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SOME BASIC DIGITAL GLASS PHOTOGRAPHY by
OK, deep breath, another deep breath, and let's get started.
This is not rocket science, just common sense.
If you want to get those Identifications on your Glass and get them
fast, please read on... What we NEED are GOOD detailed photos of
you probably should do:
Just putting that glass in an open space and snapping that
photo is so tempting. So you have a snapshot but then we look at
other people's photos and wonder just why our pics don't have the same
appeal. It's because they have taken just a little bit more time
with their photos then us. Some thought has gone into the set up
and positioning of everything. Not all of us will ever get the
same quality shots, but there are some things that can be done to help
get better shots.
Here are a few ideas that cost nothing, just your time and
ingenuity. If after trying these methods, you want even better
photos, then you can add other photographic options and lessons like
lighting boxes, overhead llighting, shadow boxes or shields,
backgrounds, camera setting lessons, etc..
for a good photo:
|Number of items in the
||ONE, only ONE. More is not
Ok, you have a whole set of one pattern.
One group shot will make you feel good, but it does nothing but show
people you have a lot of pieces. There are too many items to be
able to see anything in detail. The distance is too far away to
show anything in detail. You have to have distance to get all the
items in the picture. Close up shots are needed. If you
have 8 cups
in one photo, no detail is shown.
||Notice how the pictures
seem to grab you are
uncluttered in the background, nothing to distract the eye. These
pictures have no fancy designs to distract from the glass.
The backgrounds will probably be a single neutral color, maybe a
color but never a design and never a clash of colors or
angles. Spend some time looking at photos, on databases or ebay
and make note of the pictures you like. Note what makes that
picture appeal to you and try to duplicate what you see.
the eye to focus on the glass. So, no
lacy table clothes, no flowers, no other glass in the picture.
Yes this takes time and we want to take pictures. But the effort
is worth it in the long run.
Best background material
for a quick simple set up seems to be a
neutral color, no nap or very
short napped fabric, a small throw
blanket or piece of cloth from a fabric store, a large towel
is just a simple easy set up that can be taken down and set up
quickly. Large sheets of paper could be used as well, just keep
the creases out. They really show up.
I use an antique games table set against the gigantic TV
actually. A small throw blanket is draped from the top of the TV
down over the screen and across the table. This allows the
back and the base to be the same color, so no distracting wall paper,
cabinets or window views are seen. I am sure with some
thought an area can be found that is small enough to do something
similar. Some suggestions of setups I have tried in the past:
Try to get a level surface that is above waist height, stooping to get
pictures for an hour or three is not fun. Straight on shots of a
piece of glass when working at floor level is hard as well. Waist
level or higher makes moving glass in and out faster. Also allows
a person to work with the camera and sit.
large cardboard box set on end on a table.
- A high backed chair
that has a flat seat parallel to the floor and this is a backbreaking
up, just too low to be comfortable, but in a pinch works.
couch, with a cutting board on the seat to provide a solid surface,
then the blanket, a less than perfect set up, but easy to set up
and take down, and it doesn't get the kitchen sink in the background.
||I would like to say any
can take adequate pictures, just
play with it to learn what it can do. Don't be afraid to
change settings and try a few more pictures. Just remember to
write down what pictures were taken on what settings. When using
digital camera, there is only the time spent taking the photos, putting
the pictures onto a computer and then, reviewing them, even better if
can do it, review the pictures on your TV screen. Don't be afraid
to delete pictures that are out of focus or don't show anything but the
floor, you can always take it over if need be. Play, constantly
play with that camera, it won't bite you.
|Resolution of picture
||Again, play with the
camera. Set it on medium
or high resolution. Yes, you will fill up the memory card fast,
but that is what you have a computer for. Dump the pictures onto
the computer, empty the card and take more. Editing can be done
later. It is easy to take away detail, hard to add detail.
Greater size at this point allows greater detail when reduced.
When editing, if you edit, always keep the original, make a second
picture named to help you remember what it is (like -1 and -2), and
edit that one.
You always have the original to start over if you don't like what you
||Everyone has different
about lighting, find what
works for you. I like in front of a west facing patio door,
mornings or overcast days. I like bright natural light without
direct sunlight. East side of a house in the afternoon will get
the same result. Ok, not everyone can wait for that or has that
available. Lamps without the shade can help, just be careful of
the type of bulb in the lamp, some bulbs throw the glass color off. Try
to use two lamps, one on each side to eliminate shadows.
||All important and it takes
to know just what angles
are needed. Later there will be additional sheets added to this,
First and foremost, a straight on picture of a single piece of glass
that fills the whole view window.
Try to figure out where center is on the piece and aim the camera
there, holding the camera at the SAME level as that center point.
Move closer or back till the object fills the available area.
Move the camera up or down to have the camera at the SAME level as the
center point of the item being photographed. Most digital cameras
have a view screen that will indicate when a picture is focused.
Don't rush things here. Wait till the camera tells you the object
is focused. And don't click and move the camera. Digital
cameras seem to have a little delay between clicking and processing the
shot. Hold that camera steady for a moment or three after
clicking on the button. Then, are there other bits and
pieces of this item that would help? Take close up
pictures. Handles, treatments, bottoms. I try to take every
picture angle I can think of for one item, the bad or un-needed
pictures can be deleted after. Then move on to the next
item. This allows the straight-on full sized picture to be the
lead picture and all pictures after that one refer to that piece of
glass. Then, the next full straight-on image in the camera is the
first picture of the next
||ALWAYS wash the glass
taking a picture of it. How many
times I have taken a shot, then realized..... it is dusty,
it has finger prints, gosh, a price tag is still on it.
(Don't remove your labels though, so wash carefully.) Sparkle
adds to interest, dust dulls interest. The odd time, you may wish
NOT to wash, but, in general, pictures of sparkly clean glass are so
much nicer to look at and to identify.
|Marks on Glass
|Sometimes it's almost
impossible to get a good photo shot of a mark on a piece of
glass. Try this trick. Use a magnifiying glass and take the
pic through it.
Try these ideas. They will help the quality of picture taken for
beginner. More experienced people will want more complicated set
ups. Those come later. These are just suggestions for a
quick set up and take down for a beginner or not so beginner.
Coming soon: How to edit your photographs.