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Eberhard Schuy


Tea time: the art of photographing glass

By Eberhard Schuy, Tuesday March 04, 2014
Tea reflections. Taken on a Canon EOS 5D Mark II with an EF100mm f/2.8L Macro USM lens.

Tea reflections. Taken on a Canon EOS 5D Mark II with an EF100mm f/2.8L Macro USM lens.
© Eberhard Schuy

When products are shot on plates of glass, unsightly reflections are often produced, so in this series of new “Tea” pictures I used several superimposed layers of glass and plastic at a distance of 2-3 inches from each other.

When the hard backlight passes through the layers, it softens the reflections and also gives a suggestion of shadows, thereby setting the scene for creative photography.

The cups and the tea were arranged at different heights above the four superimposed glass or plastic layers. Two large floodlights were used as a light source to produce the typical soft transitions on the white plastic.

The many accessories used, such as tripods, plates and clamps, always make these sets look very messy but when everything is in place and I finally look through the viewfinder, I am always thrilled to see how the desired effect has been achieved by focusing on the right part of the subject.

In order not to interrupt the clear, factual pictorial language, we shot without the usual dew droplets in the cups. In this way we ensured that the light reflected in the tea and the tea cup determined the mood of the picture.

Tea shadow. Taken on a Canon EOS 5D Mark II with an EF100mm f/2.8L Macro USM lens.

Tea shadow. Taken on a Canon EOS 5D Mark II with an EF100mm f/2.8L Macro USM lens.
© Eberhard Schuy