Photography Project: Creating abstracts from Glass

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This project falls under the header of “why my husband should be considered for sainthood”.  Often when we are in the car together, and I see something on the side of the road I will yell “Stop!”.  He has no idea why he is stopping, but he does.  In this case, I had seen large chunks of broken colored glass at a rock store (you can only imagine what I have stashed around the house….toy cars, rocks, miniature train people, I could go on for hours….). I struggled with this project, it took awhile for my imagination to engage, and really “see” the possibilities.

Equipment Used

  • Macro lens.  I used that new Canon 65mm lens that can magnify an object up to 5x.  I am determined to conquer it, and this project was no different – it won……it put up a good fight.
  • Lightpad.  I put the glass on my lightpad and lit it up from underneath.  In some cases it washed out the color too much and I turned it off.  In others in created a glow.
  • Polarizer.  This helped control the glare from the glass, when that was the look I was going for.
  • Tripod.  This was critical for composition and with this particular lens.
  • Windex. Cleaning the glass before shooting it, saved me a lot of time in post-processing.

Photographic Journey

The key was patience.  I spent a long time turning the glass around and looking at it from different angles through my viewfinder.  Color played an important role in this project.  I found images that had strong color, or swaths of color, were stronger.  I have to admit I was disappointed when I downloaded the images.  I had to step away from them for a few days, and then came back to start visualizing the possibilities in post- processing.

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Post Processing

I used my most creative software to process.  I didn’t want to go with a tried and true approach of trying to create an abstract painting; but rather create a hybrid between a photo and a painting.  For these images I used Topaz’s Adjust and Simplify, as well as, Nik’s Color Effects Pro.

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