Figure 6-15.A typical setup for lighting glassware.
studying photographs of glass items. When you are
studying pictures of glass objects, notice how all the
good pictures were made using variations of basic
silhouette lighting. You will find it is easy to produce an
infinite variety of effects by simply changing or
redirecting the bounce light from the background.
In photographing glass there are no hard-and-fast
rules for the placement of lights. The lights should,
however, be placed with great care. Changing the
angle just a little can drastically change the lighting
effect and at the same time cause flare problems.
When the lights are positioned to cause a great deal of
reflection from the background and this reflection is
uncontrolled, it may cause lens flare and result in flat
negatives. Lens flare can be controlled or eliminated
by erecting a black tent to extend from the lens board
to the subject. This tent must be kept outside the angle
of view of the camera. A focusing cloth draped over
wood dowels works well. When photographing glass
products, you should always use a matte box over the
When the lighting produces a true silhouette, some
highlights (fig. 6-16) may be desired to add sparkle to
the glass. This can be done by using front bounce light
from a narrow, diffused light source. To create such a
source, attach a piece of white mounting board to one
barn door of a floodlight and control the width of the
light beam emitted with the opposite barn door. This
narrow beam of light can be placed on either side of the
camera and should be at camera level or higher. The
spacing between highlights on a cylindrical object,
created by this method, can be controlled by moving the
light closer to or farther from the lens axis. Do not allow
highlights to obscure etching on the glass.
To determine the exposure for photography of glass
objects, you should take a normal reflected exposure
meter reading of the background and increase the
indicated exposure by four times.
Black-and-white film should be given a shorter than
average developing time because the lighting ratio is
usually very great, and excessive contrast will result
with normal development.
Figure 6-16.Adding highlights to glass products.