What to PhotographLook carefully at your glass and note the parts of the glass that may be clues to its identification. You want to be sure to get clear photos of these unique elements. Examples:
- Shape of the foot, especially for stemware. Is it round? Domed? Square or Hexagonal? Most common stemware feet are round and flat, so any differences here may be helpful. Cups, creamers or sugars, vases, may vary quite a bit with the foot shape in keeping with the overall design.
- Shape of the stem. The most common stems on goblets are plain round or lady leg. Lady leg refers to stems that have bulbous tops and are thinner below the bulb shape.
- Overall shape of the piece.
- Design, e.g., cutting or etch or other ornamentation.
BackgroundDo not try to photograph glass against any patterened cloth or backdrop. It is virtually impossible to see close up details when the background is cluttered or has its own design. A matte black or dark grey background is ideal. Any dark background that's plain can work OK. This person photographed his Viking Prelude dish on a wood table with good lighting to show the etch. I use a special backdrop called Varitone Grey to Black. I've had it several years and bought it online. Several places sell it, but you need to include "Photo Background" or "Photo Paper" in your search as otherwise you will find a lot of guitars! This product here on Amazon looks like what I have. The Varitone sheets are expensive (around $50) but work well for glass and most other items. You can find paper sheets that are less costly, also much smaller and not durable. If you have only a few items to photograph then consider these options that are much less expensive.
- Some people swear by black velvet. I've not cared for the results although a non-shiny dark fabric with no creases or distracting texture should work OK.
- Dark, plain colored wood
- Plain, no texture cardboard or other matte finish paper. Construction paper tends to be distracting as even black color shows up as grey with texture. You could try colored tagboard. I've used boxes and dark green, plain carpeting.
- In general, use matte, non-reflective, dark surfaces to get the best detail.