Shiny surfaces

The exercise is designed to give an insight into one way of dealing with objects with reflective surfaces.

For the subject I used a stainless steel coffee container and while this does not have the reflective qualities of say, a mirror, it nevertheless does reflect as can be seen in this shot:-


Coffee container shot from above – the photographer is clearly visible.  1/125 sec at F5 ISO 100

The background was black card (velvet not being available)  and I have to admit to having some difficulty in getting a useable tube out of an A1 size piece of tracing paper (which is I suppose a very basic form of light tent).  However after much stapling and trimming I managed to get it to fit round both the container and the camera lens and took this shot:-



With the tracing paper cone surrounding the container. 1/40 sec at F2.8 ISO100

As can be seen the tracing paper has diffused the light and removed the reflection.


Container with tracing paper around light source is lower than the previous shot and slightly to the right so shadows being created. 1/60 sec at F2.8 ISO 100.

I also laid the container on its side to see how the curve would affect the reflection:-


Container photographed without the tracing paper surrounding it. 1/80sec at F3.5 ISO 100


Container photographed with the tracing paper surrounding it. 1/80sec at F3.5 ISO 100

I have read (and need to re-read as I’ve forgotten a lot of it) Light Science and Magic by Hunter, Biver and Fuqua which gives a lot of useful insights into lighting techniques.  The problem is with this aspect of photography is that unless you are using lighting regularly some techniques get forgotten.




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