Creative Photography through glass

There are many ways of changing the appearance of a subject. One of the easiest is to photograph through glass. This can create a whole range of fascinating images with a minimum of equipment. The technique can also be used to change the appearance of photographs taken previously, by copying them through glass.
Both plan and patterned glass can be used. Many patterns are on sale, and some of them produce interesting distortions or multiple images. Color can be introduced by adding a ‘gel’ – a sheet of colored acetate.

There are several techniques for photographing an object through glass. The object may be placed on the glass and backlit, perhaps with a gel under the glass. The object may be put under the glass; a sheet of plain glass can be spattered with water to give the effect of looking through a window on a rainy day. An autofocus camera may not be able to decide whether to focus on the object or the glass. If the camera has a focus lock, mount it on a tripod, remove the sheet of glass, lock the focus on the object and replace the glass.

Such photographs are often taken from quite close in. a macro lens or extension rings or bellows will allow really close shots which can often give new effects.

When backlighting a subject, make sure that the front lighting is weaker; otherwise the backlight may not show up sufficiently.

As with any special technique, there is no limit to the effects that may be obtained by exercising a little imagination and being prepared to experiment.

More about camera shooting techniques

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