Glass , transparent or shiny products are among the most difficult things to photograph. If there is a lack of the necessary knowledge and the right utensils, photographers, cameras, the artificial light sources used and in some cases the entire studio can be found in form of reflections towards objects to be photographed again.
To photograph glass or reflective objects, it is advisable to controlled conditions to photograph in the studio. If you don't have your own studio or don't want to rent one, you don't have to hang your head. With simple means, the right equipment and with a little talent for improvisation, you can also photograph glass, shiny objects or something transparent correctly at home.
The correct preparation
Dealing with artificial light looks at the product photography slightly different than, say, in portrait photography. Area lights, light boxes and shades are mostly used in the studio. Indeed is appropriate Equipment also for product photographers helpful, but you don't necessarily have to get it to achieve professional results. With a light source , one plain background and reflective cardboard , it is also possible to correctly photograph glasses and other objects that are difficult to depict.
Before it to the correct light structure goes, it must first be ensured that the glasses or the high gloss products completely free of fingerprints or dirt. Due to the area-based illumination, all details can be seen exactly in the later image. After thorough cleaning it is advisable to only touch glasses or surfaces that are sensitive to fingerprints with gloves. Above all cotton gloves offer themselves for it.
The light setup
To the perfect lighting situation To get it, it is necessary to enter with some technical skill light tent to build. This is basically a typical fluting that photographers can easily make at home from a piece of white cardboard. Alternatively, a large cardboard box can be lined in white and provided with recesses that are used for external illumination. If available, ideally with two light sources , it offer themselves for it above all LED steady lights in order to be able to assess the desired effects on the glass directly. The first light source illuminates the object of obliquely above out of. Here is the use of a great light shaper , about one soft box , recommended to through the conscious Enlargement of the luminous area to guarantee soft light.
The second light source , the so-called spotlight, is positioned opposite the main light, to the left or right of the glass or glossy product. The position and distance of the spotlight on the object decide how three-dimensional it appears and how large light effects appear . Here it is important to find the correct positioning by trying it out.
The spotlight itself would cause unsightly reflections, which is why it is best to use greaseproof paper that is attached between the object and the light source. Normal printer paper is not recommended as it filters the light too much. The already mentioned cardboard, which as groove used is, at the same time fulfills the task of background and subsoil . The position of the object to be photographed within the self-made groove determines how and if shadows fall . To enhance the three-dimensionality, photographers often use one as well black cardboard opposite the spotlight to create deeper shadows on the glass. The opposite effect is achieved with white cardboard or any existing one reflector generated.
The use of the continuous light
Once the first, from obliquely above positioned steady light ensures uniform illumination, the Intensity of the second light , the spotlight, can be adjusted to emphasize the shape and size of the object. The spotlight is therefore much stronger than the main light opposite.
If the spotlight is too close to the reflecting object, it can happen that the reflections despite the greaseproof paper used, due to the limited dynamic range of the camera sensor. In such a case, in the distance can be varied .
A conclusion for photographing shiny products
who in their own house glasses , reflective surfaces or something transparent If you want to take pictures, you have to be willing to experiment a little. But as shown above, two permanent lights, cardboard, greaseproof paper and possibly a reflector are often sufficient successful results to achieve that are in no way inferior to those from the studio.