Best Ways to Photograph Reflective Surfaces

by Tristan Taylor January. 02, 2017 2576 views

Photographing reflective surfaces can be quite tricky. Too much reflection can make it quite frustrating to take the pictures. Such unwanted reflections make it difficult for viewers to identify the object properly. It is important to prevent the reflections in order to ensure that the customers get an accurate portrayal of the reflective object.

The good news is, there are various ways to prevent unnecessary reflections and to make the images of reflective objects stand out. Let's take a look at some of these here.

Use the Right Light

Since shiny surfaces do not absorb light, they either appear too bright or too dark in the photos, thus ruining the entire shot. Therefore, you would need to place the light sources for shooting the product very strategically.

You can consider shooting the products in a continuous light source. Keep in mind that the reflective object should be placed in a room with white walls. If the walls are differently colored, these colors will be reflected in the object. This can ruin the image of the product. The presence of a wallpaper can also affect the shot.

Apart from this, you can also use a diffusor. A diffusor spreads a single source of light across an entire surface. This generates an evenly distributed light on the surface. As a result, the area around the object is filled with light. This helps in eliminating the possibilities of dark areas on the object. Additionally, a diffusor also helps in softening the light, thus enabling the object to be illuminated properly.

Select the Right Camera Settings

The camera settings that you select will impact the image significantly. That being said, the settings will rely on the object and the light conditions as well. While photographing shiny objects, you would require a fairly long exposure. Therefore, it is wise to use a tripod to ensure that the impact of camera shake does not manifest in the photograph.

Additionally, a proper focus of the image is important to make the reflective object look exquisite. An aperture of around f/8 or f/16 can help in getting the best outcome. You can also choose a shallow depth of field for the product. In that case, you can keep the ISO between 100 and 400.

Choose a Proper Background

You would need to keep in mind that the background you choose for the images may reflect on the image. The color of the background will add a tint of the color to the object. This may make the object look different than what it is. While a white background is the best choice, you can also consider keeping the object a large distance away from the background in case you have to use a colored background.

While using a colored background or wallpapered one, you may find certain dark spots near the object. In that case, you can consider using a light source to point at these areas to ensure that the spaces near the object are properly illuminated.

Arranging the Right Setup for the Image

The arrangement of the setup can have a major impact on the photograph. The setup should be appropriate to complement the product in a way that brings out the best in it. Therefore, the right setup for the reflective object is important.

Ensure that the object is placed on a sturdy surface. The lights should be placed at the right position to ensure that the object is adequately illuminated and there are no dark spots anywhere near the object. If you are using a diffusor, it should be placed at the right spot to make the most of the available light.

Additionally, you should clean the object properly to ensure that there are no smudges on the object that makes it look dirty. Now set the tripod and the camera appropriately.

Refine Your Basic Skills

To ensure that you take the best shots, it is crucial to get your basic photography skills right. You should know how to use a DSLR camera and the right settings that can make your photograph look good. If you live in Abu Dhabi, photography classes in Abu Dhabi can help you in this. Select and enroll in the one suited to your requirement.

These steps will help you take great photographs of reflective surfaces. 


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