Photography Project 52: Week 45 – Photographing through textured glass

1302_MFA_Textured Glass_045

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”

1302_MFA_Textured Glass_055 1302_MFA_Textured Glass_049 1302_MFA_Textured Glass_048 1302_MFA_Textured Glass_047 1302_MFA_Textured Glass_046 1302_MFA_Textured Glass_045 1302_MFA_Textured Glass_044 1302_MFA_Textured Glass_043 1302_MFA_Textured Glass_029 1302_MFA_Textured Glass_025-Edit 1302_MFA_Textured Glass_021-Edit 1302_MFA_Textured Glass_019 1302_MFA_Textured Glass_018-Edit 1302_MFA_Textured Glass_014 1302_MFA_Textured Glass_007 1302_MFA_Textured Glass_060 1302_MFA_Textured Glass_058 1302_MFA_Textured Glass_056


  1. Loretta from Long Island, NY

    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?

  2. pamphotography

    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 :).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s