One of the great things about being a commercial photographer is that you get to work with some really creative artists. Over the last few weeks I have been really privileged to work with the highly talented Maya King. Maya not only makes beautiful stained glass obelisks, she is also a highly skilled silversmith responsible for the beautiful jewellery featured in our jewellery gallery.
One of the greatest challenges in photographing work of this nature is ensuring the correct exposure. For example if you want to photograph wood and make it look beautiful there is a good chance that the beautiful radiance of the glass may be lost.
Below is an excellent example of how the beauty of the wood is brought out in the image, but the radiance of the stained glass has been sacrificed. Here this was deliberate in this particular shot, because the item was lit from the front in order to make the coloured shadow at the back.
When stained glass is lit from behind its beauty becomes apparent, but as can be seen from the image below, some of the detail of the wood has been lost. Again in this shot the lighting was deliberate in order the maximise the beautiful bright coloured glow that the stained glass was casting on the sides of its wooden casing.
Technically stained glass is a very challenging to photograph. In order to get the exposure just right the best way is to take a number of exposures of the same shot which constitutes something called HDR or high dynamic range. The definition of HDR is as follows:
“A digital imaging technique where a series of identical pictures of a scene are taken at different exposures and then combined into one image. This brings out detail in shadow and highlight areas that usually can’t be captured in a single exposure, and is particularly useful for high-contrast subjects, such as brightly-lit landscapes, interiors and night scenes”. (Extracted from the Dictionary of Photography)
In this particular photography project HDR was not used because of how time consuming it can be, so to get round the problem, exposure compensation was used in-camera via the EV button on the camera body. Below is a gallery of some of the shots from the shoot. More of Maya’s work can be found here and if you would like more details about our product photography please contact us here.