Highly reflective products will reflect almost everything in the studio. Jewels, watches, industrial products, automobiles are some of the reflective products which need a very special treatment. The reflections are something that need not be removed completely but handled in such a way it looks natural and does not distract the sheen, shape, colour and contours. There is a great challenge in getting them right in our shots.
- As a ground rule, we can try using a soft, indirect lighting so that the reflections are looking natural and reveals the contours and texture perfectly.
- Use of a commercially available light tent can be a good choice for shooting large numbers of small products for catalogues and on line sales. For artistic shots, the light tent must be avoided because the light tent makes the whole product look flat without the feel of 3D.
- The lights should not be aimed directly at the subject, but bounced from a matt white reflecting surface or diffused through gateway translucent sheets or white acrylic boards. The reflected/diffused light from these gadgets will prevent hot spots or specular high lights on the subject.
- Black cards may be used on the sides of the product to define the shape with clear dark outlines.
- Use of black cards will add the feel of darkness in certain areas of the subject to make it look more three dimensional. We need to experiment with lighting, reflectors, black cards and the composition.
- A white background will make the job relatively easier to show the details of the reflective surface of the subject.
- A dark/textured background can give a dramatic feel of the product with a variable light on it.
- The product needs to be cleaned thoroughly without visible scratches & spots otherwise it will show off the dirt and scratches most perfectly. The finger prints are apparently seen (better use a soft cotton hand gloves while handling the product) when the surface is not clean.
- A continuous light is sometimes preferred to the studio flashes. This is because the light fall from highlights to shadows is gradual. We can even use the tungsten light (modelling lamp) of the studio flash.
- A tungsten white balance or 2500 Kelvin will be suitable. Let the camera be on a steady tripod and use mirror up and remote shooting options while trying long exposures.
- More than everything the arrangement of the product in front of the camera and an aesthetic composition is very important to get the shots attractive.
- In the process of getting rid of the reflections, the charm of shine and glitter of the highly reflective products should not be sacrificed. Remember these products stand and sell for its reflective nature!
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