Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Photographing Glass Art--the Challenges and the Rewards

When Wendy and I first opened our shop on etsy, we took out our camera, shot some clear straight photos of each piece, and loaded them up. Then we sat back and, well, nothing happened. I began to notice that our photos didn't look like most of the other photos on etsy, so I began to read some of the tips for taking photos.

Photographing glass is a special challenge because of the reflection. How do you get a head-on shot of glass without any glare? And without buying lots of fancy equipment? My answer--practice! And find a good place to take the photos.

Here are some examples of recent photographs I took of our work:

I like this photo for a couple of reasons. I think the colors look good together. I like how the S's line up, and I like the diagonal lines of the bud vases (experts say diagonal lines create a more dynamic photo). I took this photo on a bench just inside my front north-facing window. This spot provides indirect light so I don't have to use the flash. I put the vases on an off-white sheet to provide a neutral, bright background so the eye is focused on the vases. I did have to lighten the photo in PhotoShop, but the colors are true to the actual vases. Oh, and I rotated the photo so it looked like they were hanging, which is how they will look on someone's wall.

I like this photograph because of the sharp contrasts between the white and black which also really highlights the bright, sharp colors of the bowl. The contrast also highlights the unusual, fun shape. Also, the angle is different, providing a view that's a bit unusual. The bowl lines up diagonally, too, for that dynamic look.

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