Dark images and lighting reflection


TPF Noob!
Dec 3, 2015
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Hello, I have a problem with my images turning out too dark.
I use a Sony RX100. I know it is not a professional camera but it should still give me better results than this.

I run a small business and I need to take pictures of the desserts I promote. Here are my two challenges:

1. The desserts I photograph are round and very reflective. How to photograph a reflective surface without having a large bright spot from the light? I tried photographing outside, but I get the sky and trees reflected on the surface of the dessert.

2. My camera darkens the picture if there is too much light. I have two photography lights pointed at the dessert but the image still comes out dark. I couldn't find a setting to turn this off. Any idea what to look for?

I am attaching some photos that show what I'm talking about. All of them have the light source showing and the photo is still too dark.
Any help would be appreciated.

The highlights are fooling your camera meter, so the first thing you need to do is either dial in some positive exposure compensation or go to manual mode. That should take care of the exposure.

As for the images of the light source, I'm far from an expert on lighting, but it looks like the light sources are not that close, so the entire light (window or softbox) shows up as a reflection. If they were closer, you would not be able to see the entire source and the lighting might be more even as well.
In reverse order: To deal with the darkness (under-exposure) you need to be able to manully adjust your ISO, shutter speed and aperture. I'm not familiar with this particular camera, but it should allow you to do that somehow; consult your manual. With respect to the highlight issue, you need bigger light sources, either physically bigger, relatively bigger (move them closer) or both. If I were to light this, I would probably use a light tent with lighting on all sides and possibly add a polarizing filter into the mix. If that doesn't solve it, then you need to learn about cross-polarization. In any event, your first step should be to buy the lighting bible.
+1 to the book Astro linked to - Light Science and Magic (edition 4 its up to now) is the book you want to get a good grounding in light manipulation and control. It will help you a lot with different shapes and reflective surfaces and how to position your lights to help reduce or remove reflection problems. It would be well worth your investment in getting a copy or loan one from your local library.

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