shooting optical crystal

Discussion in 'Commercial/Product photography' started by roma77, Nov 16, 2009.

  1. roma77

    roma77 TPF Noob!

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    Hi.....I am looking for any help on how to light optical crystal. It is shot on a black background, but this type of glass actually acts as a mirror and sees everything in the room and thus renders the crystal some very odd shades of gray. The piece then looks flat and muddy. This is clear glass with large cut facets....kind of like a prism, but with some cuts to it. I need to make the crystal look clear, with mostly highlights, and some darker areas.

    Thank you,
    Romy
     
  2. Christie Photo

    Christie Photo No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Well.... you don't light the crystal as much as you light what is behind it. To help control reflections, hang a piece of white seamless between the camera and the crystal and cut a hole just large enough for the lens.

    Good luck!

    -Pete
     
  3. LearnMyShot

    LearnMyShot TPF Noob!

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    Get a roll of drafting tissue....at least 48" wide.....stretch it over the top from 3ft. behind to over the camera in front....put a single light over the top, you will have to play with it a bit....also shoot in a dark place so other thing will not reflect in it. It's a strat, but without seeing the object I can't be more specific.
     
  4. Dwig

    Dwig TPF Noob!

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    Exactly.

    You can't really photograph things like a polished piece of optical crystal. Any attempt to do so results in a photograph of the room reflected and refracted by the crystal. You have to create a "room" and light that "room" so that you create the illusion of seeing the crystal.

    To this end, you don't generally aim lights at the crystal at all. You light the surfaces around the crystal. These surfaces are generally white or black. Black to prevent reflection or to refract as dark areas. White to create reflections and to refract as light areas.
     
  5. skieur

    skieur TPF Noob!

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    The standard approach to shooting this kind of item is to place it on a light table with diffuse lighting coming up from below. On top of the crystal you place a reflective light dome that you can purchase in a photo supply store. The dome has a hole at the top, which you can shoot through with your camera. You would have to change the white background to black using Photoshop.

    skieur
     

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