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Thread: Classical Glass

  1. #1
    Loose Canon's Avatar
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    Classical Glass

    100 year old piece of glass art!

    My Great Grandfather gave this to my Great Grandmother for their marriage. I am the fourth generation to have it. I have had it long before I picked up a serious camera.

    The lettering and happy little symbols are etched. I’ll have to reshoot it but I have been waiting until I had the slightest inkling of how I might have a fighting chance at it.

    I guess I’m not quite there yet but I at least I’m in the same zip code!

    Happy 100 Aniversary Papa Fred and Grandma Bessie (you made the best cherry pie ever)!

    All suggestions are encouraged and encouraging.

    Classical Glass
    Last edited by Loose Canon; 14th August 2013 at 04:26 AM.

  2. #2
    kdoc856's Avatar
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    Re: Classical Glass

    I love those old family traditions being preserved. Excellent photography and I really like your background and that imperceptible flow of glass top into the background. Lots to experiment with here but you've only to fine-tune and perfect an already excellent setup.
    I wonder if you can further emphasize the textures within the glass. Is quite as much foreground reflection necessary? (I have zero experience with this so please ignore the obviously ignorant )

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    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Classical Glass

    First reaction was in relation to the reflection. I felt it is too strong and dominant.

    I'm not sure what teh answer is, because the surface in which you've set up the piece is good ... other than the fact it's highly reflective. Be interested to read if others think the same way and, if so, what the suggested answers are.

    Is it, for example, cropping tighter at the bottom and not showing so much reflection?

  4. #4

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    Re: Classical Glass

    Quality and lighting look OK to me Terry. Silver is not the easiest subject to get right. I guess I would have liked to see more of the handle but given that it was either that or seeing all of the engraving, I think you got it just about right. I'm reasonably relaxed about the amount of reflection at the bottom. IMHO it lends some weight to the bottom of the comp but that's personal preference.

  5. #5

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    Re: Classical Glass

    Very nice sentiment, Terry. I always wonder when seeing photos like this if the family appreciates how nice it is to have someone in the family who can make this sort of photograph, realizing that fewer than 0.1% of the people on the planet who take photos could do it.

    Please explain what makes the inscription white. Is the red glass not red all the way through? Is the inscription painted?

    The amount of the reflection doesn't bother me at all. Just the opposite, I really like it. However, I don't like that it's dark. On the other hand, I'm trying to figure out your setup that would make it dark and I'm clueless.

    There is also something weird about the reflection that I can't explain: it seems to tilt to the right. Considering that the subject doesn't seem tilted, it's probably just an optical illusion.

  6. #6
    Loose Canon's Avatar
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    Re: Classical Glass

    Thank you guys! I appreciate the insights. They will definitely be helpful for the final product.

    First thing I obviously screwed up is that this piece is all glass John (2)! No silver, though I could certainly see why one would think there is.

    I think the reason the reflection is so dark is the thickness and texture of the bottom part of the glass. Not as much light could get through. A little red reflected but I de-saturated that. And I also think maybe the reflection looks tilted because of the shape of the glass. However I believe I could warp it back into shape, which I will try (Thanks Mike). The glass appears to have a bit more taper on the camera left side.

    I lit this twice and composited. Once for the glass and once for the lettering. The lettering is white Mike but it is etched, not painted. There is a clear layer of glass on the inside and the etching goes all the way through the red to the clear. For a shot for the family I deemed the lettering to be the most important aspect of the piece and I definitely wanted it to stand out. To get it to do so I blew out the piece from behind. The lettering is not blown but to nuke it enough to get the lettering to stand out like this the rest of the glass was definitely radioactive! Masked in the lettering, added a little noise.

    I had some other ideas but I ran out of lights!

    Maybe another approach might be in order!

    Thank you again everyone.

  7. #7
    Loose Canon's Avatar
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    Re: Classical Glass

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Buckley View Post
    Very nice sentiment, Terry. I always wonder when seeing photos like this if the family appreciates how nice it is to have someone in the family who can make this sort of photograph, realizing that fewer than 0.1% of the people on the planet who take photos could do it.
    Hey Mike?

    That's one helluva thing for you to say to me. Seems like you and I are just about the only one's on this Forum at least interested in this type of subject matter. You never know who might appreciate what it takes to do this if anyone. Certainly no "civilians" would really get it. Or even care.

    But we do. And I guess that is enough!

    But that is one helluva thing to say. And that means a lot coming from you.

    Thank you, sir.
    Last edited by Loose Canon; 14th August 2013 at 09:18 PM.

  8. #8

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    Re: Classical Glass

    Quote Originally Posted by Loose Canon View Post
    I think the reason the reflection is so dark is the thickness and texture of the bottom part of the glass. Not as much light could get through.
    Though that explanation doesn't make sense to me intuitively, I can't provide anything concrete that explains why it would be inaccurate. When I look at reflections of clear cut glass that I photographed, the source glass is bright and the reflection of the same area is dark and vice versa. I may start a new thread about this.

    A little red reflected but I de-saturated that.
    One of the reasons I don't like the dark reflection is because it looks monochrome whereas the source has a lot of color in it; it's easy to see just about every color in the spectrum due to all of the prismatic diffraction that is occurring. I wonder if there was more color than you realized and that you ended up desaturating and darkening all of it.

    By the way, my copy of Lighting and Photographing Transparent and Translucent Surfaces, which I think I learned about from you, arrived just today. If so, you also recommended another book at the time that has been ordered but has not yet arrived.

  9. #9
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    Re: Classical Glass

    Hi Terry,

    I adore your glass photos (and Mike's too). Because it is a subject matter that I truly know nothing about, I only ever comment to say its beautiful or if in series, I try to say which one I prefer.

    When I view your photos, I'm amazed at your photography skills (and Mike's too). It truly is a pleasure to view these types of photos which I think of as glass art.
    Last edited by Brownbear; 14th August 2013 at 10:55 PM.

  10. #10

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    Re: Classical Glass

    Terry,

    Is it remotely possible that your tabletop has at least the slightest bit of flexibility and is succumbing to the weight of the subject? If so, that would explain why the reflection looks slightly crooked.

  11. #11
    Loose Canon's Avatar
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    Re: Classical Glass

    Mike, the glass bottom is extremely textured. As such it is highly refractive and throws the available light all over the place, unlike a non-textured surface. I think a very small percentage of it is going straight through for the reflective surface to pick up a bright reflection. Even if I blew the bottom of the glass waaaay out (which I did), the reflection was always darker.

    Mike, my tabletop is solid! As I mentioned previously, at the angle I had the piece the glass sides do not appear symmetrical. For the sides to be more symmetrical I would have needed to have the handle straight back. Not possible because the etched lettering is the important part of this piece. Hence the asymmetrical reflection.

    Hey man! I hope you enjoy the books! I know I did!

    Christina, what an awesome thing for you to say to me (and Mike too)!

    I guess its time I fessed up (since everyone else already has)!

    I have watched you since your first post. You have come a very long way. It is definitely within your scope to shoot this kind of photography if you wanted to.

    It takes some gear, and it takes a bit of study on some lighting theories. And it takes some study on the qualities/behavior of the subject matter as it reacts in the light. But Christina? Your work with a camera is there. Your eye is there. And most importantly your head is (or could be now) there!

    If I can do it, you can for sure do it better!

  12. #12
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    Re: Classical Glass

    Thank you Terry. Your kind words are truly appreciated and very encouraging. For sure I will continue to study and learn all I can with the goal of obtaining beautiful nature shots that inspire others in photography and also to preserve our environments so the next generation can enjoy our wildlife.

  13. #13
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    Re: Classical Glass

    I would try a matt white background / tabletop with no reflection, and compare the two. That must have cost a pretty penny in 1913.

  14. #14
    Loose Canon's Avatar
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    Re: Classical Glass

    Thanks Graham, good idea.

    I don't know for sure but I am betting that this piece set Fred back way more than he could probably afford! They were farmers living off the land and living a simple life. This would have been a huge extravagance.

    It is certainly irreplaceable and I have never seen anything like it. Of course, the etching is custom on top of the piece itself. It was added by the master glassmaker who made the piece.

    I guess it's true! Love is the most powerful force there is!

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