ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Photographing Old Jugs

Updated on September 6, 2013
Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0)
Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0) | Source

Jugs, the containers, have evolved very little since they were first created to transport and store liquids, food goods and other items. Other than the materials form which they are made nothing much has been added or altered.

Because of the many varieties of colors and materials used in their making as well as the many artistic styles used in their decoration this, although it may seem like a simple photographic theme, does offer some good subjects to conduct a photographic study of the shapes, purposes, decorations and materials.

"A jug is a type of container used to hold liquid. It has an opening, often narrow, from which to pour or drink, and nearly always has a handle. One could imagine a jug being made from nearly any watertight material, but most jugs throughout history have been made from clay, glass, or plastic. Some Native American and other tribes created liquid holding vessels by making woven baskets lined with an asphaltum sealer. The slang term jug can also be used describe the breast of a woman, short for milk jug.[1]

In American English usage, a jug is a large container with a narrow mouth and handle for liquids. In British English, and generally in English speaking countries outside North America, usage, a jug is any container with a handle and a mouth and spout for liquid - American "pitchers" are more likely to be called jugs elsewhere." wikipedia

Many samples can be found at country barns and antique stores, some are also on museums, but photographing these is difficult unless prior permission is obtained. Ancient samples were sometimes decorated with battle scenes, or scenes from daily life. Photographing them would be quite a feat because they are very few in existence and mostly in museums. However, in places such as Greece, Italy and on many others tourist centers, reproductions are very common. If you come upon very well made reproduction, made from bronze do record their images as these are rare. Some very exquisite reproductions sometimes feature simulated patina common to copper and other metals.

Concentrate on isolating the jug against a plain background, preferably black. Light the subjects with filtered light and pay attention to reflections. It would also be appropriate to photograph the jugs next to whatever material it was meant to hold; such as olives, grain, flour or grapes for making wine, apples for making cider and so on. If possible besides recording their images next to their intended contents, see if you can locate the raw materials such as clay and include it in the shot.

Another variation is to not only include contents, and raw materials but to add an item that can be tied to the jug's origin, such as an small American flag to denote that a particular sample originated or was made in the good old USA. or a pirate sword with a old pirate style jug.

There are some styles that are inherently typical of a country or region, such as the ornate silver jugs and character jugs from England. There are even some old traditional jugs such as the puzzle jugs which were very popular in taverns of their day. These usually had several openings and the trick was to drink the wine or liquor from it without spilling any of it.

A good set of images can make for an attractive study and for a calendar set. Jugs have an appeal all of their won and they are often found as decorations in bars, taverns and homes. A good presentation format that looks quite attractive is similar to that of a thumbnail.

Your samples should be of old styles, ancient amphorae even if they are reproductions, classical, whimsical, curious and odd. The idea is to record their different tones, shades, styles, shapes and decorative artwork and sizes.

To add charm to the shot, it is often a good idea to use them in still life's alongside other interesting earthenware or rustic materials. These are better recorded in diffused light with backgrounds of similar tonalities.

Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0)
Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0) | Source
Source

This project can be accomplished with very little effort other than the actual tracking of samples. The main point with this project is to present as many samples and variety as it is possible, since most jugs have a common shape and design.

Some patience will pay off especially if you are planning a trip to a tourist destination known for the availability of jugs or amphorae as most Mediterranean and some European countries are.

Capture images that are appealing to you from an artistic point of view, don't just photograph jugs for the sake of photographing them. Do so when the subject is out of the ordinary or it's in a particular pleasing setting or has something about it that calls your attention to it like an unusual perspective. Since these are simple subjects, being creative is paramount.

©

© 2011 Luis E Gonzalez

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • randomcreative profile image

      Rose Clearfield 6 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      One of my undergrad majors was classics so I've spent a lot of time studying old amphoras and whatnot. A lot of them are dark and thus I'm sure a little difficult to photograph.

    • LuisEGonzalez profile image
      Author

      Luis E Gonzalez 6 years ago from Miami, Florida

      penlady: Thank you

    • penlady profile image

      penlady 6 years ago from Sacramento, CA

      Some very educational information on jugs. Knowledge is always good and you have provided us with more knowledge on a seldom discussed topic.

    • justom profile image

      justom 6 years ago from 41042

      Haaa! Me too!!

    • LuisEGonzalez profile image
      Author

      Luis E Gonzalez 6 years ago from Miami, Florida

      Justom: Years ago one of my regular gigs was to photograph "jugs" for a museum study....I almost didn't want to charge them for it....God how I miss those days!!!

    • justom profile image

      justom 6 years ago from 41042

      Luis, I got in trouble years ago for photographing "jugs" :-) Good hub but it did kind of make me laugh. Peace!! Tom

    • LuisEGonzalez profile image
      Author

      Luis E Gonzalez 6 years ago from Miami, Florida

      Cardisa, FloraBreeRobinson: Thank you both for your nice comments. There is something about earthenware and older things that holds an aesthetic appeal for most

    • FloraBreenRobison profile image

      FloraBreenRobison 6 years ago

      We saw some fabulous specimens when we were in Greece. Mom has been commissioned to paint scenes on milk jugs before. And she owns an original artwork my an artist she knows who not only made the jug but painted it as well.

    • Cardisa profile image

      Carolee Samuda 6 years ago from Jamaica

      You know I like very old earthenware. I actually prefer the original kind of utensils like clay pots and bowls to synthetic materials. I prefer wooden stuff to plastic, I also like ceramic. The jugs in the display are beautiful and rustic looking items like that look so good in photos

    • LuisEGonzalez profile image
      Author

      Luis E Gonzalez 6 years ago from Miami, Florida

      Thank you Steve Lensman. I approached it as in how to photograph them. There is a lot of information regarding their history thought, but that would fall outside of my realm of expertise.

    • Steve Lensman profile image

      Steve Lensman 6 years ago from London, England

      Another fascinating hub Luis, though I must confess I was expecting something different from this topic title. :)

      Voted Up.

    • LuisEGonzalez profile image
      Author

      Luis E Gonzalez 6 years ago from Miami, Florida

      Thank you everyone: Even a simple subject can be made into a photo project, just by looking at things a little differently.

    • profile image

      Lynn S. Murphy 6 years ago

      I agree with RTand just a bit of creatity makes for some great eye candy! UP!

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 6 years ago from the short journey

      Neat hub with great principles to apply to other photographic subjects. Thanks!

    • Mandeep Randhawa profile image

      Mandeep Randhawa 6 years ago from India

      Interesting Hub..well informative Thanks for sharing..Have a nice day..

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)