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Photographing on glass


#1

Hello all. Don Rogers posted a tip about using a piece of glass
several inches above your background to create the illusion of
floating your item in the photo. We have used this technique for
some time, but find that reflections tend to be a problem. Has
anyone ever tried using frosted glass to shoot on? We have just
started this and have 12 more exposures to take before developing,
so I’m not sure what it will look like. This allowed the dark
background to show through, but seemed to be reducing the reflection
problems. Also, the proper light mix is frustrating. Is there a good
source of white light that comes inexpensively? We are soon to
experiment with something very similar to the cloud dome, and maybe
this will solve the lighting problems. Any comments?

Brenda
david lee jeweler
Mason City, Iowa


#2

Hi Brenda,

Don Rogers posted a tip about using a piece of glass several inches
above your background to create the illusion of floating your item
in the photo. We have used this technique for some time, but find
that reflections tend to be a problem. 

Don’t know if this would help or not, but there’s a ‘non reflective
glass’ available. You might try frame shops, I believe it’s
sometimes used to cover things being framed.

I only saw it once, a long time ago & if I remember right, one side
of it was very slightly frosted. Not enough to see the frost, but
enough to reduce/eliminate reflections.

Dave


#3

Try using non glare glass. They us it for picture framing. I have
used frosted glass as well. It works well. The most important
aspect for reducing glare is the angle of your light source. Until I
purchase my studio light kit I had my best results using diffused sun
light. I made several mylar cones of different focal lengths. The
domes can be quite limiting. Please feel free to call if you have any
questions.

Dallas L. Pridgen
104 North Churton St.
Hillsborough, NC 27278
800-477-1856
919-732-4422 (fax) 919-732-4423


#4

I have had the best success photographing jewelry when I "bounce"
the light source, which simply means that the flash or light source
is reflected off of a piece of white paper or cloth. Another trick is
to put a thin piece of tissue paper over the flash if you can’t
redirect the flash to bounce it. Experiment with varying layers of
tissue until you get what you like. This will help with the glare.
Good Luck, Michael


#5

Hi Brenda, Framing stores carry non-reflective glass that has a very
subtle frosted finish. I haven’t tried it yet but I think I will
disassemble a framed piece of needlepoint to do an experiment!

Karen


#6
Has anyone ever tried using frosted glass to shoot on? 

A while back someone (sorry, I forget who) posted a message about
using glare free glass from a picture framing shop for photography.
They applied flat back spray paint to the back side, and place the
subject on the top surface. I now use this technique for my digital
photos.

One thing it took me two piece of glare free glass to figure out is
that only one side of the glass is glare free. That side is up, and
not painted. The regular side of the glass, not glare free, is the
underside and is painted. I also tried to do a sort of gradient
effect… white spray paint to black. Don’t bother… the paint
particulates aren’t fine enough to do it. This might combine well
with Beth Rosengard’s idea of doing a gradient background on the
computer, then printing it out to photo paper at 300 dpi and placing
it under the glare free glass.

Food for thought… and probably worth pursuing!

Dave
Dave Sebaste
Sebaste Studio and
Carolina Artisans’ Gallery
Charlotte, NC (USA)
dave@sebaste.com


#7
Don Rogers posted a tip about using a piece of glass several inches
above your background to create the illusion of floating your item
in the photo. We have used this technique for some time, but find
that reflections tend to be a problem. Has anyone ever tried using
frosted glass to shoot on? 

Hi. I use a frosted glass a lot for photographing loose
Here, you need to pull the photo gray in closer to the glass as the
glass will lend a somewhat yellow tint to the background (digital
camera that is)

Let us know what your results are or your “very similar to a cloud
dome” experiment.

One point on the best light. I live near the central coast of
California. A couple months ago, I was having a little show and
tell (and hopefully sell) with a new arrival of stones. This was
taking place in my daughters back yard just south of Santa Cruz, and
it was completely fogged in. One of my friends remarked that we had
the best viewing light possible. After his remark, I could see what
he meant. The colors were true, there was no “shiny spots”,
nothing overpowered the stone. If I could only build a chamber to
simulate that.

Don Rogers


#8

Hi Brenda, Try using a polarizing filter in front of your camera
lens. Rotate it until the reflections are gone. You might have to
move the lights around however to get the polarizing effect the way
you want it. A good book on photography or a local photo supplies
store should be able to give you more nfo. Will Estavillo


#9

I have been reading the input on photographing on glass and I agree
it gives the piece a nice floating effect. I have had trouble
photographing earrings with posts on glass - they don’t want to
’sit’ properly. Any suggestions??

Also, there has been much discussion about this new Cloud Dome. I
have been photographing my work for years through a lamp shade and
would assume I am getting approximately the same results. Can
anyone attest first hand to the difference the Cloud Dome would
make?? It is much more expensive than a lamp shade and I hate to
find out it gives the same results. Thanks GRACE


#10
Don Rogers posted a tip about using a piece of glass several inches
above your background to create the illusion of floating your item
in the photo. We have used this technique for some time, but find
that reflections tend to be a problem. 

I also use this method, however I use non-glare glass purchased at
the local glass shop. I have been working with reflection, not so
much from the glass as from my enamel jewelry. I’ve tried silk
wrapped around a frame as a sunscreen (I shoot outdoors in natural
light as often as possible), I’ve tried the milk jug, and still
haven’t found the perfect solution. I thought of buying a clear
plastic bowl, sandblasting it and cutting a hole in the bottom for my
camera lense to poke through. I did check out the cloud dome in
Tucson, it looked like a good idea, but since I’ve got a tripod and
shoot w/two different camera’s I was hoping to devise something
myself. Anybody else try the bowl idea? – Lisa Hawthorne @Lisa_Hawthorne


#11

An effective solution I have used: purchase “non-glare” glass, not
frosted glass, as the texture on frosted is unacceptably heavy. Rest
the glass 3 or so inches above a matt background, whichever color
you wish. Graduated backgrounds work well here and don’t have to be
pristine, as the distance from the jewelry and the glass both keep
imperfections out of focus. Light the setup from the top or at an
angle to the glass. It works best if the setup is surrounded by a
reflective “light box”, or white cards placed all around the setup.
This will lower the contrast of the image as a whole- that’s best
because slide film tends to exxagerate the contrast. Good luck! Brian


#12

Hi Brenda, If you use the Cloud Dome, all your reflection problems
will be taken care of. It is really a fantastic invention. There
are no reflections, but you can still direct the light, put it at
any angle and see the highlight but not the hot spots. You can see
some results on my Web page.

I use regular aluminum reflectors with 5200 degree fluorescent
lights. Look on the Web for Ott-Lite and you will find a 20 watt
swirl bulb. I have been using 3 of them for about 2 years with
really good results when wanting true color.

http://www.lumenlight.com/bulbsandtubes.html is just one of the
dealers in Ott-lites. You might be able to find a cheaper price
elsewhere.

For glass, any good picture framing shop will have 'presentation’
glass. It is rather expensive, but you only need about 1 sq ft, and
that will yield 2 pieces 6x12, which is what I use. I went to MJ
Design and paid $16 for a piece 12x16 inches (it ought to be
cheaper, but I’ll let go of that resentment……).
‘Presentation’ glass is lightly frosted on one side but virtually
clear, where frosted glass will give a white tint to whatever is
behind it.

I am experimenting using the frosted glass and different gradients
behind it under the cloud dome. Instead of changing the lighting,
I’ll change the gradient. I should have something posted this
weekend using the different gradients. The gradients can be made in
PhotoShop, and printed on a really good printer or at Kinkos.

Love and God Bless
-randy
Home 214-321-6253
Cell 214-280-7775
Work 469-775-6650
http://www.rocksmyth.com


#13
 I also tried to do a sort of gradient effect... white spray paint
to black. Don't bother... the paint particulates aren't fine enough
to do it.  

In such a case, just put your glass more or less out of focus (adjust
the fuzzy to the effect you wish, but don’t forget that the picture
will be enlarged), and you won’t be borried by the size of the spray
particulates. I use a non-reflecting polycarbonate that I hold one or
two inches above the background. My background is usually aluminium
paper, so I have no problem with the polarisation. I put some photos
on www.webshots.com, and then “webcarats” in the search bo x. Yann
www.webcarats.com


#14
 I thought of buying a clear plastic bowl, sandblasting it and
cutting a hole in the bottom for my camera lense to poke through. 
I did check out the cloud dome in Tucson, it looked like a good
idea, but since I've got a tripod and shoot w/two different
camera's I was hoping to devise something myself.  Anybody else try
the bowl idea? 

Yes, I tried plenty of different ideas … The bowl is among the
best ones: buy it as large as possible, at least 30 or 50 cm
diameter, even more if you find. Yann


#15

Make a cone shape light filter out of a piece of drawing acetate or
mylar. The small end should be just a bit larger than your camera
lens. The shape of the cone can be whatever you need to accommodate
the work you are photographing. Easy to make a different shape for
items from earrings to necklaces.

Steven Brixner Design - San Diego CA USA
mailto:@Steven_Brixner4
http://www.brixnerdesign.com


#16
         I thought of buying a clear plastic bowl, sandblasting it
and cutting a hole in the bottom for my camera lense to poke
through. 

I’ve tried a lot of different plastic products. The one that worked
fairly well for me was a garage sale Tupperware cake saver, large,
translucent and with a lid which I cut out for the camera lense. I
now have a little thing from Calumet Camera called a Cocoon which zips
together and allows shooting from the front, from an angle or from
above. I think it is on their website.

Donna in VA


#17
I have had trouble photographing earrings with posts on glass -
they don't want to 'sit' properly.  Any suggestions?? 

Grace, I use silicone “ear putty” (ear plugs) sold at the local drug
store. Just tear off a little piece, roll in into a ball, stick it
on the glass, and plug your post into it. I also use it to level
pins while photographing, it works great. – Lisa Hawthorne
@Lisa_Hawthorne


#18

Hi All (including Grace, Lisa, Michael and Brian), For years I have
used lamp shades, plastic bowls, milk cartons, white ‘boxes’ ,
different kinds of plastic, reflectors of all sorts usually left
over from my professional photography days, lighting from the back,
from the side, lighting through different umbrellas, light boxes,
Blaine Lewis’s setup from his book…and on and on…because
that’s all there was. Michael just wrote 1262 beautiful words (us
nerds pop it into Word then look at the word count in the
properties…) on the ways and hazards of lighting and
reflections.

With the Cloud Dome, put it under the dome and shoot.  That simple.

A shot takes about 30 seconds, maybe a minute at the most.

All the time I spent setting up reflectors, taping the milk jug to

the camera attached to the tripod, getting back drops, getting
filters for different lighting configurations, changing the flash, I
now plan on using to develop cute and tricky setups for the Cloud
Dome , which I will share as often as I come up with something
really really great.

The benefits  of the Cloud Dome are  A) No reflections what so ever

and B) No Hot spots and C) The ease of setting up and getting the
first picture. Just attach the camera, digital or 35mm, I use a
Nikon F5 with a 60mm Micro lens , turn on a light and shoot. The
Cloud Dome, made of plastic, acts like fiber optics and seems to
take the light at one spot, transfer the light all around the dome
so the object is being lit equally from all sides. It makes the
inside of the cloud dome ‘glow’ with light from a single source.

On my web page are samples of lighting using one and two lights 

positioned at different locations around the perimeter of the Cloud
Dome. You can see how the jewelry piece is lighted with ‘surround
lighting’…(I just coined a new lighting word…). You can
have both surround lighting and still get highlights without hot
spots.

Thank you Cindy for the Cloud Dome...and you are welcome to use my

newly coined word if you read this…

Love and God Bless
-randy
Home 214-321-6253
Cell 214-280-7775
Work 469-775-6650
http://www.rocksmyth.com


#19

I am using a lamp shade. It just hit me one night that it would be
perfect for indoor photography. Okay, I just shot up a roll of 24
slides #100 film and blue filters on my lens. I built my own
lighting system using reflective cones from Ames and regular 75 watt
bulbs. I places these on all foour sides of my table. The
lampshade cone is in the middle of the table. I cut out the wire on
the inside of the shade so I can center my camera. I will let you
know how my pictures turn out on Monday.

Also, I bought a Casio digital camera for about $1000. That’s a lot
of money, I know, but I am getting excellent results from this
camera. It shoots very clear closeups with out extra lenses. It
also shoots wide angles and portrait type shots. It is very easy to
use as well. I bought rechargeable batteries that I use in it so I
can recharge them any time. I bought this camera because it came
highly recommended by people on the internet. Yep, this is one
great thing you can use the internet for – shopping for the best
products out there. People will not only rate the product, but they
will share first had experience with the product.

It is very difficult to be a master of all trades today, but it is
necessary if you are going to make and market your craft. I am
getting ready for a small local trade show in April and am thinking
about pictures, text and descriptions of what I do so I can show my
prospective clients, my booth, lighting, display for my jewelry and
so forth. Being computer literate is just another facet of all
this. It’s a good thing I am a creative being, because I guess
that’s where I get my kicks. I would also like to be a
better craftswoman, as well.


#20
    Yes, I tried plenty of different ideas ... The bowl is among
the best ones: buy it as large as possible, at least 30 or 50 cm
diameter, even more if you find. 

Walking around the home center, I spotted an excellent choice. It
was a large lexan light diffuser globe about two feet (~60 cm)
across (sold for outdoor light fixtures). It wouldn’t be hard to
modify to suit this purpose, and it’s already a white frosted
finish.

Ron Charlotte – Gainesville, FL
@Ron_Charlotte1 OR afn03234@afn.org