Tips for photographing glass?

Anyone have tips for photographing glass like shooters, shot glasses, high balls, etc?

I’m trying to get good photos of these laser etched shooters currently, and will need to for other glassware as I go along.


Get a circular polarizer I’ve found it easiest for non-metalic reflections. Use it all the time when photo water reflection or on glass windows.

Lighting angles and diffused light helps greatly.



That’s good to know. I use a polarizer all the time for landscape shots, but I’ve never tried it for indoor work.

You might try this. Mask off light table. Cut out circle that matches the bottom of the item being photographed. Item is lit from the bottom. Shoot raw and bracket in a dark room.

edit - You could use RGB led - single or multiple to light from the bottom. Have seen blue led used to light up the bottom of nixie tubes. Glass tube has blue glow around the orange digit.


@LAndras know if DM has one of these for the DSLR?

My pro photog ex-brother-in-law did some awesome work with glassware for catalogs. Multiple lights, white cards and black cards to manage highlights, 4x5 view camera, and lots of time to set up and test.


Essentially what this test area is. I would grab the good light, in digital media dial it in. There are also a bevy of soft boxes you could try in there as well. I would imagine we have a polarizer or 3.


Stop touching them with your bare hands. :wink:

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In addition to the other suggestions you’ve received, you may want to try crossed polarization (polarize the light orthogonality to the polarizer over the lens).
Diffuse light is your friend, as is a largish monitor to preview the image. I would definitely use a tripod.

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The Sony has an adjustable polarizing lens filter in the cabinet for one of the lenses. It’s contained in the circular black tin labeled ‘Gobe’, it has its own foam cutout to the right of the A7. Aside from that I can’t tell you if it’s right for the job you’re looking at.

A colored liquid in the glass will likely also provide contrast for the engraving.

Make it a drinking game where you take a shot with every failed exposure :joy:

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Wake up the next moment to find a hundred blurred photos and a broken shot glass.