Photographing Crystal Awards: What’s The Best Way To Do It?

Snapping the right photo can be the difference between capturing the message you’re trying to get across or not. This is especially so in our photography quest at FineAwards.com.

Photographing clear material awards is not the same as taking photos of a model or landscape; it’s far trickier trying to get the various elements of photography to work with the clear awards before your lens. Now, it’s not an impossible task, and quite honestly, it’s quite easy once you get the hang of it.

The basic rules of photography apply when shooting acrylic, glass or crystal awards as they do anything else. In the following article, we’ll go over some tips to help you photograph crystal awards more effectively, making the task easier for you.

Lighting

Lighting is the very essence of photography. The Greek root of light is “photo”, while drawing is “graph;” combine the two and you’ll get a communicatory medium that can’t be matched by anything else.

When setting up your stage or photo-area, you must make sure that there’s enough light to fully illuminate the awards, but not so much that the crystal or glass awards are drowned in the light. Using softbox lamps are the best means of lighting up the stage and award.

You’re able to control the amount of light illuminating the award with softbox lamps. The square-shaped covers filter the blast of light coming from the bulb; some would describe its effect as light coming in through a window.

Another technique that we’ve found to work effectively is placing open-bulb lamps towards the back of the awards. Whether you’re shooting at a cyclorama wall or DIY studio, illuminating the wall that faces the back of your awards bounces more light onto the crystal awards brightening more of the dark colors that are captured from its surroundings.

Staging and Setting

In the paragraph above, we mentioned the space that you’re photographing these crystal or glass awards is important; it’s necessary to have the right setting to produce adequate photos.

The darker the background color is, the better the photos will come out. Darker background colors help the design and details of the crystal awards come out more. Using this strategy along with the right lighting, your photos will come out crisper and discernable, especially if the award has a lot of details in it.

We’ve found success in shooting clear and beveled awards by setting a light grey background when photographing our products. The light grey tone is a good contrasting color to the transparency of the award and the touches of color decorating it; the light grey doesn’t dissolve the award into the background.

Camera Settings

You don’t have to be a sharpshooter to take good photos of crystal or glass awards. You just have to keep in mind the basic rules of photography, the settings on your camera, and shooting from multiple angles.

Remember the 3 pillars of exposure, or the amount of light that reaches your camera’s sensor or film:

  • Shutter Speed:

    This camera setting increases or decreases the amount of time an image is exposed to light. Increasing the shutter speed takes quicker snaps of photos; faster shutter speed is perfect for shooting moving objects for a crisper photo. But it lets in less light, which is not recommended for shooting clear awards.

    By turning down the shutter speed, you’re letting more light into the lens, making for a luminous shot. When you have the lighting settings down, this is the next step to taking excellent photos.

  • Aperture:

    This is how opened or closed your camera lens is, allowing in more or less light into the image. When your lens is turned to a lower aperture or wide focus, more light is let into the camera, at this point, it’s necessary to turn up the shutter speed to get a crisp and light balanced photo.

    When the lens is turned up to a high aperture or narrow focus, less light is being let into the camera, thus a slower shutter speed in needed to take a good photo.

  • ISO:

    This determines how sensitive the camera will be to the light coming in through the lens. The lower the ISO the less sensitive or bright the image will be, while higher settings will snap more blinding images.

Now, having all of this in mind, when shooting clear awards on a white or light grey background, you must adjust the ISO to the amount of light in the studio and turn down the shutter speed to allow enough light to enter the lens.

Clear glass or crystal awards can sometimes be hard to capture, especially when they’re shaped differently or beveled, but once you have this down, you’ll be taking eye-catching photographs in no-time. But the most important thing to take away from all of this is to take the best photos possible. Take photos that capture the beauty of the awards and that make them desirable for customers.