Photography literally means drawing with light. The image captured by the camera is formed by the light reflecting from the objects being photographed. However, due to the refracting nature of the glass, the light also ‘passes through’ it. Glass has both the features of reflecting light and refracting it. This makes glassware a very tricky subject to photograph. But if done perfectly the image will look very beautiful.
Photo by Necrooptic
You don’t really need very sophisticated and expensive equipment to get the perfect image. This can be done by using simple equipment like:
• A sturdy tripod.
• Table lamps
• A white sheet to diffuse the light.
• Black card or poster board.
Photo by leprechaun947
Achieving good photographs of glassware can be frustrating and intimidating. However, there are some simple steps which can help in getting good quality glassware photographs:
• Set your glassware on a table or a flat surface.
• Place your light source behind your subject. You need to switch off the flash of the camera. Using the flash might create glare on the glass. Shooting without the flash will help in highlighting the color and shape of the glassware.
• Put a black card, slightly bigger than the glassware, between the light source and the glassware. The black background will eliminate the reflections and will also works as a background and hence, more focus is on the glassware.
• Place the white sheet in front of the light source to diffuse the light.
• Make sure that the subject is in focus and no reflections are formed. Experiment by shooting from different angles and with different compositions. Change the light, white sheet and the black background accordingly. This way you will have a number of images to choose from.
Photo by RoseOscura
Precautions to be taken:
• Use a tripod
Longer exposures with softer light sources are needed to get the perfect tonality in the photograph. Even a small movement of hand will show up in the image. Hence, it is very important to keep the camera still. This can be done by using a tripod. If you don’t have a tripod you can place your camera on a table. Using a tripod or any other stable support is the most important part in photographing glassware.
• Use a moderately small aperture for greater depth of field.
• Make sure that the glassware you use is clean. Stains are easily visible and this can ruin the image.
• Even a small bright area in the room will reflect off the glassware. Hence, try to cover the windows using a thick curtain or tape some black sheets over it.
Photo by Bethem
By using the above mentioned tips and keeping the precautions in mind, you can get beautiful images without using expensive equipments or studio light. You can experiment with a lot of different colored backgrounds, glassware easily catches color and this will make the pictures even more beautiful and will bring them to life. Finally, do not be in a hurry, take your time with the settings and you will be very happy with the results.
You may want to take a look at 25 Elegant Glassware Photography Inspirations