Glass, clear acrylic and other transparent or semi-opaque materials often provide interesting challenges to photographers, especially when mixed with other elements that have conflicting lighting requirements. Here are some examples of different scenarios I commonly work with:
Curved glass will generate reflections all over the shop if care is not taken with lighting angles. If the glass is empty reflections can sometimes be “Photoshopped”. When the glass contains solid objects with plenty of important detail I prefer to spend more time angling the lights to minimize or control the placement of reflections so that they are not distracting.
Sometimes I need to remove reflections from a surface altogether whilst lighting the whole surface evenly, such as when photographing two-dimensional art framed with glass. Any light directly in front of the glass surface will likely create unwanted reflections / glare, so “copy lighting” utilizes two or more light sources on either side of the subject.
Dark glass can look too opaque if only lit from the front, so some carefully directed back lighting helps demonstrate its transparency.
White backgrounds dominate most e-commerce sites these days (with good reason) but sometimes a dark background combined with carefully placed reflections better show off a product, clearly defining its shape, volume and design.
The challenge with these semi-opaque storage boxes was ensuring they were light enough to avoid looking dirty, but no so light as to lose detail (especially at the edges) and a sense of volume.
After all that work under the heat of the studio lights, a refreshing cold drink may be in order…
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Or check out some more examples of my product photography.