Opinion please

tevo

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So being home sick I decided to go back through the Strobist archives and (for real this time) do the assignments in 102. I shot this picture for this and can't decide if I like the specular highlight on the knife handle or not. To me, it reveals the shape of the handle but at the same time it is a blown highlight; I couldn't get rid of it and I don't really know what to think of it. I'm open to opinions on this topic / any C&C. The setup was a snooted speedlight about a foot above it, another bounced off the ceiling and a third diffused about 2 feet away to bring out the shadow area of the handle a bit.

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Knife by theofficialtevo, on Flickr
 

Derrel

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THAT'S hardly "a blown highlight" dude. Whadda' ya' drinking? Nyquil right outta' the bottle??? It's fine.

I love the highlights on the tip of the blade--they show shape nicely. The highlighting on the lower edge of the handle reveals shape. If anything, it could use a bit more fill light down near where the handle meets the table. I mean the knife is a folding knife, right? Don;t I see a wee bit of the area where the4 blade folds into the handle when the blade is stowed?
 
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tevo

tevo

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THAT'S hardly "a blown highlight" dude. Whadda' ya' drinking? Nyquil right outta' the bottle??? It's fine.

I love the highlights on the tip of the blade--they show shape nicely. The highlighting on the lower edge of the handle reveals shape. If anything, it could use a bit more fill light down near where the handle meets the table. I mean the knife is a folding knife, right? Don;t I see a wee bit of the area where the4 blade folds into the handle when the blade is stowed?

Get out of my front yard. I just finished taking my Nyquil...

It actually isn't a folding blade. Jim Sigg of Siggma handmade it, I don't think he makes any folding knives. It is a work of art. As for the fill light, I agree with you. Now that I look at it the snooted light (logically so) cast a nice hard shadow underneath the knife. I don't mind it, it kind of disappears as you pointed out.
 

KenC

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A photography teacher once told me that small specular highlights were the exception to not having anything that was a featureless white in the frame. In any event, there really are no rules and if it works, do it. Re the handle, I'd even try lightening the entire image just slightly to see if that brings out any detail there - I wouldn't mind it a little lighter.
 
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tevo

tevo

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A photography teacher once told me that small specular highlights were the exception to not having anything that was a featureless white in the frame. In any event, there really are no rules and if it works, do it. Re the handle, I'd even try lightening the entire image just slightly to see if that brings out any detail there - I wouldn't mind it a little lighter.

Good point. I just wasn't sure if the highlights worked or not.
 

tirediron

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The only thing I'll add is that might help to raise the image off the background by a few inches. I think you're already 99% there on the lighting.
 

amolitor

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Specular highlights are pretty much always blown. I think they are the same value as if you pointed your camera directly at the light (or pretty close -- I think there's no such thing as a truly specular highlight, only mixtures of mostly-specular slightly-diffuse).

That's ok, they blow out in our visual cortex too, so they look correct in the picture.

Nice photo!
 
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tevo

tevo

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The only thing I'll add is that might help to raise the image off the background by a few inches. I think you're already 99% there on the lighting.

I was trying to think of a good way to do this, but the shadow underneath helps separate the blade from the background and pronounces it more. How would I go about doing that in the future?
 

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