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photographing glass

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I want to list some of my dads collection of ysart/vasart/strathearn glass - after cherry-picking (of course)

I haven't the faintest idea about producing decent results with a digital camera - can anyone pass on any tips


The easiest thing to do is to experiment. Find the settings, lighting and backgrounds that give the sort of result that you are happy with.

Depending on your camera, you may be forced to accept fairly basic image and lighting settings or you may be able to use quite sophisticated ones. If you are lucky enough to have a digital SLR camera, then you will have all the control you will ever need (although I find that my "old" Nikon Coolpix often produces excellent results much more easily than with my Minolta digital SLR :!: )

However, I would strongly recommend trying shots using both "default" and "close-up" / "macro" distance settings. Some cameras focus very well at a 2 feet range on the "close-up" setting but others will not focus at all at that distance! [See eBay for plenty of examples of out-of-focus images most likely caused by not using the right setting for the distance.]

Another thing to avoid is taking shots with more than the target item in view. That's another reason for so many out-of-focus photos - the camera finds the best focus according to its settings, which often means the intended target is not the one the camera settles on.

And another thing to avoid is the "shot-in-a-chair" photo. So many times we see a wonderful image of the upholstery of a chair with a tiny (and again out-of-focus) view of the target item.

Get close. Experiment with the settings. And try each image with and without flash. After a few practice shots, you will find a set-up that works for you. After that, stick to it.

So much for taking the shots. What about "processing" the image to produce the best size and quality for your listing purposes? That's a whole different topic and again depends on many factors including the type of image processing software you have. But the basics I recommend for checking out in software Help info are: "Cropping", "Resizing" and "Sharpen" (or "Unsharp Mask" in many applications). Again, just like taking the photos, getting the best results for the display purposes is a case of experimentation - what's best for printing is not best for internet listings.

Good luck. :D

this is really helpful - i keep trying but the results always seem rather disappointing!!

The photo's on your web pages are fantastic (by the way) - your site and various articles have been so very helpful with attribution of ysart/ysart bros/vasart/strathearn for a novice like me.

Still almost impossible with some weights to determine which factory. Two millefiori spoked weights - super quality - which I can't fathom....

I'll photograph (gulp!!) and post for you (and other more experienced eyes) to identify - if you don't mind!!

They will be staying in my collection!!!

Thanks for your most welcome comments on my photos and info.

I look forward to seeing your photos of the spoke paperweights - either here or in the Paperweights forum.



the base is an amazing two-tone blue colour - royal blue with a slightly paler shade gives a curious effect which I love.

Central cane not particularly interesting but then an arrangement of five large and five smaller canes. The larger canes comprise four white/yellow 'daisy' cogs surrounded by lilac tubing then clear to white tube encased by pink/lilac. Look quite like the '88' strathearn cane from a distance

THEN five spokes of brown and mauve latticinio with two 'complex' canes between each spoke - the canes comprise seven canes encased in a white/green eight-point cog.

The base was attacked (a la ice pick) but has then been roughly and unevenly ground

Scottish, certainly. Because of the crispness I thought Strathearn but the 5-5-5 arrangement is puzzling - as are the complex canes - suggesting an earlier manufacturer!!!


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