This week I set myself the task of getting to grips with photographing glass. From a photography viewpoint ( pun intended ) glass is, by its very nature, invisible. Somehow we need to capture the shapes and the textures but all to often reflections spoil the outcome!
There seems to be two basic solutions: one is to shoot against a very dark background – and the second is to shoot against a very bright background. In both cases the glass is back lit with a largish light source diffused through some some type of ‘diffusion’ material – a lighting soft-box, a plastic shower curtain ( often quoted in the literature ) or a piece of translucent white perspex. That’s what I used for these shots.
The light source is a matter of choice – continuous light or flash both work well! The first image, of the wine glass, was taken using diffused flash – the others were taken with medium sized LED light panel through the white perspex.
This is the wine glass was taken against a piece of black foam board and standing on a piece of reflective black perspex. Nice enough, and quite satisfying, but those reflections don’t help. More on the lighting set-up for this one later.
This is a glass jar taken against a bright background – that same diffusion material and light source, but no black foam board. This time the the jar is standing on a piece of white reflective perspex.
And this is the set up – taken from further back to show the light source which has been masked off with black card around the jar . You can see the unmasked corners of the diffusion material in the top left and top right of the image.
This time we have the jar against a black background, exactly the same set-up as I used for the wine glass shown above – but now using continuous lighting.
An arty touch……..
And here’s the set-up. Now the black foam board masks off the light from directly behind the jar which is only illuminated by the light coming round the board to pick out the edges of the object.
So am I pleased with the results? I think I am. I just need to work on how to eliminate those unwanted reflections in the wine glass. Why didn’t they show up in the dark background version of the glass jar? Mmmm …..