by Nick Coons
Dec 15, 2004
I'm working with a company that manufacturers various glass products, and
I was up in Sedona this past weekend helping them with their photography.
As you can see by going to the Photo Gallery on this site, we've taken
quite a few landscape photos around the state. This has been a hobby of
mine for awhile, and I enjoy tweaking the camera to make the lights and
colors come out just right. But I ran into a couple of minor difficulties
this time. The first was interesting. Glass is clear -- How do you take
We set out on Bell Rock for a very nice background
view of all of the photography. We found several nice spots that would
be great for setting up the products, and from there began taking pictures.
Our first angle was all wrong. The sun shines right through the products
and you could barely see them as they appeared almost completely transparent.
Our solution to this was to find an angle where the sun was reflected
off of the glass pieces and into the camera, so the photo caught a certain
amount of the "glistening" from the glass.
The second problem
was the focus. Most cameras now have auto focus, and it's extremely important
for the camera to focus correctly when you're zooming. The goal here is
to have the subject of the photo turn out extremely sharp, and have the
remainder of photo just kind of blur off into the background. A regular
camera won't do this. You have to be able to zoom to a large magnitude
to accomplish this effect. And, your camera has to properly be able to
focus on the subject.
I can zoom a great deal, but having the
camera recognize the existence of the glass piece was another matter.
If it didn't know it was there, it wouldn't focus on it. The end result
was that the background came in nice and clear, except that there was this
blurry glass image in the center; completely backwards. To get the result
I wanted, I had to trick my camera. I set a rock about three feet to the
right of the glass, outside of the shot. I'd aim my camera at the rock,
have it focus, then move it back to the left to snap the photo of the glass
while it was focused on an object of the same distance away from me. Luckily,
as I have no manual focus options, this turned out extremely well. I'm
glad my camera is easily influenced.
Three hours hiking around
Bell Rock taking photos in 65-degree weather -- Now that's what I call