Shooting Glass

I shot glass in the studio for the first time yesterday. I feel so professional, and my photos look all fancy-schmancy. Check ’em out:

The left one is shot with a technique called “dark field lighting,” where the glass object is in front of a black card that is a little bigger than the object itself. It’s also important to mention that the glass is sitting on black velvet, which absorbs light magnificently. When shooting glass, you want to accent the edges, so the reflected white light on the edges of the glass help do that. The set-up is in front of a large, evenly-lit white background, so that’s where the light is coming from.

The right one is shot with “light field lighting.” It’s basically the opposite of dark field. There are two black cards set up on each side of the glass, just outside of the frame, to get that black reflection on the edges. If there were no black cards, it would be very difficult to see the glass. There is also a black card directly above the set.

Those are the basics to dark field and light field lighting. I always wondered how to shoot glass like this, and now I know! I have a few experiments of my own to try in the future involving liquids and prisms and holographic materials.

I also got a bit creative with the set up…

I would love to say that making this image was easy, but then I’d be denying the three hours of problem-solving and anger management. I lit the background with a projector. Cool, right? Well, this happened:

Back lighting is the worst. Especially when you’re trying to make your carefully arranged colonial-set up look like it’s in mock-daylight. So, three hours later, after turning on all the lights in the studio, using a spot light, using a light under the table, ripping my hair out, and trying to refrain from throwing the studio lights out of the window… I came up with a solution. I took a soft box, turned it towards the ceiling, and ta-da. Properly exposed little people.

That’s all for now on glass. This week I have eight Fictionisms shoots planned, so keep an eye out for that. My semester ends in six weeks, which means it’s final project season. I can’t wait to show you what I have up my sleeve for my studio and location lighting class…

Happy shooting!

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