SHOOTING EXTREMES 2
by Florence W Deems
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Clear or light-colored glass introduces additional problems when shooting against either a black or a white background. If we put clear glass against a white background, most of the glass will disappear into it. The same is true if we use a black background. Or for that matter, a colored one. For the most part, the clear glass will not look differentiated against its background.
Let's choose a black background to talk about first. What will differentiate a clear glass object from its background will be white or very light reflections along both sides of the object. (If the glass is placed in front of a white background, just the opposite solution will apply.)
So how do we provide for these white reflections? We place a black piece of background material directly behind the glass vase or bowl so that it is wide enough to cover the image dimensions from side to side. Then on either side of this black background piece we place a piece of white background material! See the image below that illustrates this idea. In this case, the black is the reverse side of a mirror, while the two white pieces are just white matboard. And the reason the black doesn't look black is because of the on-camera flash that was used.