Reflection – Part 3

– Troubleshooting the reflections –

Reflections can be very difficult to “diagnose”, though remembering that the reflections in the photograph can only be fixed if they are fixed from the viewing perspective of the camera.

Reflections may be fixed from your perspective separate from the camera and I am sorry to say ‘it may not fix what the camera sees.’ The best way to be sure the reflection is fixed or blocked is to view the scene through the camera with software or directly through the camera.

Most professional line of cameras carry with them access to software for seeing the current camera view. If that is not an option, tripods or other mounting options will guarantee the least amount of movement possible. This will enable you to check the camera view and leave to fix the unwanted reflections.

Reflections will come in different ways. I will not have time or space in this post to help you troubleshoot them, but I will list those I have more recently met.

Round shiny objects, like Christmas ornaments, drinking glasses.

Flat reflective surfaces, mirrors, glass doors, heavily polished wood.

Liquids.

It takes a good head/eye for details to catch it early and a time or two of being caught with reflections in a photo to bring the point home, or paranoia. Okay, that  crack about paranoia was a joke.

I would caution that if you are taking portraits and your subject is wearing shiny jewelry or sunglasses which can give your reflection, be ready with alternate shooting angles and poses.

I wish I could give you draw illustrations of how reflections are made, but you are intelligent and very capable of learning this process or searching for other resources that will teach you in the way you learn best!

A quick story on myself before closing: “I was shooting a glass trophy that has an etched design in the center and an arched top. I was stumped how half of the arched trophy top was not block-able no matter what I put around it. Then I took the time to look closely at what detail I could see of the reflection and I realized, ‘I am seeing the etched inside!'”

No matter how you avoid some reflections, some will just have to be featured. Enjoy!

Reflections – Part 2

As you attempt to stay out of the reflections in your photographs, it is important to wear colors that will blend with your surroundings as I mentioned about shooting the Christmas ornaments in the window of Neiman Marcus.

For instance, I wore a red shirt one day and in image review I saw a brilliant red reflection in the product! Your face may be well hidden but be careful to also hide bright colors.

While this is a negative for color in reflection, this brings up something I often say with the phrase “Think outside the box”. If a bright-colored shirt appears in reflections, why not learn the effects of using black, white and gray cards?

Gold objects will brighten when reflecting light colors like white and pick-up richer tones when reflecting black. Your purpose will dictate which color fill card should be used, so outlining colors to products will put you back into a box more than helping you out of one.

As the reflective object is exchanged with another of a different color tone, the fill card color may also change. Keep your purpose in mind and use the proper color of fill card.

Engraved surfaces have better contrast reflecting one color over another, and while I have my opinion of which color it is, another viewer may see the engraving better with another. If I see the engraving plainly in both reflected colors, I will defer to the other viewer, however this gives reason to pursue other options for better visibility for all viewers.

For creative shooting, perhaps you want bright and unusual colors! Just because colors outside the grayscale are not used in product photography does not mean it is “taboo” or even unacceptable in your form of art, thus your purpose being my qualifying phrase.

Enjoy!