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A Photography Tip for Amazing Photos

Updated on February 19, 2014

There are many tips or often called tricks to enhance a photo or to play with the elements so that the photographs look more amazing than they are are. This is mainly done in a studio and more often than not it is simple materials that actually do the trick.

One such tip will require at least two planes of glass, or at least one and another from a very smooth material such as Plexiglas, some paint and a tripod plus the use of a dedicated photographic snoot. However, you can simplify this by using one glass panel and some colored arts & crafts paper.

The idea is to lay the colored paper on a flat surface, lay the very clean and spot free glass panel on top of it. When photographed against a dark background such as what you get on a darkened room, the results can be extraordinary.

You can also paint one smooth surfaced material and place the glass panel on top. The same result but with this particular method the gloss is that much more pronounced which is an element that enhances the overall image.

One example would be to place the colored paper and I usually use black since I want the audience to focus only on the subject without any distractions form other colors, place the glass on top and place a very brightly colored single flower on top of the glass.

I then use a photo snoot to aim a very narrow beam of light onto the flower specimen, being careful not to let much light illuminate the rest of the set up. In a very dark room I set up a tripod mounted camera with a zoom lens, stand about five to 6 feet away or as far back as the zoom will allow me to, and record the image. Go in close to crop the subject in the middle of the frame if you choose, just remember that you do not want too much outside elements to the point that they overtake the subject itself.

I also check and recheck to make sure that my reflection is not showing on the glass and this is the zoom comes in handy. Also be attentive to shoot at a slightly elevated angle almost parallel to the subject in the frame.

If you shoot from a more elevated position your image or reflection most assuredly will be recorded in the final image.

Having a reflection of the subject upon the glass is acceptable so long as this is the only one present. Play with the angle; lower means little reflection will be apparent on the image, more will mean more of a reflection. This is basically a trial and error format with film but no so much with digital.

As far as what this set up does to enhance the subject, it adds a surreal look to the entire scene by showcasing a subject in conditions not likely found on their own, it highlights the subject and the subject alone, therefore not allowing your audience to have wandering eyes and keeps them entirely focused solely on the main point of interest; that being the subject.

The glass reflects light back unto the underside and the sides of the subject thus no need for extra light.

One thing to remember is that this works best with only one subject at a time. Having multiple subjects or one that features many elements tends to overwhelm the eye of the beholder as it were. Simplicity often works best in photography.

Another good tip is if working with flowers you can lightly spray it with a mist of water and then carefully place it on the glass being careful not to let drops of water fall on the glass.

if working with live insects, it is best to set the container with the live insect inside the fridge, not the freezer, for about 20 to 30 minutes.

This will make them sluggish and likely to remain in place without scampering or flying away at the earliest opportunity, thus allowing some time to record their images at length.

Remember to set your live subjects out in the open away from possible predators so once they warm up they can go on about their business in peace.

Inanimate objects also lend themselves well for this technique but they should be of a bright and rich color.

Product photographers have been using similar techniques for quite some time as their goal is to showcase their product with little or no distractions whatsoever.

Hundreds of photography articles with tips and project suggestions!

© 2012 Luis E Gonzalez


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    • LuisEGonzalez profile image

      Luis E Gonzalez 4 years ago from Miami, Florida

      Dahlia Flower: Thank you

    • Dahlia Flower profile image

      Dahlia Flower 4 years ago from Canada

      This was very useful and easy to understand. Your photo of the preying mantis drew me in. A preying mantis is so surreal as it turns its head this way and that, studying the poor creature staring at it -- and then leaps onto the collarbone of said creature -- which has been me on occasion.

      Voting up, useful and sharing.

    • LuisEGonzalez profile image

      Luis E Gonzalez 5 years ago from Miami, Florida

      unknownspy: Thank you

    • unknown spy profile image

      IAmForbidden 5 years ago from Neverland - where children never grow up.

      Wow, amazing. Thank you for this.

      Voted up and all.

    • LuisEGonzalez profile image

      Luis E Gonzalez 5 years ago from Miami, Florida

      Trahn TheMan: Thank you very much

    • TrahnTheMan profile image

      TrahnTheMan 5 years ago from Asia, Oceania & between

      Cool and helpful hub Luis. How you find the time is quite remarkable! I've never thought of this set up so thanks very much for the tip. It's quite different from the normal white cyclorama.

    • LuisEGonzalez profile image

      Luis E Gonzalez 5 years ago from Miami, Florida

      WannaB Writer: Thank you

    • WannaB Writer profile image

      Barbara Radisavljevic 5 years ago from Templeton, CA

      This does make for striking pictures. I don't think I would be able to implement them in the space I have, unfortunately, but I don't take many pictures of objects indoors. It's pretty hard to do this with people and things hanging on walls.

    • LuisEGonzalez profile image

      Luis E Gonzalez 5 years ago from Miami, Florida

      randomcreative: Thank you, you are always so kind with your comments

    • randomcreative profile image

      Rose Clearfield 5 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      Gorgeous as always! What an elegant, striking effect.

    • LuisEGonzalez profile image

      Luis E Gonzalez 5 years ago from Miami, Florida

      Pamela99: Thank you

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 5 years ago from United States

      These photos are very unique and impressive!

    • LuisEGonzalez profile image

      Luis E Gonzalez 5 years ago from Miami, Florida

      Availiasvision: Thank you

    • LuisEGonzalez profile image

      Luis E Gonzalez 5 years ago from Miami, Florida

      Lynn: Thank you my dear

    • LuisEGonzalez profile image

      Luis E Gonzalez 5 years ago from Miami, Florida

      Hyphenbird: Thank you

    • Availiasvision profile image

      Jennifer Arnett 5 years ago from California

      Stunning photographs!

    • profile image

      Lynn S. Murphy 5 years ago

      How dramatic is that. wow!!!

    • Hyphenbird profile image

      Brenda Barnes 5 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

      This is a gorgeous presentation. Thank you for the ideas! Also I love that you remind people to not harm the creature they are photographing. Your details here are great. I can and will try this. Again, I thank you so much.