Cre­ative project Cap­tured in glass

Mark A Hunter shows how you can make strik­ing im­ages with sim­ple masks and tem­plates

Digital Camera World - - PHOTO PROJECTS -

My se­ries Cap­tured In Glass fea­tures lo­cal land­marks and build­ings seem­ingly con­tained within var­i­ous glass ob­jects. Not all im­age com­bos will work for this quirky sou­venir project; so to quickly as­sess what will look good and what won’t, I’ll show you how to cre­ate a tem­plate mask in Pho­to­shop. This lets you drop shots into the glass ob­jects to pre­view them.

You’ll need a start im­age of a con­tainer ob­ject like this glass bauble, which was pho­tographed on top of the desk in my stu­dio. I wasn’t both­ered about what could be seen through the bauble (in this case, there was an au­dio in­ter­face with a glow­ing red light), as all of that gets masked out.

In com­pos­ing this shot, I chose a nar­row depth of field to blur the back­ground. My cam­era set­tings were 1/160 sec at f/3 and ISO 800, with nat­u­ral win­dow light the only light source I used. It’s worth paus­ing for a mo­ment to think about how your mask will work, as your se­lec­tions and masks will vary de­pend­ing on the con­tainer. The front of this bauble is open, so any ob­ject in­side it would be com­pletely un­ob­structed and clear.

In that case, the main oval part of the mask is easy – it’ll need to be solid black. (With Pho­to­shop masks, paint­ing black al­lows the layer be­neath to show through.) The rest of the mask needs to be softer, as there’s a glass lip cov­er­ing it.

The beauty of this method is that, apart from pos­si­bly hav­ing to ad­just size and po­si­tion, there is no fur­ther edit­ing re­quired when you add other im­ages to the con­tainer. You can also try var­i­ous shaped con­tain­ers for va­ri­ety; per­haps a set of three jars side by side. A float­ing light bulb proved pop­u­lar with my cus­tomers, with a re­flec­tion for added ef­fect, but that is for an­other time.

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