7 Tips on Using Black Plexiglass Photographing Closeup

Photograph with Black Plexi Closeup

Have you ever used black plexiglass to photograph your subject closeup?  If not… you need to! It’s challenging, but a challenge worth taking.  You’ll create beautiful elegant creative work with it.

So let’s get to it…

Below is the plexi I use, but you can use anything that’s black and reflective:

Click here to purchase plexiglass that I use. 

A bit behind the scenes…  These are from the video replay of the workshop I did for our membership program.  🙂

studio black plexi setup

Sharing strobe lighting, black velvet, plexi with flower.


Closeup of my camera, 100mm Macro Lens and shutter release.

In Lightroom and live view of what I’m photographing.

Here are your tips…

Depending on your setup…it’s best to bounce the light into the plexiglass using a reflector or anything you have where you can have the light hit it and point to the subject.

If you want the reflection and main subject in focus, you may need to focus stack if you’re really up close. It’s worth the extra time for sure!

Focus Stacked Image on Black Plexi


Keep a soft dust rag nearby, trust me, you can see ALL of the dust!  You’ll have some anyway, but better to try and remove as much dust as possible so you’re not cleaning so much in post-production.

Focus Stack – 2.0 @ f9.5 ISO 200 with 2 continuous lights.

Lighting your subject is fun, but you will most likely need a couple of lights unless you shoot HDR (multiple exposures merged into one image). You’ll light the main subject, then add more light to the reflection in the glass.

Water drops are fun, but can be messy. Keep a soft rag around to remove unwanted drops on your glass, again…. you don’t want to be in photoshop for hours just to remove drops.

In the work below I added some texture for some fun. If you would like some of my free textures sign-up here and you’ll also get insider info from me and challenges to keep you thinking and stepping out of your comfort zone.

A bit of Stamen- 3.2 @ f9.0 ISO 125

In this last shot, I had the flower on a plamp, so I just touched the glass.  I shot this in the workshop live with our members on how to photograph on black plexiglass.  It was so much fun… I highly recommend you playing with black plexi.

plexiglass workshop daisy

Life and Death

There you go…7 tips to get you started. Let’s recap…

  1. Bounce light
  2. Focus Stack
  3. Use a dust cloth to remove dust
  4. Add a second light or shoot HDR
  5. Keep a rag to remove water drops on plexi
  6. Add some texture in post for fun
  7. Use a plamp to hold subjects

If you have any questions, feel free to ask below and share a link or two if you have any black plexiglass work you’ve done!

Cheers to plexiglass… it’s so much fun!

Janice Sullivan

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© 2017 Sullivan J Photography, LLC. All Rights Reserved

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