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Thread: Bright-Field Decanter

  1. #1

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    Bright-Field Decanter

    I have now moved on from photographing shiny metal as explained in the book, Light: Science and Magic, to photographing glass. This is really getting fun because my whole motivation for going through this learning process is to combine two hobbies -- photography and wine. Naturally, it's tough to make most images of wine if I don't know how to photograph glass. Fortunately, the book really does a great job of explaining stuff I would never have figured out on my own. Even so, I'm just barely in the stage of conducting exercises so I can learn the basics. I'm not yet attempting to be creative or refined.

    For those of you who have the book, everything in this post is explained in pages 159 - 165.

    Bright-field photography
    My first pair of exercises for photographing glass was to make images in the bright-field style. That style involves making a field that is brighter than the edges of the glass; the edges are defined by a dark line that is always darker than the field regardless of how dark the exposure is.

    I could have placed the glass on a reflective surface. Not having one that I liked for this purpose, I placed it on a white board. I ended up not even photographing the base due to logistics that would have gotten in the way.

    The most fascinating aspect of lighting glass this way is the order of setting up everything. The background and light are positioned first. The camera is then positioned so the field of view exactly matches the background. Last, the subject is positioned on the table. Once I did everything, I understood why that order is imperative.

    All images are straight out of the camera for comparison purposes, except that I sharpened them.

    White opaque background
    The first method I tried makes use of a white opaque background. A light placed beneath and behind the glass is shining directly on the opaque board. The book warned me that this is a difficult way to light the image because of the table and the light competing for space. Indeed, it took me forever to figure out something remotely reasonable.

    Each image made this way was exposed in one-stop increments ranging from 1 stop underexposed to 1 stop overexposed. There is no "proper" exposure; the desired exposure is purely a matter of style.


    Bright-Field Decanter


    Bright-Field Decanter


    Bright-Field Decanter


    White translucent background
    The second method I tried is far easier, as the book explained would be the case. The background is white translucent material. The light, which is placed directly behind the background material, shines through it toward the subject and the camera.

    As before, the images shown below are exposed in one-stop increments, though the range is from 1 stop underexposure to 2 stops overexposure. When you review the darker images, it becomes clear that I need a better quality translucent material once I get really serious about making images, as opposed to conducting exercises.

    Bright-Field Decanter


    Bright-Field Decanter


    Bright-Field Decanter


    Bright-Field Decanter
    Last edited by Mike Buckley; 27th August 2012 at 01:01 PM.

  2. #2
    kdoc856's Avatar
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    Sep 2011
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    Kevin

    Re: Bright-Field Decanter

    Mike,

    Looks like you are well on your way to celebrating both your hobbies, and with the reward immediately at hand. thanks for taking the time to share the technique.

    Kevin

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