An EASY light set up for shooting glass by Two Creative Birds Photography

glass tutorialweb

I have a client who wants to photograph her glass art.  She showed me some examples of what she wanted and it looked beautiful, but challenging.  I started to look online and found that most of the tutorials looked like I needed to go out and buy some expensive items to make it happen.  Plexiglass tables aren’t cheap and I’m on a serious budget.

So, I decided to take bits and pieces from different tutorials and wander around my house until I found things that would work.

I had to clean the long-dried marker off this table that my four year old uses for his art and my house now smells like bleach, CLR, toilet bowl cleaner and detergent. “Sorry family!”  But THAT was literally the hardest part of the entire experience.

Here’s what I did….simple, free and I love the results so I thought I’d share!

I found a sheer white fabric to hang on my back drop stand and steamed the heck out of it. (I first tried using my reflector as my backdrop, but it left a reflective circle on the table so I swapped it out for this because it can spread wider.  The less I need to work it in PS, the better.)

My table is a small white reflective surface.  I think black would have been cool too, but I didn’t find anything on hand to try that was black for this round.  Try it and let me know how it works!

Her art is going to be colorful glass so I wanted to experiment with both clear and color.  I just found a few dishes from my cabinets and arranged them on the table.

My lighting is two Quantum Q Flashes but strobes or off camera flashes would work also.


glass tutorial 2 web

I positioned one light under the table pointed up at about a 45 degree angle hitting the back drop.

Two Creative Birds Glass Photography Tutorial

The other light is raised higher coming from behind to spread the light a little more.

Both lights were set about half power and I just tweaked them as needed.

photo 3

My camera settings were ISO 250, F8, Shutter 100 and I used my 24-70



glass tutorial 1web

Here’s the RAW file before I took it into Photoshop. before shot glass tutorial web


Editing was a breeze.  I pulled the highlights down in Adobe Camera Raw and bumped the vibrance a tiny bit.

Once I opened in in PS, I cropped it down to a square and cloned out a few issues in the backdrop.  I used a curves adjustment to make the background a tad brighter.

Just because I love Topaz Adjust so much I added a Topaz Adjust Clarity layer and then painted it at 50% on the glass only but that step wasn’t really necessary.  It gave it a little more pop, but would have still been great without it.


Two Creative Birds Glass Photography Tutorial

Hope this helps you!

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