Photo Corners

A   S C R A P B O O K   O F   S O L U T I O N S   F O R   T H E   P H O T O G R A P H E R

Enhancing the enjoyment of taking pictures with news that matters, features that entertain and images that delight. Published frequently.

Life's A Small Glass Of Glass Cherries Share This on LinkedIn   Share This on Google   Tweet This   Forward This

17 August 2017

Glass cherries, with their slender black stems, are not long for this world. We have a few still, picked up for a buck each long ago at a little store on Clement St. We gave most away as Christmas presents one year.

To our horror, we realized we'd never photographed them. You can insure your possessions all you want, but that's no guarantee. It just protects your investment.

And had we insured these for $2, we'd spend the rest of our lives looking for their replacements. Which, no doubt, would be $10 each now.

The only way to ensure the future enjoyment of your treasures is to photograph them.

This, by the way, goes for old photos, too. There must be a planet, we suppose, with all the early 20th century family negatives buried on it. We, at least, have never seen a negative from that era, anyway. Just prints. One of each image. And when someone in the family one day absconds with the photo album you'll never see those images again.

The only way to ensure the future enjoyment of your treasures is to photograph them.

OK, "absconds" is too harsh a word. Photo albums can not be divided up. Someone has to become the curator. Someone with a scanner, preferably.

But back to the times when everyone who came for Christmas was a cherry in our eyes.

How to shoot these two things in their traditional aperitif glass with beveled, not rounded, edges?

Oh, just shoot them.

In our case, we hooked the Nikon D300 up to our MacBook Pro and used Sofortbild to make two tethered captures. It's free and it works, two things you can't say about shooting tethered from Lightroom.

Our first approach was to send the light from a diffused strobe through them. They are glass, after all. And we liked that except that the dense cherries themselves were not well lit. There was just a hint of red at the center.

So we dropped a dark cloth over the big softbox, turned off the monobloc and used a strobe off camera, it too diffused with a little plastic dome. We liked that but you can't see the stems for the background.

So we did a lot of post-processing to bring out the red cherries on the white one and the black stems on the black one. Still, not enough life.

Life is small glass with beveled edges of glass cherries.

Which is not to say, we hope we are being clear, that life is a bowl of cherries. Just the opposite. You have to compromise. Or composite.

Which is just what we did. We composited the two shots, the white one on its own layer above the black one so we could set its Fill set to just 15 percent. Perfect.

Except that now we're hungry. Time for lunch!


Enjoyed this article and the good advice about scanning old photos, I have done this not only for my old photos but also for those taken by my Dad dating way back to his and mum's marriage in 1931. It was a big job but worth it. I also scanned the back of the photos if they had any information written on as well as doing some research into them, (or at least some of them). They are great for genealogy research!

I am now wondering whether or not to gradually work through them in a systematic way to run the digital images through processing to make them clearer or whether it is best to leave them as they are to preserve their "character." Some are so faded that it is a no-brainer and they need to be processed to make them reasonably visible. I know there are companies that will do this for you but pretty good results can be got by anyone with a bit of effort. Time consuming but probably worth it.

-- Andrew Allsop

Once you've digitized your historical images, you've won the battle. You can then, at your leisure, work on a few favorites to make frameable prints, say.

But if you have sets of images that you don't feel are presentable as raw scans, a tool like Lightroom can apply corrections in batches with a preset, greatly improving what the scan couldn't fix.

-- Mike

BackBack to Photo Corners