If you want to identify or sell your glassware you need good, clear photos that show the design. It is very difficult to show some designs and here are tips that may help.
We covered this in our previous post, Photographing Glass Part 1, and it needs repeating. Use a plain, solid colored background. Dark backgrounds work better than light for most patterns.
Here is a Paden City pink vase photographed on dark and light colored backgrounds. Can you see the difference, how the dark background gives enough contrast that we can identify the etch?
This photo is on very light gray photo paper. It is even harder to see the design on white.
eBay prefers white backgrounds and you can find a few sellers that are able to get good pictures even against white. However, even Replacements pictures are a little harder to see than if they used dark backgrounds. Some etches show up much better than others; they look crisper, more white to our eyes and are a tiny bit deeper. Fostoria etches tend to be easier.
Here’s Replacements’ photo of Chintz water tumbler, it’s a good picture. You can make out the design and the overall shape.
You’ll notice the photos above are profile shots, shown straight on. When the piece has a design all around it’s difficult to discern the pattern in this angle. Here’s my photo of a Fostoria Chintz tumbler on black and looking straight across. If you’re familiar with Chintz you could probably tell that’s what you are seeing, but this angle does not show the design.
Here’s a photo looking down into the bowl of the tumbler, photographing just one side, looking out. Notice it’s much easier to see the details of the design.
Some Patterns Just Don’t Photograph Well
Some designs are soft and don’t photograph well no matter what you do. This Cameo green depression glass vase is one example. The mold etched pattern is quite large and the edges are rounded.
Some cut patterns are very hard to capture well but I’ve had the most trouble with certain depression patterns and colors.
Rub Chalk Into Design
I’ve not tried this personally. Some of my glass group have rubbed white or black chalk into the cut or etched designs. This will give you a clearer photo of the design, good for identification. I wouldn’t recommend this if you are trying to sell your piece.
Next post we’ll look at photographing colored glass.