intersection of glass and light

February 28, 2022  •  3 Comments

Many of you know by visiting my blogs every week that I am fascinated by the play of light on and through glass.  Several months ago, I discovered the wonder of three overhead lights shining through wine glasses.   Merriam Webster defines this result as refraction or the bending of a ray of light passing from one medium (in this case, glass) to another (the tile behind it).  My first reaction was that the result was quite similar to the art nouveau style used so effectively by Charles Rennie Mackintosh in furniture, paintings and drawings.  His flowers and roses are particularly wonderful.  Many of his works are still under copyright, so I am reluctant to include them here.  But in the photograph below that I shot in 2014 of one exterior wall of the Vienna Secession Building or Secessionsgebäude, the style of work is apparent.  Built in 1898 by Joseph Maria Olbrich, the Secession Building features two key artists in the Secession Movement - Gustav Klimt and Charles Rennie Mackintosh.  

I saw elements of the work in the refracted light through the glass.


The position of the glass in relation to the overhead lights created a different "rose" in each image.

Using a slightly different shape of glass produced more of a flower base than unfolding rose.


The flares shown in the next two images are at such an angle that rainbow colors appear.  I also put water in the bowl of the glass, which impacted the outcome. 

Three lights, three flares

Thanks to M. Fred, Barbara, Christina, Geula, Lawrence, TTT, Luella, Jean & Sam, Wayne, Ingrid, and Steve for commenting this week as we enter the month of March with its feel of spring.  I hope you are able to explore all of it this week.

until next Monday,


a passion for the image©




Steve Immel(non-registered)
You are such a seeker of new ways to see and depict our world. Pretty amazing. You're the most cerebral photographer and writer that I know. You're the master of the still life most of us don't see and you show how small changes in perspective and the medium providing the refraction and render such different results. That's particularly evident when you put water in the wine glass and get a kiss of color. I'm fond of image four where there seem to be four tulip shaped globes.
Wayne Gesterfield(non-registered)
Oh yes, your refractions are pretty neat.
Sun coming in the window thru glass has always fascinated me.
It's like abstract art.
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