Cool Effect: Taking Photos Through a Glass Ball

I came across an unusual photo a while ago, of an aircraft reflected in a glass ball. I wanted to find out more, so I took the two photographers, Dennis Dieleman and Dennis Janssen along to a hangar.

Glass ball_web

How did it come about?

Dennis: “We’ve done runways lots of times. First you try during the day, then at night and then, well, most of your options are spent. We were curious about the effect a sphere would produce at this location. The chance to run around in this huge hangar is brilliant!”

The idea behind working with the glass ball is pretty simple. You hold the camera in front of your nose, hold the ball in front of the lens and click the shutter. The ball sends the background to the lens upside down. Then you can decide whether to present the photo with the background upside down and the image in the ball the right way up, or the other way round.

“I’d seen glass balls mainly used in landscape photography,” Dennis Dieleman explained, “I got curious and fancied using it with planes!” Dennis Janssen eventually bought a glass ball for about EUR 20. “You’ll find different online shops on google.”

Glass ball_web1

How did it go?

“Getting the lighting right in the hangar was bit of a nightmare. But with a bit of tweaking and testing we managed to take a few really cool pictures!”



Fancy using a glass ball too?

  • We usually use a wide-angle lens. This gives the best effect.
  • You can turn the photo around, but you don’t have to. Do whatever you think looks best.
  • You might want to try using two glass balls. Line them up in front of the lens and admire the effect.
  • Be careful! You can burn your hands or even your camera if you hold them in the sun for too long. The balls have the same effect as a magnifying glass.
  • Pay attention to the light. Lighting from different angles creates the best reflections in the ball.
Posted by:   Ben Kortman  | 
Join the conversation Show comments

simon nicolas coster

pinball zorb ?? zorb montpelier france pin ball zorb

with giant elastic bands from the horses vaal


Yes, indeed. What you just said ;-)

Bea Porter

I just bought a clear ball and am looking forward to seeing what I can do with it.


Hi! Can I take those pictures by using my phone with dual camera? :)


Quick question…do you know if I can take one of these in my carryon luggage?

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