This week’s photos are brought to you by the letter “G” for “glass”.
(Weekly Photo – Week #07, February 12, 2014)
Saying that a glass is half‑full or half‑empty is another way of stating the positive or negative, or the difference between optimism and pessimism. A cynical person might refer to these sayings as irresponsible hopefulness or practical reasonableness. As for me, I search for the person who sees an empty glass lying in the dry sand of a desert, and states, “That glass has a lot of potential to hold water.”
Last week’s photos focused (no pun intended) on Fresnel lenses, yet another use of glass. In this week’s photos I present a few photos of glass items that I have had an opportunity to photograph. For as long as I remember, I have been fascinated with glass and glass objects. As a young child, and without my parents’ knowledge, I would melt glass tubes with the heat of our gas stove and then stretch and bend the glass – just to see what I could do with this fascinating material. I went a step further and took a three‑day course on glass blowing (to discover that this was certainly not my forte, but fun all the same).
In the past, I have had a large collection of glass bottles and other glass objects, and eventually gave up much of these as collectors of dust – yet I still have a few pieces, which I cherish.
Several years ago, I started taking photographs of glass objects only to discover that these are among the most difficult objects to photograph! The properties of glass objects that make them so wonderful to look at, are also the properties that are the most difficult to photograph. If the scene is not set up properly, the glass objects reflect everything, including the lights, camera and photographer. Unless the lighting is correct, the glass objects look flat in the final images.
Southminster United Church, Ottawa, Ontario – Not too long ago I had an opportunity to take photos of the interior of this church. Stained glass windows have always fascinated me and one of my photography dreams is to create a photo series of church windows, from small churches to some of the world’s large cathedrals.
Oil Lamp – One of my first attempts at both blowing glass and then taking a photo of glass. The glass blowing was something I wanted to experience and the photos was taken for one of my photography classes. I was fortunate in having fall leaves for the yellow background.
Glass Paper Weight – Another attempt from my glass blowing class, in this case working with molten glass. It was supposed to be pink flowers inside the glass and instead ended up looking like another space nebula.
Hummingbird Feeder – I was visiting some friends in the country near Ottawa and this bird feeder was hanging from the ceiling of their front porch. I liked the unique way it caught the light of the setting sun.
These glass bottles are a few in my small bottle collection, and these bottles were used as the subject of a photography lighting course. I worked with two other students and we came up with the idea of taking a low-key photo while lighting the middle bottle from the top with a hand-held LED flash light. The bottles, for those who are interested are, from left to right: (1) O. F. Woodward “Kemp’s Balsam for Throat and Lungs” (Pre-1900); (2) Nitric Acid from J-F-Hartz Company (probably mid-1900’s); and (3) Coca Cola bottle from Hartford, CT. (date unknown).
Hummingbird Feeder – This feeder was given to me by a friend who had tried to use it to attract hummingbirds to her front porch. Unfortunately all she was able to attract to the feeder were wasps. She didn’t want it and I knew some people who would enjoy it, so before passing it off I took a few photos of it under various lighting conditions.
Hummingbird Feeder – Another version of the hummingbird feeder using a different lighting set up.
This bottle and marble belongs to a friend who asked me if I would like to try and photograph them. This is one of my attempts.
The marble from the previous photo and a smaller version.
One of my goals is to master the art of taking photographs of glass objects. Another goal, not related to photography, is to visit the world’s largest glass museum in Corning, New York. That should make for a great motor biking trip next summer.