Shiny surfaces and other lighting experiments.

16 Apr

One of the exercises for the lighting part of the AOP-course is about shiny surfaces and avoiding reflections of the camera or lighting equipment. I even put on some pictures that I took when experimenting with DIY-snoots or other ways of diffusing the light.

As far as I can tell is it very difficult to just get it right. Very often is the light too big or too small in comparison with the object you are trying to photograph. Light spill or just getting reflections of the surroundings are difficult to get rid of and of course you have to think about what you want to show with just that object or subject you are photographing. It needed, at least on the level that I am on right now quite an amount of editing in order to get the pictures as I liked them.

First try of product photography. Light coming from the right and you have three versions. One with a reflector right, one without and one with a black reflector from the front in order to darken the front a little against the white background. problem with partly too bright highlights.

First try of product photography. Light coming from the right and you have three versions. One with a reflector right, one without and one with a black reflector from the front in order to darken the front a little against the white background.
problem with partly too bright highlights.

s.o.

s.o.

s.o.

s.o.

Two tries at our wedding ring with light coming from the front, slightly from the right and at about the level of the camera. Problem with too bright highlights and not getting across the shape of the ring, even if the reflections are nice (plexiglas).

Two tries at our wedding ring with light coming from the front, slightly from the right and at about the level of the camera. Problem with too bright highlights and not getting across the shape of the ring, even if the reflections are nice (plexiglas).

s.o.

s.o.

Three pictures of a camera I have at home. Light this time from two lights, right and left, trying to adjust the brightness to get more light from one side and not get a too even picture. Problem with burned out highlights in some of the pictures and I am not really happy with how the form of the camera is shown. but the one with the hand is a pleasant one in my opinion but had needed a little more light on the upper side.

Three pictures of a camera I have at home. Light this time from two lights, right and left, trying to adjust the brightness to get more light from one side and not get a too even picture. Problem with burned out highlights in some of the pictures and I am not really happy with how the form of the camera is shown. but the one with the hand is a pleasant one in my opinion but had needed a little more light on the upper side.

s.o.

s.o.

s.o.

s.o., thank you Johan for loan of your ideas and hand!

Next time we had a photo session we wanted to try something new and take pictures of a whiskey bottle and glass. Unfortunately is none of us smoker so we could not really create the still life that we all had in mind with a smoking cigar, a whiskey and maybe a good book. So in the beginning we tried to capture the bottle and glass i a pleasant way but when getting criticism of a friend he again said: Be aware what you want to show with the picture and how you want to show it. We did not manage so well to just show the form/rim of the objects but on the other hand I think we did well for the level we are on and some of our friends were very interested in tasting the whiskey, which in my eyes does talk for the pictures.

Light from both sides but main light from the right

Light from both sides but main light from the right

single light from the right and a white reflector (the other softbox)

single light from the right and a white reflector (the other softbox)

Single light from the right, softbox without light from the left som reflector

Single light from the right, softbox without light from the left som reflector

Single light from the right, softbox without light from the left som reflector

Single light from the right, softbox without light from the left som reflector

softbox from the right, directly from the front. Might have been better positioned for the glas if it came from a little further back, like 100 or 110 degrees. Nice light on the face

softbox from the right, directly from the front. Might have been better positioned for the glas if it came from a little further back, like 100 or 110 degrees. Nice light on the face

Hairlight from the left and mainlight from the right about 45 up and 45 right

Hairlight from the left and mainlight from the right about 45 up and 45 right

s.o.

s.o.

During that shoot I even tried to take some pictures of a watch but did not really have any good ideas on how to present it.

straight forward camera, light from the right and you can see both which is not so good.

straight forward camera, light from the right and you can see both which is not so good.

Editing in Silver Efex "Film noir"

Editing in Silver Efex “Film noir”

Same picture but just from LR.

Same picture but just from LR.

Even tried to take pictures while it is on my wrist but I could not get it far enough in order to get better lighting on the steel ring around it and to avoid the reflection of the light on the glass.

Even tried to take pictures while it is on my wrist but I could not get it far enough in order to get better lighting on the steel ring around it and to avoid the reflection of the light on the glass.

IMG_2973

s.o.

After the session with the whiskey we decided to go further with a timer made out of steel, creating different problems. the pictures here are from several sessions. Captions tell you what it has been done.

Evening in our living room without alteration to the light.

Evening in our living room without alteration to the light.

single headlamp from slightly above the camera right towards the egg.

single headlamp from slightly above the camera right towards the egg.

single headlamp from the right hand side. some editing to get the "inside of the egg" without reflections.

single headlamp from the right hand side. some editing to get the “inside of the egg” without reflections.

Setup

Setup

Light from the right and a reflector from the left. Interesting the difference in light quality, soft/sharp.

Light from the right and a reflector from the left. Interesting the difference in light quality, soft/sharp.

headlamp directly down, reflector on either side but not enough effect to my taste

headlamp directly down, reflector on either side but not enough effect to my taste

Headlamp above the camera with a snoot made out of drawing paper which you can see  in the top

Headlamp above the camera with a snoot made out of drawing paper which you can see in the top

Headlamp above the camera with a snoot made out of drawing paper, higher than the one before, slight halo

Headlamp above the camera with a snoot made out of drawing paper, higher than the one before, slight halo

Headlamp above the camera with a snoot made out of drawing paper same as before but different angle and different exposure gives a clearer  halo on the top of the egg.

Headlamp above the camera with a snoot made out of drawing paper same as before but different angle and different exposure gives a clearer halo on the top of the egg.

nightdesk lamp with diffuser of drawing paper from the right and white reflector from the left

nightdesk lamp with diffuser of drawing paper from the right and white reflector from the left

On camera flash

On camera flash

on camera flash with a long "snoot" out of drawing paper that almost touches the object, slightly above the object

on camera flash with a long “snoot” out of drawing paper that almost touches the object, slightly above the object

same as before but not clear why I got a double reflection. snoot differently rolled together and giving a different size light source?

same as before but not clear why I got a double reflection. snoot differently rolled together and giving a different size light source?

standing on a plastic object in order to give a "flying" impression. No other lightsources or reflectors.

standing on a plastic object in order to give a “flying” impression. No other lightsources or reflectors.

Same as before but with a white reflector from the left and increase of contrast to get this division of sides.

Same as before but with a white reflector from the left and increase of contrast to get this division of sides.

Desklamp from behind and down.

Desklamp from behind and down.

From behind and above towards the egg, not enough halo-effect though.

From behind and above towards the egg, not enough halo-effect though.

Headlamp from behind and above towards a point behind the egg in order to get the shape of the egg

Headlamp from behind and above towards a point behind the egg in order to get the shape of the egg

single softbox from above

single softbox from above

Equal strong light and distance from left and right. softboxar

Equal strong light and distance from left and right. softboxar

Now a ring I payed with in order to get the shape  and to see how light modifier work

ring on a plexiglas disk to get it upright. on camera flash

ring on a plexiglas disk to get it upright. on camera flash

closeup, shadow of the lens

closeup, shadow of the lens

Diffused on camera flash with drawing paper

Diffused on camera flash with drawing paper

On camera flash with snoot made out of card

On camera flash with snoot made out of card

closeup

closeup

On camera flash with snoot out of drawing paper., softer light and a little spill. not as harsh

On camera flash with snoot out of drawing paper., softer light and a little spill. not as harsh

Last but not least an exercise with a light source that was outside a cone made of drawing paper. I had some problems making one as I could not find drawing paper in town but managed to create something that lasted about a dozen shots. After that I took two large softboxes with tungsten light and as far as I can think the effect should be equal apart from that you do not get the reflector which is “built in” in the cone-setup.

On-camera flash

On-camera flash

Direct light from near the camera, directional, no diffusion

Direct light from near the camera, directional, no diffusion

Light from the top through the diffuser. Very soft shadow. The red lines are the construct that hold the paper up.

Light from the top through the diffuser. Very soft shadow.
The red lines are the construct that hold the paper up.

CD instead of the egg, direct light

CD instead of the egg, direct light

Light from behind the camera, several lights in the softbox with the diffusing material gone

Light from behind the camera, several lights in the softbox with the diffusing material gone

Two softboxes on either side of the camera,

Two softboxes on either side of the camera,

Softbox from behind.

Softbox from behind.

 

As far as I can see is it very difficult to get rid of the reflection of the camera without moving the object and getting another angle of the camera to the object. Same problem as with the clock I think. VERY tasteful and pleasant light from the diffuser-cone as long as it lasted. With the surrounding paper it gives a very soft light.

 

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