This weekend, I spent more time with Windex in my hands than I have in the last decade. I also managed to drive the poor guy at the local glass store crazy with my very specific “I’ll know it when I see it” – which as turns out I thought I knew what I was doing, but really didn’t.
Armed with an assortment of 8×12 images, some colorful wrapping paper, magazine ads, and 6 very different pieces of textured glass I set out to create something of which I had no end game in mind. I spent an hour spinning my wheels, and finally decided to set up one piece of glass, and photograph everything I had underneath it. Then working in factory-like precision, I did the same with the rest of my materials. Here’s what I learned:
- The more texture on the glass the more interesting the results. Abstract textures work best – I found the bamboo glass and the glass with circles the most difficult to work with.
- Strong architectural elements work best. Because the texture blurs the subject matter, I liked being able to recognize what was underneath.
- Distance between the glass and the subject matters. The greater the distance between the two the more blurred the subject will be.
- Watch for glare. I had to wait until early morning to make sure no light was bouncing off of the glass.
- During post-processing experiment with adding clarity and taking it away. I sometimes like less structure and detail on the glass.
So here they are – there are many more images than I usually post so you can see how the different textures work with different subjects. Now off to find a project that won’t make me vulnerable to doing additional household chores “just because I already have it out with a rag in my hand”
Hi. Intriguing idea. Particularly like the cityscapes. Thanks for sharing. Was wondering if this technique could be achieved by merging a photo of clear glass with another image in Photoshop, changing the blend mode in Photoshop to “overlay” or “soft light,” as if the glass photo was functioning as texture?
That’s a really interesting idea. I will have to try it. I was going to explore some of the filters that come with photoshop to see if I could achieve a similar effect. I suspect some of the filters in the FilterForge plug-in may also work. I just ran out of time….but a good follow-up project and then it would be interesting to compare the results. It would definitely be easier on my hands and my pocketbook :).