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Camera settings for taking photos of glass

Wilkj23 3 2
5 Aug 2019 2:37AM

First pic is what i'm trying to take a photo of. I need the background to stay bright white looking like in the 3rd pic. It only looks like that when I first aim at the light. After 2 seconds it focuses in and you can see the bulb through the light diffusion sheet.

Is there settings on my phone I can change to make this work? My phone is a note 8. the last pic is the quality i'm trying to get.326273_1564969028.jpg
Philh04 17 2.3k United Kingdom
5 Aug 2019 8:15AM
You need to be shooting in manual.... but there is a lot more to shooting glass.
joshwa Plus
12 927 1 United Kingdom
5 Aug 2019 8:32AM
It's going to be difficult to get the result you're looking for with a smartphone. Using a DSLR/Mirrorless camera, or an advanced compact can help - as they will be able to get a sharper photo of the object, with the background blurred.
JackAllTog Plus
14 6.4k 58 United Kingdom
5 Aug 2019 1:13PM
Hi Justin,

As above you need to switch to manual mode.
You are trying to balance an even looking light overlighting the background, and having sufficient light on the object.

Is that an LED/Fluorescent softbox you are using? You can try and iron out the creases of the cover with a COOL iron and a teatowel ( don't melt the diffuser material) Also the material is not diffusing the main light enough as you can still see the bright middle light.
To give it a go with a phone, try first and make a pure white (i.e. blown highlights) background. Use a higher ISO setting - (maybe ISO800), the largest equiv aperture you can (e.g. F2?) and a longer shutter speed perhaps 1/50th sec ( or even slower if you have a tripod). You will have to try a few values.
Then introduce the glass as far from the softbox as possible.

If you can't fit the glass in the softbox's white outline, then maybe dump it entirely and use a white wall/sheet instead. In that case shine the light on the wall from a distance with minimal light on the glass object. Settings as above.

p.s. what is that object?


5 Aug 2019 1:55PM
As Joshwa has said above this is going to be difficult and I suspect that the only way you are going to be successful with a mobile phone is to use something like photoshop to process the image after you have done the best you can with the phone.
pablophotographer 11 2.2k 444
6 Aug 2019 12:20AM
Hi, check this :

Actually, I would try a constant light source from a anglepoise lamp and a white ironed pillowcase, a mirror on the base and black cards on the two sides.
Wilkj23 3 2
6 Aug 2019 2:40AM
So I got a Nikon D3300 with a 28-105mm Tamron Lens & battery, charger & bag for $220 on Ebay. Sells says its in excellent condition and barely used. Will this do what I need?
Wilkj23 3 2
6 Aug 2019 2:41AM
Also, is that a good deal?
riddell 18 90 United Kingdom
6 Aug 2019 1:41PM
There are a few things you'll need to make this work. (and I shoot hundreds of glass items)

1. A quality camera and lens, the lens is really important as you it just won't look good otherwise.
2. A quality lighting setup, I'd normally shoot an item like yours with about 4 studio lights.

3. The knowledge and experience about how to setup and use the above. There is absolutely no easy, automatic way to shoot something like this successfully.

Why don't you just employ a professional photographer?
Chris_L 9 5.5k United Kingdom
6 Aug 2019 2:01PM
Also invest in one of these for your phone or one of these if you are going to use your camera. A friend has this for shooting her stuff and it works really well with her iPhone
Philh04 17 2.3k United Kingdom
6 Aug 2019 3:17PM
No point in using a polariser on an image like this and a tent will not be very effective (they should be consigned to the nearest tip). The key to photographing glasswares is knowledge of the behaviour of light and dark and manipulating those at the taking stage... 'Light, Science & Magic' is a useful read, but like @Riddell and depending on the final purpose of the the images, I would certainly be looking at using a professional who is versed in this style of photography.
Chris_L 9 5.5k United Kingdom
6 Aug 2019 3:45PM
There's also some good videos on getting nice effects with a polarizer in product photography here

And a useful tutorial from Nikon on getting the best out of your light tent.
Philh04 17 2.3k United Kingdom
6 Aug 2019 5:00PM
Chris, none of those reference photographing glassware in the style that the OP is trying to emulate, that style will not be possible using a light tent (and I still say they should be consigned to the bin) you need to control the light. If backlighting the glassware a polariser will have no effect other than acting as an ND filter... You get the effect by moulding and adding and subtracting light.
riddell 18 90 United Kingdom
6 Aug 2019 5:02PM

Quote:No point in using a polariser on an image like this and a tent will not be very effective (they should be consigned to the nearest tip).

Correct. A polariser is not going to help, its more about precise positioning and setting of lighting, along with using the right modifiers. For example, if you gave me this to photograph, my initial reaction would be two large softboxes, at least 1m, plus a further bounced light with a reflector and a 4th light with a tight grid. Now I look at it again it may require a 5th bounced light with a reflector as well. And maybe one of those softboxes will need to be changed to a reflector and then reverse fired into some poly boards. Further control is then added with various flags, bounces and silks.

You just need to keep tweaking, moving and adjusting until it looks perfect. Without experience this takes a long time and probably won't achieve a perfect image.

And totally agree light tents are fit for nothing more than the skip. They are very rarely used in pro photography for the simple reason they only create very mediocre results.

Chris_L 9 5.5k United Kingdom
6 Aug 2019 11:15PM
5 lights, call the bank manager, actually forget that and get one of these. Bosh, job done.

If the thing was the size of Martin Cotton then you'd be lighting it up nice with all the lights and the softboxes as Riddell has here.

It's not though, here's a good guide

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