Lighting Glass, Part 1

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It’s all in the lighting and the angles.

Red, white, and burgundy wine glasses up close and personal PhaseOne 645AF P21+, Mamiya 120mm f/4 Macro
Red, white, and burgundy wine glasses up close and personal PhaseOne 645AF P21+, Mamiya 120mm f/4 Macro

Photographing glass, such as wine glasses, can be a challenge. Often the results are less than satisfactory as the image below illustrates.

How not to light glass. PhaseOne 645AF P21+, Mamiya 120mm f/4 Macro
How not to light glass. White, red, and burgundy wine glasses. PhaseOne 645AF P21+, Mamiya 120mm f/4 Macro

Adjusting the lighting position and the background and understanding the angle of incidence and the angle of reflectance can give a better representation of the glass as these next photographs show.

PhaseOne 645AF P21+, Mamiya 120mm f/4 Macro
I admit that I didn’t clean the glasses very well. PhaseOne 645AF P21+, Mamiya 120mm f/4 Macro
PhaseOne 645AF P21+, Mamiya 120mm f/4 Macro
PhaseOne 645AF P21+, Mamiya 120mm f/4 Macro
PhaseOne 645AF P21+, Mamiya 120mm f/4 Macro
PhaseOne 645AF P21+, Mamiya 120mm f/4 Macro

Photographed with a pretty ancient camera (in digital terms). It’s 9 years old, with a 10 year old digital back, but the sensor is huge, and an equally old manual focus lens (what no autofocus?!?) The lighting was even more “obsolete.” I used a 22 year old flash, the Nikon SB-25, in manual mode, with a cord attaching it to the PhaseOne. Your smartphone has a more sophisticated and faster processor than what I was using. Interesting, eh?

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