How to photograph weak embossing on dark glass


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I've got a piece with an unusual embossing and I'm trying to get a photograph of it. The glass is very dark green, almost black, and the embossing is somewhat weak (it looks like the mold impression is not very deep).

Any ideas for capturing the embossing in a photo? Backlighting makes the embossing disappear. My attempts at lighting the surface tend to produce lots of glare in the photo. I'm open to any ideas!

Road Dog

Well-Known Member
Try shooting at different angles at the embossing while allowing natural window light (not direct) to light the surface and no flash.


Well-Known Member
Take a birthday candle or any wax candle and rub it over the letters it should highlight them to capture the embossing.When you are finished just buff the wax off.


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Put it in front of a really bright light and then put another light to the side of the bottle in front of it to allow light to slightly hit the embossing from the side allowing it to be seen in the photograph.


Well-Known Member
I use natural light (no direct sun) with the inside of a guitar hero box lid as the background. I set the camera on "digital macro" so I can get up close, then experiment holding the camera at different angles to the bottle until the embossing shows and is in focus. You'll end up with a really large jpg that you'll have to reduce in size by 50% or more for posting on the forum.


Well-Known Member
Got my best pics of a dark bottle with embossing by laying it on the deck with the top just slightly elevated-set the lip on a rolled up towel-outside light but not direct sunlight. -Julie


Well-Known Member
Infrared photography works extremely well.. just remember where you put the bottle before pointing the camera.. those off-center shots get on my nerves!

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