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  1. #1
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    How do I hold glasses in mid air?

    Hello all,

    I am somewhat new to studio photography, and have a question I have not been able to figure out... I hope someone here can help.

    I am trying to find out how photographers prop up things (like glasses) in mid air for a shoot? I know a lot of times people use fishing line, and stuff like that, but I'm asking more about alternative ways. For example, I saw a video where one guy seemed to be melting plastic rods to the glasses individually, and then using a separate c-stand to hold each of the glasses in position. Does that make sense? Does anyone know how to do that, or something similar? I'd love to start attempting photos like that.

    Thanks in advance!

    - AJ

  2. #2
    Forum Moderator Tom Mann's Avatar
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    Re: How do I hold glasses in mid air?

    1) Monofilament fishing line is overkill for objects as light as eyeglasses. Use sewing thread that is the same color as the background.

    2) The usual reason people melt plastic rods is that they are not able to obtain a sufficiently stable mounting with thread (or fishing line) or they can't get the glasses to be in the correct orientation. Use four (or more) separate lines to prevent motion of the glasses in any direction and give considerable thought as to where to attach both ends of each line. For this to work, the far attachment points must not be in a plane (or nearly so). Also, as we discussed in your previous thread, there is almost never any need to fuse one piece of plastic to another, ie, the frames. If you want to do something like this, just use the sticky putty I mentioned in the previous thread.

    3) Another obvious method is to simply let the eyeglasses rest on a horizontal sheet of AR coated glass (like from picture frames) that has been thoroughly cleaned. One can then shoot through the glass from above or below without it being apparent. Moving and tilting the camera will allow one to make it look like the glasses are floating in space at odd angles, if that effect is desired.

    HTH,

    Tom M

    PS - If you are shooting a large number of pieces, method #3 has a lot to recommend it ... it is very fast to change from one object to the next.
    Last edited by Tom Mann; 02-15-2017 at 02:58 PM. Reason: Added PS

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  4. #3
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    Re: How do I hold glasses in mid air?

    Hi, Tom!

    Coming to my rescue yet again. Thank you.

    I'm sorry though, reading my question again, I was not very clear... I meant "glasses" as in whiskey glasses. I saw a photo of three whiskey glasses seemingly balancing on one another, with splashes coming out of them. The guy in the BTS video seemed to be melting clear plastic rods to whiskey glasses with a heat gun, then placing those rods (with whiskey glass attached) into frame using c-stands to hold them in place. And idea how that is done?

    At the very least, you did already give me several ways to shoot eye glasses though! haha

    Thanks again! You're help is greatly appreciated.

  5. #4
    Forum Moderator Tom Mann's Avatar
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    Re: How do I hold glasses in mid air?

    That's funny. I'm so used to calling my eyeglasses, my "glasses", the standard meaning of the word never even dawned on me, LOL! My apologies.

    WRT the whiskey glasses, could you please post a link to the image you are talking about.

    I'm doubtful that one could get plastic to adhere directly to glass, even if heated. The two materials have vastly different coefficients of thermal expansion, so as the plastic (or both the plastic and glass) cooled, any bond that might have been between them would likely be ripped apart by differential contraction.

    HOWEVER, I can imagine making a blob on the end of a plastic rod, shaped so that it conforms to the shape of the glass in that area, letting everything cool off, and then using a cyanoacrylate glue (eg, "super glue", Eastman 910, etc.) to make the bond. Such a bond could be very secure.

    Personally, I wouldn't use a transparent rod for the support because it would act like a very strong positive cylindrical lens and you would see a greatly demagnified version of much of the background in it. Instead, I would use a translucent rod that was the same color as the background to facilitate 'shopping it out.

    Anyway, I'll probably have other ideas when I see the image in question. For example, a lot of "fantastic" shots are actually composites, so I wouldn't be surprised if this was one, as well.

    Cheers,

    Tom M

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    Administrator IamSam's Avatar
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    Re: How do I hold glasses in mid air?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Mann View Post
    .............. a lot of "fantastic" shots are actually composites, so I wouldn't be surprised if this was one, as well.
    This is what I would suspect. I can't imagine going to all that trouble due to the reasons Tom mentions above. Adding the Whiskey Glass is a quick job in post and less of a hassle than trying suspend an object for a photo. Im' sure there are some, but I can't imagine any reason to got to such lengths. I don't know that it would add anything to the finished image.

    Refresh your page to see replies!


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    Re: How do I hold glasses in mid air?

    Tom,

    So here's a link to the page I was referring to -- http://blog.topazlabs.com/liquid-com...hy-david-lund/

    In the video, and first photo right above it, you'll see what I mean. And if you look at the video, around 1:10 into it, you'll see someone with the heat gun. I did also think that this acrylic/plastic/etc. would have a tough time adhering to glass, but it seems like they made it work here. Any ideas? I'm looking to hold the whiskey glass mid-air like that so I can do some splash work.

    Thanks!

    - AJ

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    Re: How do I hold glasses in mid air?

    IamSam,

    Thanks for the reply! As I replied to Tom, here is a link to the website I was looking at, just for some more clarification -- http://blog.topazlabs.com/liquid-com...hy-david-lund/

    It the third photo down, and video right below that, you'll see what I was referring to. The video part I was curious about, with the heat gun, is at 1:10 in.

    I'm just looking for an easy way to shoot whiskey glasses suspended like that, so that I can experiment with some splash photography.

    Any ideas how they did this? Or any better ideas? Any advice is greatly appreciated.

    Thanks!

    - AJ

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