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The Viewing Glass Project

Viewing Glass long exposure

The viewing Glass project came to me whilst on a trip further up north to a beautiful town called Grassington. 

Being in the right place at the right time and passing some textured windows in a pub, I was presented with what could be described as impressionists paintings (see behind the scenes gallery). The light was just right and lit up the courtyard beautifully. I took some photos on my phone, which got some interesting looks from other visitors, and from that, the idea for a portable window grew with me. A few years later after thinking about this concept I decided to give it a go.

I grabbed some different textured glasses and started to walk around my house and garden and it kind of worked straight away. This then led me to building a frame that I could mount on a tripod and take out with me to different locations.

Some really interesting things started to happen as I gathered a few more trips out with this project. My usual photographers approach to landscape composition changed. Rather than details, leading lines and interesting focal points feeding my intuition, it was light and colour that started to construct the image and what made for good compositions through the glass weren’t so good when the frame was taken away. 

The glass seemed to flattened the landscape onto its surface, so the actual images are captured by focussing on the glass itself.

Other factors I started to play around with were the positioning of the frame in the wider landscape or close up to objects. The closer things get to the glass the more details start to come through, as you can see with the golden leaves image (see print gallery). The glass was almost touching the two leaves you can see in the bottom left corner and the rest of the tree detail disappears into the image. Moving the camera closer to the glass also changed the image quite considerably too. These images are like taking macro photographs of a larger painting or oil pastel, focusing in on a small surface area, capturing the brush strokes and textures, as though hiding the bigger picture it is part of.


This project is still in its early days and I am looking forward to creating some still life images, portraits and more abstract landscapes.

Viewing Glass film showing what it's like on location with the glass frame.
Project origins and behind the scenes images.
Prints from the gallery below will be available soon.
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