Eliminating Reflections on Rounded Product Surfaces

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by TheRisingArcher, Jul 20, 2017.

  1. TheRisingArcher

    TheRisingArcher TPF Noob!

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    Hi. I'm a product photography newb. I have a Canon EOS Rebel with an 18-55mm kit lens, a super white paper backdrop, a set of softbox lights with diffusers, and a boomstand. I have a a couple of DIY diffusers and some tabletop lights, too.

    Things are going pretty well. I've overcome a lot of beginner mistakes to crank out some nice photos, considering my equipment and experience. One thing I haven't been able to solve yet is the reflection of my softbox lights on my target. For flat surfaces, this is easier. I can position my lights such that these reflections are not picked up in the shot.

    However, for rounded surfaces things get complicated. I've attached photo that suffers from the textbook issue I'm talking about.

    flamenco-back.jpg

    This is the back of a guitar. The rounded neck is clearly reflecting the light shining upon it. I see this effect in many professionally photographed guitars. Still, I'm not a fan.

    Can anyone offer a few pointers as to how I can reduce or eliminate these from my shots? Thanks.


     
  2. photo1x1.com

    photo1x1.com TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    Hi and welcome to the forum.
    These kind of reflections are actually not possible to avoid during shooting, because reflective curved surface does reflect any light that you use for lighting your subject.
    Things you could do i:
    1. Photoshop - I´m afraid that is the most common option
    2. DIY (or buy) light shapers that fit your needs and leave a reflection that you like (talking about striplights, etc.) Softboxes usually have a small light fall off in the corners, and not perfectly rectangular shapes. If that is what bothers you rather than the light itself, you can create light shapers with black cardboard. Lots of options there. Or you buy really (and I mean really ;)) expensive gear.
    3. Hardly used and very often not working well for this kind of work: polarizer filters.
     
  3. zombiesniper

    zombiesniper Furtographer Extraordinaire! Supporting Member

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    Another option is since the neck is really only curved side to side, play with the how high the lights are or angle of the guitar and see if you can get and even light and have them high/low enough not to reflect in the neck.

    P.S. Those left 3 strings look like they're going to sound funny.
     
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  4. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    Highlights help to show and define shapes, contours, textures...they are NOT alwyas bad or undesirable. Angle of incidence equals angle of reflection. An alternate option is to create a BIG light source, and move it clsoe enough that it's entire size refelcts as a diffused highlight, over the entire guitar. Maybe bounce the key light off of a large wall, and let it hit the guitar in-directly, not directly coming from the softboxes. The wall would be the large source, not something smalkl, like softbox sized.
     
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  5. smoke665

    smoke665 TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    The polarizing filter might help, though as the light direction decreases from 90 degrees to camera the effect would be less, and there are some differences in color rendered. Another option might be to lay it flat on a light table, and use a tent. Shoot through an opening in the top?
     
  6. 480sparky

    480sparky Chief Free Electron Relocator Supporting Member

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    Polarizing sheets on the lights, polarizing filter on the lens, 90° to each other.
     
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  7. photo1x1.com

    photo1x1.com TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    I might be wrong and I have never tried that, but when I learned photography, people told us that this technique would eliminate all of the light. Just like on those variable ND filters which essenially are two polarzing filters.
     
  8. KmH

    KmH In memoriam Supporting Member

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  9. 480sparky

    480sparky Chief Free Electron Relocator Supporting Member

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    No polarizer is 100% effective. Some light still gets through. You'll need to radically up the exposure, but if that's what it takes......
     
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  10. qmr55

    qmr55 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    This was like 3 minutes in photoshop, but I think if you're not looking to try the above options for different lighting options (or unsuccessful at it) this could be a way to do it.


    flamenco-back.jpg
     
  11. TCampbell

    TCampbell Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    You can buy a product called "Krylon Dulling Spray". It's designed for photography & video. It sprays a temporary dull hazy finish onto a surface (it wipes off easily) to substantially reduce reflections on shiny surfaces.

    I think hair spray also works (although I don't know if hair spray would react with the lacquered finish of the guitar... I have seen hair spray used on glass... which is no trouble to remove.)
     
  12. Armadillo222

    Armadillo222 TPF Noob!

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    Well,
    It has been mentioned earlier that reflections provide shape, they also provide the illusion of depth. I can see where your problem is not desirable as the instrument stands. Take a look at your source of lighting, even though you are using soft boxes they represent a point light source to the curved neck.
    If your studio has an 8 foot high ceiling and painted white try pointing both light boxes at the ceiling to get a much wider diffusion of light illuminating the guitar. Vary the light power on one strobe to create a soft shadow to one side. With luck and trial and error methods you will end up with one very thin white reflection very close to the fretboard.
     
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