View Full Version : Photographong engraved mirrors and glass

Joe Hillmann
10-24-2013, 12:22 PM
Does anyone have any suggestions on how to get good photos of of engraved mirrors and glassware? Glass I photograph on a black background and they look ok but mirrors give me a hard time and I can't find much useful information online about how to get photos of mirrors.

Dan Hintz
10-24-2013, 12:28 PM
A couple of options, really. The first is a reverse photo tent, so to speak... what gets reflected back to the camera is the backdrop. Angle the mirror such that it can't be see in the mirror... a longer distance between camera and mirror means a more shallow angle can be used (near vertical). A second option is to shoot straight on, again with a reverse tent backdrop and the camera just poking through a hole, and use Photoshop to remove the camera from the final image... the downside is this isn't easy if the engraving is where the camera is (it gets muddled up).

justin cornell
10-24-2013, 4:06 PM
What size mirror projects are we talking about? Can you back light the piece to help show off the engraving? The mirror is a tough one for sure. I know this isn't exactly what your probably looking to get but its a photo of a mirror I did for a Halloween party I had. Its back light with a motion light so when when people walked by it would come on.

Kev Williams
10-24-2013, 4:54 PM
one option I've found to photograph reflective items is to take it outside when the sky is clear. Blue sky makes a great non-background, then just move around till ambient light helps show up the engraving--

Dan Hintz
10-24-2013, 5:26 PM

Well she's not scary at all, Justin, she's cute... oh, wait, you meant the lich at the bottom. ;-)

Jeff Belany
10-25-2013, 10:40 AM
+1 to what Kev said. I've taken a few outside and tilted the mirror to get the sky for a background. Works real well.

Jeff in northern Wisconsin

Martin Boekers
10-25-2013, 3:50 PM
There are many table top "photo tents" on the market that are cheap and convenient. such as this. http://www.tabletopstudio.com/documents/glass_photography.htmI'd do some "Googling" and see what may interest you. There are quite a few You Tube's on this. Glass, jewelry, shiny metals etc can be challenging. There are free plans out there to creat a table tent out of PVC tubing, that and a couple shop lights your on your way!

David Somers
10-25-2013, 4:20 PM
I second what Martin mentioned above, and have another suggestion depending on how far you want to go. When I photograph wood turnings I use a gradiant background and shoot against that. You can buy several sizes from photo supply shops like B& H Photo Video at bhphotovideo.com. I made a little frame that I clip mine to so it drapes down to a table top, then comes forward towards me. I use a standard pair of daylight quality photo bulbs in some basic reflectors that I got from a hardware store. This way you can raise and lower the gradiant point up or down as you want to match what you are shooting. You can see an example of the shots it takes on my web site at http:\\www.turnedwooddesign.com And for the moderator's sake....there is no sales ability or sales suggestions on that site so I think it will meet your requirements? Holler at me if you don't want me to reference it.

one advantage of this is you can buy a number of gradiants in the colors you want. I prefer a white to dark charcoal most of the time for woodworking. And with the size of the sheets you can shoot something small or something large as needed. The ones from B&H are also made of a plastic material and are waterproof and very durable. I have had mine for years without problem.

If you are good with Photoshop or Corel Photopaint and masking you can also do a gradiant background through that....but it does take some practice to make it look natural with appropriate shadows and what not.

Good luck!