Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Photographing glass with one or two speedlights and a Fuji X-T2

Glassware is considered a difficult subject to handle properly in photography. Generally speaking, but not always, glass needs to be lit from behind so that the light passed through the glass into the camera. This can be accomplished by positioning a light behind the glassware or by reflecting light through the back of the glassware with something like a white or translucent card. For both photos below I used an easy setup where my main light was one Godox TT685F speedlight mounted on an Impact small strip bank softbox and placed behind the subject. I also placed a large Phottix, translucent diffuser reflector between the light and the subject to further soften the light and its edges.

The basic single light setup is shown below. For the second shot I added another speedlight with a Gary Fong speed snoot on it to narrow down the light beam and concentrate it only on the surface of the decanter and the ice in the glass.This second light was placed very low and close to the bottle, and its power was reduced to balance it with the light from the backlighting.

For these two photos I used a Fuji X-T2 with a Touit 50mm macro lens, and two Godox speedlight flashes. The top photo used one speedlight, and the bottom photo used two.

The vignetting edges to the light were caused by moving the stripbank in towards the front reflector until the stripbank edges began to show softly in the frame. The black edges on the glass were reflections of the dark areas of the room that were not lit by any light from the speedlight. The light differential is so great that the edges come out dark. If there is too much light in the room, I will sometimes place large, black foamcore cards on the sides of the glassware. 

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