For my last column on how to light glass, I decided to bring a few items from home to photograph. I checked out the refrigerator and saw a bottle of sparkling cider that would work nicely as a subject. I rooted around some more and found a bottle of wine tucked away in the back. My wife and I are not much wine drinkers, so this bottle was probably gifted to us by a friend and sat in the fridge for who knows how long (the label on the bottle said “2009”).
Then I thought about a set of water glasses we had in our cupboard. In 2010 I had saved the gracefully fluted cups from a garage sale we were having. I liked how the light shone through them and created fanciful shadows. I justified saving them by saying to myself that they would make great props for some future photos. My wife let me keep them but I hadn’t had an opportunity to shoot them since (thank you to my wife for keeping any “I-told-you-sos” to herself).
I thought this would be a perfect chance to use them now. I carefully wrapped the two bottles and a single glass in newspapers and placed them in a cooler for safe keeping and then placed the cooler in the trunk of my car.
In the studio at work I set up the lights and light tent, then carefully started to unwrap the bottles and glass. The first one was the cup and as soon as I picked it up I could hear a gentle, yet sickening tinkling of glass. I opened up the wrappings and, sure enough, the delicate edge of the glass was broken. Fortunately there was a standard-looking wine glass in the studio used as prop for an earlier shoot. I took a couple final shots of my fancy water glass then laid it to rest in the trashcan after it gave its life in an attempt of a good cause.