Taking pictures of a glass blower?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by verticalization, Oct 16, 2008.

  1. verticalization

    verticalization TPF Noob!

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    So my buddy invited me to watch him and a friend blow glass in his studio tomorrow morning.. i'll be using my Minolta XG-M, iso400 film, and no flash..
    I'm just wondering, if anyone has any tips on how to expose these pics? some willl be action shots, and some should be finished pieces. I'd like to also get some slow shutter pictures too, for some motion/glowing effect.

    If anyone has any tips or experiencing doing anything like this, let me know.

    Thanks!
     
  2. chris

    chris TPF Noob!

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    You don’t say what lens(es) you will be using, but since it is available light then use your fastest – a 50 mm f 1.8 or a fast wide angle lens would be ideal. If there is room then use a tripod to eliminate camera shake since you may have to use quite slow shutter speeds, especially to obtain reasonable depth of field; alternatively a monopod may be useful.

    If the light is to remain fairly constant then measure the exposure for the interior of the studio and set shutter speed and lens aperture manually. If there is any artificial lighting then I would not use a correction filter on the lens since that could significantly reduce the speed/aperture combination; if you have the negatives/slides scanned and then adjust the colour balance.

    Try a series of photos showing the whole process. Start with the glass being taken from the kiln – it should be hot enough to show up as a nice yellow-red. Set the hot glass against a darkish background that shows the colour off well. Take shots of the various parts of the process of blowing, shaping and cutting - lots of scope for having the glass in focus and the blower nicely blurred behind it or vice versa, and close-ups of the glass being shaped or cut. If you want to show both in focus then consider a side view. End the series with the finished object – this can be a shot of it cooling off or with it in use in a typical setting once it has cooled.

    Don’t forget safety – yours and the glass blower. Find out before either of you start just what the blower will be doing and where; you do not want to be in the way of a hot piece of glass as they turn around to get another tool or move to another part of the studio. Also be careful as you move around; you definitely don’t want to back onto a hot kiln or piece of glass and you may be less than welcome if you knock over some of the finished items.

    Good luck, hope everything goes well.
     
  3. verticalization

    verticalization TPF Noob!

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    Oh man, thats exactly what i was looking for..
    As for the lenses i'll be bringing, ill be using a 50mm minolta lense, and a tokina 28mm (1:2.8 if that means anything) wide angle lense. I'm also planning on picking up a tripod this morning.
    Now hopefully dude calls me back so we can meet up and do this.

    Thanks again!
     
  4. manaheim

    manaheim Jedi Bunnywabbit Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Try to get some pictures taken from a perspective of the glass looking up at the person working the glas... that could be pretty cool.

    Definitely post your results, I'd be very curious to see these!
     
  5. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    unless you have to I would not use a tripod for this - if you are up close as they are working a tripod is the last thing you want in the way - use it a standing back for some support is fine.
    also it might be an idea to keep your lens far from the glass - last thing you want is a fleck of molten glass landing on your lens/glass!
     
  6. verticalization

    verticalization TPF Noob!

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    Well i just got back from taking the pics, went through 4 rolls of film, and im hoping for some awesome results.. I played with all types of exposures (auto, manual fast/slow) and a lot of different angles/close ups.. The film is being developed now, soon as its done i'll upload some of the best ones and update the thread..

    Thanks again for the tips everyone
     
  7. verticalization

    verticalization TPF Noob!

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    Well, i got the pictures back..and i would defenitly love some feedback on what i can do to improve them, cuz this guy defenitly wants more pics taken for his website.
    So here they are, im going to link to my photobucket since theres so many in the process. The only thing im dissapointed with is not getting the finished/baked shot at the end. He had to put it strait in the oven, hopefully i can go back tomorrow maybe and get a pic of it.

    http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v54/Impreza3/Glass%20blowing/
     
  8. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    hmm considering that you used no flash the results look good! :)
    Some creative and interesing shots with the flames in there as well. If you get a chance I really would try going for a flash to get some of the grain lost in the shots - though the amibiance of the shots works well (especialy with the guy wearing a hoodie)
    the closeups are a little soft I feel - a tripod + smaller aperture for some more depth of field and stability might help you there - you should be able to get sharper results.
     

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