Photographing Fused Glass

There are many suggestions on photographing fused glass. Once you have your pieces made, I know you are going to want to photograph them.

Whether you are selling them on line, or just sending your masterpiece to a friend, you will want to post clear pictures of your work. Pictures are also great for creating promotional material such as: business cards, flyers, and brochures. If you are making your pieces to sell or share, you will want to take professional photos.

Photographing fused glass can be tricky. Most fused glass is shiny and has light reflecting off the surface, especially dichroic pieces. Lighting can be very tricky with these pieces. Finding the right method for your pieces can be challenging. You want to get the right color and lighting. You also want to get close photos that show the detail and depth of your piece.

Fused glass, especially jewelry is a luxury and visual product. You can obtain some professional looking photos using a scanner or a digital camera. Keep a notebook of photo designd for your photographing fused glass. This reference guide will help you design future shots.

Fused glass, especially jewelry is a visual luxury product. You can obtain some professional looking photos using a scanner or a digital camera. Keep a notebook of photo designd for your photographing fused glass. This reference guide will help you design future shots.

Scanner Method

Scanning your pieces works great if the piece is flat and stable. Although you don’t need a camera to use this method, you can get some good results with a scanner. Flat or two-dimensional jewelry works great on a scanner. As long as you can lay your pieces flat, you can scan them.

Before you scan your piece, follow a few simple guidelines to eliminate some of the problems.

1) Clean the glass on your scanner.

2) To prevent your glass from scratching the scanner glass, place a clear page protector on top of the scanner glass.

3) Clean and polish your glass piece. Use a lint-free cloth.

4) Arrange your piece on the glass.

5) Place something like a small box on the scanner glass. Don’t put this object near your glass piece. When you close the lid of the scanner the object will prevent the lid from hitting and moving your piece.

6) Since your lid will be partially open, cover your scanner with a dark cloth. This will help to prevent outside light from getting in around the edges of the scanner lid.

7) Do a scan of your project and see if all your pieces are where you want them to be. If not adjust and do another scan.

Digital Camera Method

For the most professional looking results, use a digital camera. A digital camera offers you more versatility than a scanner. You will also need a tripod, light source and the correct type of lens. You can adjust the different variables on a digital camera to get the look you desire.

With a digital camera you are not restricted to a flat pose. Experiment with small props such as stones, crystals, dried flowers, leaves, seashells, scrapbooking paper or any other object as backgrounds for your glass. Try some interesting photo backgrounds or gradient backgrounds to your photo setup.

You can even use a little clay or wax to hold your pieces so that they look like they are standing by themselves. Put an item like a penny or dime in the photo to help show the size of your piece.

Some guidelines for Digital Camera photos:

1) Use a simple background for your glass. Black or white work well. Try different props. A white or clear acrylic platform gives a soft reflection of the piece placed on top. Having your piece elevated also eliminates any shadow beneath the piece. Using a black acrylic platform will create a sensational reflection.

2) Put your digital camera on a tripod. This will prevent movement and blurring of your picture.

3) Turn the flash on the camera off. The on-camera flash does not give you good jewelry photos. The flash is too bright at such a close distance. It is also too bright to light up the jewelry properly. A camera flash can create distracting shadows.

4) Set the camera's image quality at whatever is its highest setting to get a really good photo.

5) Set the camera on macro mode and use the zoom feature.

6) If there is not enough natural lighting, use a lamp with natural daylight bulbs.

Which ever method you use, you will still need to do some photo editing when you are finished. With a photo editing program, you can crop, resize and adjust your photos.

Photo Studios

Setting up a place for photographing fused glass can be inexpensive and creative. Some people use plastic file boxes, shoe boxes, milk jugs, etc to photograph their items. You can purchase commercially-made light tents on line, but it is easy to make your own.

A light tent is a way to surround your subject with a translucent material. The idea for photographing fused glass is to create a completely diffused setting. There are a lot of variation of how to accomplish this environment. This will diffuse and soften the light. Using lamps or the natural lighting from outside with these tents makes photographing fused glass pieces a breeze. Here are just some of the different methods used:

Jug Light Tent

Light Tents

Card Board Box Photo Studio

Microwave Photo Studio

Photographing Outdoors

Under Water Photographing

Hopefully these methods of photographing fused glass will give you some helpful tips and suggestions for taking terrific photos of your pieces.

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