Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Trying to picture glass

I never thought of myself as a fan of red or gold, but this is now one of my favorite color combinations—for the glass, at least. I took this photo with the flash against a white background and then photoshopped the background to black, so it's something of a false effect—you'd barely be able to see any of it on against black.

I've been trying to find a way to get better photos of the glass pieces that show off the colors even in a small size, such as the thumbnails that are used on Etsy. The shots of the pieces outside against my trees are what they really look like outside, but depending how much light there is that day, different colors show up better and the piece can look quite variable. Like this one:

Plus, I would like to have a setup for shooting them inside the house, on the days when it's just too cold and foul outside. I can shoot if it's just drizzling, but when there's ice on the patio or the piece is whipping around in the wind, it's really more than I can cope with.

So I tried photographing some against a white background with lights on it to provide a little backlighting.

But although this shows the true colors of the glass, the problem is that the pieces never actually look like this, except in the photo.

When I added the flash, it makes it more as it actually appears, because you almost always see the light reflecting off the front as well as that coming through the glass. And the colors against the plain white background do show up better, even in small images. The hot spots from the flash reflections are a problem, and would never do for real commercial photos, but I can live with them. So I guess I just need to use multiple photos. I'll probably skip the photoshopping—that's just for fun.


  1. Patty, These glass pieces are beautiful and the colors are outstanding.Just a thought,have you ever been to BullsEye Glass here in Portland...http://www.bullseyeglass.com/, perhaps they could suggest how to photograph your pieces.

  2. Hi Jackie,thanks! Funny you should mention Bullseye—I spent almost a whole day on their website a couple days ago while it was raining. Most of the glass I buy is from Bullseye and I plan to go visit them after the Master Gardener fair this weekend. Unless I go before that....