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Photographing Water Globes

Updated on September 17, 2013
CC BY-SA 2.0
CC BY-SA 2.0 | Source

"A snow globe is a transparent sphere, usually made of glass, enclosing a miniaturized scene of some sort, often together with a model of a landscape. The sphere also encloses the water in the globe; the water serves as the medium through which the "snow" falls. To activate the snow, the globe is shaken to churn up the white particles. The globe is then placed back in its position and the flakes fall down slowly through the water. Snow globes sometimes have a built-in music box that plays a Christmas carol."..."Precisely when the first snow globe (also called a" waterglobe", "snowstorm",[1] or "snowdome") was made remains unclear, but they appear to date from France during the early 19th century." Wikipedia

OK, now that we know what the theme of this project deals with and a little history regarding our main subject it is time to get down to business as they say. These water globes are certainly very popular collectible items and they come in many sizes with many designs and in a wide range of prices.

These make very pleasing photographs if their image is recorded appropriately. For the subject to be shown in its best light a light source is best placed behind the subject and a little below the subject itself so that its presence will not be captured by the camera. A separate light source is then placed at a 45 degree angle in front of the globe. Both light sources must be diffused.

Your photographs should be done in a rather close up mode so that you can captured all of the details in both the inside of the globe and whatever scene is depicted inside of it. For very elaborate interior scenes you can often do macros of these and more complete images of the globe in its entirety.

Like with many photographic subjects in which close ups are done and that are intricate in their workmanship as well full of interesting details they are best photographed against dark backgrounds that help eliminate outside elements from distracting an audience from the scene's main point of interest.

These globes are often very simple and small, these are better photographed in an almost macro form. However the ones which are much bigger such as the Disney collectible ones are full of very detailed figures and they are often depictions of various Disney themes. These, although rather expensive, are worth the expenditure as they often gain value when treated as a true collection piece. Some of the best and more accessible of these are usually holiday themes with Christmas being the predominant topic.

Word of caution; like any crystal surface, these globes will readily receive your hand print, make sure to keep handy a lint free cotton towel to wipe them off after handling them. Finger prints and lint will show on photos, especially close ups.

CC BY-SA 2.0
CC BY-SA 2.0 | Source

Never underestimate the value of your images. Whether you do it for purely personal reasons of for profit. For the majority of the over 30 years in which I have been involved in the medium, I had practiced photography from a personal stand.

Only for the last ten years I have begun selling my images to a variety of clients. Your images can have a value for many industries and this theme is no exception.

Your images can often be used by the same stores that sell these water globes or snow globes as they can make very good advertising and they are often displayed prominently in the shop's windows.

These will be the first clients that you should approach when attempting to sell the photographs.

You can also let these stores know that by allowing you access to their merchandise you can provide them with copies of these images at often no cost to them. Both of you will then receive a benefit from this arrangement. They get images which can be used to advertise their wares and you get free access to subjects.

CC BY-SA 2.0
CC BY-SA 2.0 | Source

© 2012 Luis E Gonzalez


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    • LuisEGonzalez profile image

      Luis E Gonzalez 6 years ago from Miami, Florida

      PhotoJoe21: Thank You

    • PhotoJoe21 profile image

      PhotoJoe21 6 years ago from Callahan, Fl

      Wow, I have never thought about taking photos of these, I'm definitely going to have to break out the light box and have some fun, thanks for the idea!

    • LuisEGonzalez profile image

      Luis E Gonzalez 6 years ago from Miami, Florida

      JEOrtega; Thank you and you are most welcome. Actually I first started photographing them to use as holiday cards and they work quite well for this.

    • JEOrtega profile image

      JEOrtega 6 years ago from Southern California

      Hi Luis!

      Thank you for writing this. I have several large holiday snow globes on ornate pedastals. My ex-huband bought them for me when we were first married. My two largest ones are for Easter and Christmas. If a photograph was taken of these in the right light and context they would make fantastic holiday cards. Thank you for the idea!



    • LuisEGonzalez profile image

      Luis E Gonzalez 6 years ago from Miami, Florida

      Cardisa: Thank you, well just get another. Water globes have always held a special fascination for me.

    • Cardisa profile image

      Carolee Samuda 6 years ago from Jamaica

      Luis, you created this hub for me! I have always loved snow globes or water globes ever since I was a little girl. The last one I had broke :(