Through the Glass

Glass objects can be tough to photograph. Not only do you have to contend with reflections that can ruin a lighting scheme, but visually “shaping” the glass can also be tricky.

I chose this crystal container because it had a lot of interesting facets to the design, and seemed like it would photograph well. This was also passed to me from a recently departed family member, so there is a bit of sentimentality as well.

Based on the last couple low-light images I created with the iPhone, I knew I would need more light than a cheap $5 LED flashlight could provide. The lower amount of light provided by the small flashlight ends up producing grainy photos, and I wanted a sharper final product to showcase the design facets of this glass. So, I went with a larger LED flashlight. I don’t remember how much this light cost, but it was still budget friendly.

To create the dark background I wanted, I simply stretched an old black t-shirt across my chess table (seen in ‘Chess, anyone?’). Combining this with a light-controlled room gave me a dark enough canvas that I could blast the subject with a lot of light & create a very contrasts scene.

I spent about 15 minutes experimenting with different light angles – everything from bouncing the light off the ceiling/walls, to lighting the glass directly. I have included a college different versions to show what different effects are possible by just shifting the light around.

One last thing – you will notice in the “behind the scenes” photo that the phone is mounted to a tripod & I am using a remote. I purchased the gorillapod and a Bluetooth remote for the iPhone to see if it would make a difference in the usability experience when using the iPhone for serious photography.

My conclusion? It was the best money I’ve ever spent on photo gear. Period. If you think there’s even a remote chance (see what I did there?) that a tripod or remote could help your iphoneography, stop thinking about it &just buy it. You won’t be sorry.

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This little Bluetooth remote & gorillapod are invaluable.

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