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Heart of Glass - Blenko Glass

Blenko Glass is a West Virginia treasure that spans generations. Nothing symbolizes the state of West Virginia better or more beautifully than Blenko Glass. We will discuss current and former craftsmen and designers and how important it is that Blenko and West Virginia glass be appreciated and valued by the younger generation.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Improve Your Photos of Glass


Blenko Glass Collectors and all collectors and sellers of GLASS love to photograph the Glass. Recently readers, phani, westvirginia janis and bridgett have had questions about taking good pictures of Glass. To find the best answer we ask West Virginia photographer Ted Elden. Today's post is his response.


Photographing Glass or shiny objects, or surfaces.

All surfaces are reflective. Some more, some less.

If you shoot a photo of any object before a flat wall, the wall is illuminated
You get a flash back / bright spot in the center of the photo.

Say I photo people or an object before a wall. If the wall is mat or dark in color, I get some flash back from the wall, particularly in the center of my photo, but not to bright. If the wall is a mirror (or glass) I get a very bright flash back or actually a mirror images of the flash itself in the photo.

So all surfaces are reflective, some more or less.

Light moves like a pool ball or billiard ball. When it goes straight in, it bounces straight back.
When it goes in at an angle, it bounces back at the reflected angle.

When you shine a light or flash at an angle, then the reflected light bounces off in the other direction.

So to shoot glass objects, or any thing shiny, bring light in at an angle.

Light or a flash can come directly from the camera, or from a different source;
day light, window light, lamp or separate lighting.

If your only light is on the flash twist your reflective object so the primary surfaces are not perpendicular to the camera lens to avoid most flash back.

If you are photographing against any wall, dark is best, reflects little light.
Light wall reflects more back. Distant back grounds reflect less then near back grounds.
Plain dark back ground will make the primary thing in the photos to be brighter and more visually dominant.

Shoot at an angle to the wall or the primary shiny surfaces.
Most of the light will bounce off in another direction, little flash back.

Better not to use a flash on shiny walls, or glass reflective objects.

Use an external light, flash, lamp, daylight so light come to the object at an angle, not perpendicular to the camera lens.

If the light comes in from the side, it will bounce off to the other side.

Then you can clearly see the edges, surfaces, subject of your photo, like a glass object or other reflective item, .

Photos are but renderings of light. Glass objects or walls reflect light depending on the angle of incident, the angle the light hits them, it bounces off in complimentary angle (like a pool ball shot reflected off the edge of pool table.).

I have an on board (attached) flash, but I can rotate the flash angle, so I can bounce the light off the ceiling or a side wall. Then I don’t get flash back seen in the lens and in the photos.

If you bounce light or a flash, be careful of the surface color you bounce from.
If you bounce from a pink wall, it will color the image with the pink color.

White or beige may be best as a flash bounce surface so as not to color the object of your photo.

Trial and error is the way to learn.
Learn in advance before you have a particular problem. You do not usually learn everything in one trail.

Digital photos give instant results, so you can see what you are doing. (easier to learn) If you work in film, you should write down in advance what different ways you will light, so when you get the photos back, you can see what the different methods rendered in your final images.

Good luck.

Ted Elden, photographer 304 344 2335 ted@abodia.com www.abodia.com
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from Ted Elden - PhotographerTedElden@SuddenLink.net, tel 304 344 2335

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hilly
His home is totally out of sight have you seen the home? We toured in 2000 I believe with a group.
This man knows about living well.
Sol

Anonymous said...

SOL THE GODS ARE GOOD TO THOSE WHO DO NO HARM, ARE GIVERS, DEVOTEES, AND TO THOSE WHO BELIEVE.
ME THINK ELDEN HAS BEEN A BUDDHIST FOR LONG TIME AND FROM FAMILY OF GIVERS. WHEN WE MOVED HERE, WE MET THE FATHER (cant remember his name) HE HAS THE ROUND HOUSE ON THE MOUNTAIN. A BLESSING TO WALK INTO THE HOME. COMPLETELY IN TUNE WITH THE ENVIROMENT.
MOUNTAIN RITA
??? HILARY HOW DID YOU COME TO KNOW ELDEN FAMILY?

Anonymous said...

nice website www.abodia.com why no link Ms. Hilary?

annu said...

Website full of beautiful photography and poetry that makes a heart sing.
Thank you Ms. Hillary

Anonymous said...

Is Elden responsible for the
photo of you w/ flower?
Why not upload photos of yourself that Elden took, so we can judge his ability to improve photos.
Paul J.

MiltonontheMud said...

Here we go again Hillary. You are soooooooooo na├»ve. Less than a year ago an Ohio Co. WV jury ruled that your “wonderful” Ted Elden stalked and harassed a Parkersburg couple for a year and a half. They were awarded a $550,000 verdict.

The man is a nutcase, Hillary. He mailed cut up negatives to the family of a couple after their wedding. He scribbled out their faces and mailed shattered photo CDs to their homes. The mailing coincided with holidays. One arrived following the death of the bride’s grandmother.

Read the articles about this disturbing man, Hillary.

BTW, his father was named Henry. He lived in the round house overlooking Chas. A fine man.

And, pleeeeeze, no glowing stories about Shorty Finley. The man was involved in a 4-wheeler theft ring. Stop making these scoundrels into something they are not!

http://www.wvrecord.com/news/204911-family-gets-550000-verdict-for-harassment-by-photographer

http://www.abodia.com/911/z.htm

Hillary J Homburg said...

Milton Mud - Mr. T Elden photographer was gracious enough to respond to a request for information about photographing Glass. I sent this email to three photographers, all three were prominent busy photographers. Elden was the first to respond. I am grateful for his instruction to my readers.
My job isn't to do "investigations" of people who are involved in Glass Making or photography or who read this blog.
Everyone is welcome - I am non judge mental and IF THIS MAKES ME NAIVE then I'm naive.
Your statement about Shorty Finley could be considered slanderous, unless you have documentation. Shorty Finley is known as one of the 'finest' glass blowers - he has worked with Myers, Husted, Shepped, and demonstrated in over a dozen colleges. It is this skill that attracts the blog to SHORTY FINLEY. It is his skill that makes glass with his signature valuable.
Milton has many fine people, most everyone I've met at BLENKO GLASS and on my trips to the many shops have been the kind of people I would like to call my friend. I don't recall anyone of those people being involved in gossip or backbiting. Milton is a friendly town. Your post will have many people confused about the 'friendly' welcoming people of Milton.
HJH

Hillary J Homburg said...

No Ted Elden didn't take the 'flower' photo, or any photo of me. I haven't met in person Mr. Elden.
When I visit the website I admire the beautiful photos.
Check it out.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
After reading this we did an online search: Everett Shorty Finley was a part of city govt in Milton.
We met him in Nov of last year during a Blenko event, recall a gentleman telling us he retired to care for his wife with Alzheimers,and he returns often with no fee to perform in Blenko for the community, the articles we read plus what we recall from Milton were enough to convince us Shorty Finley maybe an asset to Milton.
MiltonontheMud there are many others who may deserve your criticism. While we agree that Hilary is the perpetual cheerleader for all things Blenko , most all times she makes undeserved positive comments about Milton and the people residing in Milton & West Virginia. She supports Milton, Blenko , Manchin & Rocky in public, no accounting for her taste.
Thomas Blevins

3:13 AM, November 05, 2008

Anonymous said...

HILARY
YOU SAID NO NEGATIVE COMMENTS
TO EMAIL YOU NEGATIVE STATEMENTS
STICK TO THIS
GIVE MILTONMUDDY YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS, ALSO I TOO HAVE A ONLINE CRIMINAL RECORD AND I AM A DAMN GOOD LAWYER.
MOUNTAIN RITA

Dr.BOB said...

Told my wife I wouldn't comment,
I lied.
Hilary strives to keep Blenko in the conversation, in the news, and it seems she receives little reward for her efforts.
I appreciate, value and read almost daily the Heart of Glass.

Thanks to you Hilary.

bridgett said...

What camera do you recommend Mr. Elden?
I hope someone apologized to you for the comments of Milton.
Very nice informative article.
Camera under $500 what is the best?

Anonymous said...

Bridgett
digital or film?
Sol

susan said...

Welcome MiltononMud,
A real miltonian? Tell us the truth about the re-organization.
All we hear is Leary's (glass woman) purple Kool Aide.
The real scoop?
Did you work at Blenko? Do you know people who do?
Should we buy immediately as they may shut down the place tomorrow?
I wanna know everything.
West Coast - S.