I wanted, as the broadness of the white background completely over-powered the black sides and top. So I improvised. I cut a strip of a plastic poster I had pottering about, and velcro'ed it to the back of the tent, and underneath it I bunged a small cardboard box to raise it up level with the white panels to diminish under-shadows.

It looked a little something like this:


And the end results are dramatically improved, I think:


The photos are completely uneditied, and so I've still some playing about to do, obviously - but I'm fairly wowed by the immediate difference.

I just thought it might be an option for other folk out there wanting to maybe take their pictures up a notch. The lighting is just two large halogen 5500k daylight bulbs bunged in two cheap desklamps with broad shades. I'm going to play around with lighting it from above too, once I get a third suitable bulb.

Offline Bernard C

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Re: Techie Tip: Photographing Glass on a Budget...
« Reply #1 on: June 09, 2007, 01:56:53 PM »
Nic et al — See CameraJim's Guide to Glassware & Crystal Photography for a similar, but not identical, set up to yours, Nic.   You might get ideas for tweaking your setup from this.

I've just been experimenting with sunlight through the side of a white light tent with a black background for photographing Vaseline glass.   It's certainly the best colour match I have achieved, although I may need to eliminate some of the reflections.   See, for example:
 http://glassgallery.yobunny.org.uk/displayimage.php?pos=-7380
 http://glassgallery.yobunny.org.uk/displayimage.php?pos=-7365

While they will never win prizes, I think they are good enough for Id and eBay purposes.

Bernard C.  8)
Text and Images Copyright 200414 Bernard Cavalot

Offline karelm

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Re: Techie Tip: Photographing Glass on a Budget...
« Reply #2 on: June 25, 2007, 04:59:33 PM »
Hi,
I bought my own photo tent this weekend and the first pictures from it can be seen in this post:
http://www.glassmessages.com/index.php/topic,15996.msg93931.html#msg93931
The tent looks like this:
http://glassgallery.yobunny.org.uk/displayimage.php?pos=-7652
There was a black one and the white one.  I am planning to look into putting black panels into this one and see what results I get.
Where I bought it?
Ikea, it is a washing basket and costs the princely sum of 6,99 euro!
Kind regards,
KarelM
PS: I have said that I am cheap ;D
Karel
"Holy cows make the best steaks"

Offline simon bruntnell

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Re: Techie Tip: Photographing Glass on a Budget...
« Reply #3 on: June 28, 2007, 11:33:38 AM »
I have never used a light tent (got one, just never used it). Just sheets of tracing paper. Also try a sheet of glass spray it black and turn it over, here you go a mirror!

Now put the mirror on a table in front of a wall with large white paper or a sheet on the wall. Get one light with a tightish beam and aim it at the wall. Hopefully you should have a pool of light on the mirror below you at 45 degrees.

Place your object on it and now you should see it with a double reflection. http://www.northlightphotography.co.uk/contemporary-glass-photography/contemporary-glass-photography-20.htm

Bring in another light to the side with a tightish beam onto the glass (use tracing paper or a cheap shower curtain c.£2.99 as diffusers if needed) there you go trade secret!

Simon Bruntnell (photographer to the Poor & Infamous)

Offline simon bruntnell

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Re: Techie Tip: Photographing Glass on a Budget...
« Reply #4 on: June 28, 2007, 01:36:21 PM »
You can use coloured glass things (or lighting gels for stage lights) to put over the main pool light to change the background colour. I assume it's the same coloured filter gels I use. Works well for clear and cut glass, drop the pool low and contrast the cut glass against the black or as I said, gel the pool of light and the clear glass stands out from the background with a white light on the glass. And that's all I'm giving away! >:D
Simon Bruntnell (photographer to the Poor & Infamous)

Offline simon bruntnell

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Re: Techie Tip: Photographing Glass on a Budget...
« Reply #5 on: June 28, 2007, 04:01:27 PM »
One and only last thing about photographing glass, think about its environment in the shot.

When you shoot something LOOK AT IT ! I mean really look at it.

Consider the angle of view. Is it clear, cut, pate de verre, slumped, solid colour, blown, and so on.

Clear cut glass, is there information on the other side making it confusing to read looking
straight on, so think about angle of view?

So when I talk of environment think clean and simple is usually safe option.

And one of the best bits of advice is, if it doesn't look good to start with don't think you can make look fantastic in Photoshop.

Jazzy backgrounds steer well clear. You're there to look at the glass not 1980's wall papers in the background!
Simon Bruntnell (photographer to the Poor & Infamous)

 

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