1. Controlling Reflections

Talk about being outside my comfort zone! When I saw Peter's guitar image in Project 52 by Letrow I got all excited about doing a similar image as I have a guitar that I've never really learned to play - so, maybe I could use it as a model? But when I tried to setup the shot I realized that I couldn't find a way to remove the reflections of the room on the surface of the guitar.

I'm sure if I dig in the right place I can find the answer but I was hoping that someone that has done indoor shooting (I usually do outdoor natural lighting images) will have links to tutorials or pointers on how to get shots of highly reflective objects without the wrong reflections messing up the image.

I'm sure that I'll need to learn about artificial lighting for this image as well and I've seen a number of tutorials but didn't pay much attention as I wasn't doing any studio style images and have only a Nikon SB-400 Speedlight to play with. Any recommended tutorials that would work for lighting this subject?

2. Re: Controlling Reflections

Hi Frank,

This is a great book on the subject:

Light: Science and Magic: An Introduction to Photographic Lighting

Unfortunately it is not free. I'll try and summarise how to fix your problem.

The direct reflections are coming straight from the offending object, bouncing off it and then straight into your camera. To get rid of them you will have to move the object outside the 'Family of angles' that produce direct reflection.

The 'Family of angles' is the set of angles measured from a straight line between the camera and the subject that can include direct reflection. Here is a site that summarises the point:

http://www.digitalphotopro.com/gear/...mily-of-angles

(The text and photos are actually taken from the book I mentioned above. So some things are partly free after all.)

However the 'Family of angles' is defined by the surface of your subject. A flat mirror has angles that are easy to calculate (as shown in the tutorial above) where as a mirror ball can reflect from anywhere in the room except behind the ball.

In short you will have to move the objects that are reflecting in the guitar or otherwise make them invisible (e.g. cover them with black cloth). This should remove the reflections from your image. For your guitar there will be a few large flat surfaces with limited angles and then maybe some rounded edges that can reflect from many angles. If you address the large flat surfaces you should be OK.

Hope this helps.

Alex

3. A cheep and easy way to kill unwanted reflections would be to hang a sheet in the direction where the reflection is coming from. If your going for a closeup like Peter's shot a single sheet strategically placed should block any reflections.

4. Re: Controlling Reflections

Thanks Alex. The article clarifies a bit about light and reflections. In my situation, the light source is the entire room so I see reflections of everything within the Family of Angles that is in the room. Makes sense!

5. Re: Controlling Reflections

Originally Posted by Rob Douglas
A cheep and easy way to kill unwanted reflections would be to hang a sheet in the direction where the reflection is coming from. If your going for a closeup like Peter's shot a single sheet strategically placed should block any reflections.
Thanks Rob. I suspected the resolution might include something like that. Now I need to find a way to set up a 'tent' over the shooting area. You guys with studio setups must be smirking as I'm sure you've been through all this before!

Now I've got to figure out how to effectively hang a sheet in the breakfast room, take some shots, and take it down again before the wife gets home from grocery shopping!

6. Originally Posted by FrankMi
Now I've got to figure out how to effectively hang a sheet in the breakfast room, take some shots, and take it down again before the wife gets home from grocery shopping!
Been there done that LOL you can also create a cheep DIY studio with foam poster board like this.

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