How to photograph a Glass Globe or Glass Paperweight with Foto-Stage

Step By Step Instructions

Glass globes, Snow Globes and Glass Paperweights are NOTORIOUSLY hard to Photograph. They reflect everything, including the photographer, the camera, any other light source in the room like windows, electric lights and wall hangings. Think of them as shiny glossy balls that reflect 360 degrees. Using a white Foto-stage with high gloss floor insert, it's easy to take a great photo of a Spherical Glass Paperweight.

1. Pick a time of day where daylight is even and not harsh, like early morning or before sunset, as long as it is still brighter outdoors than indoors.

2. Set up the photo-stage with the back towards the window, Click here for Instructions

3. Prepare your globe, dust it and get rid of any finger print marks or greasy smears, these create blurred patches in photos. Place the globe to the back of foto-stage.

4. Turn of all lights in the room so that the window is the only light source, this is to prevent unwanted reflection on the Glass Surface.

5. Turn on your camera, set it to auto and Macro with the flash turned off (never use the flash with shiny objects, you will get white patches)

6. Frame your shot to capture some globe reflection on the glossy floor, try landscape and portrait modes. Take a few shots from different angles.

7. What you are looking for are clear pictures in focus. Depending on the time of day, pictures maybe slightly dark, this does not matter, just focus on clarity and composition, even the bubbles are captured. Here are 2 unprocessed shot, taken in the evening without any lights. 

8. Import them into Picasa and use it to add light, think of Picasa as free studio lighting. In these shots, a little fill light and highlight were added, et voila!

Landscape and Portrait shots:


Tilted Angle:

Partial Shots: