Photo lessons

Shooting glossy subjects and their subsequent processing

In the last article on the topic of the subject we touched upon the specifics of the shooting of matte objects. I now propose to continue to consider techniques for shooting glossy subjects, which can be difficult due to glare and reflections on their surface.
Each of the presented materials such as metal, colored glass, plastic and mirror foil have their own reflective function. They are able to create a glossy surface, and differ for hard and soft light. In addition, the lighting used in this lesson directly depends on the shape of the object. This is evident in the case of the same light installations – it is possible to obtain in the end an attractive flare and volume on one of the images, and the other nondescript silhouette of the object, even if similar materials.

We understand that the base point for the advertising photos will be a good demonstration of the goods sold and the transfer of such of its properties such as material, form, volume, texture and detail.
Work was selected vials in the amount of 5 pieces to consider different aspects of the challenges you may face and discuss in practice the technical aspects of photography.
Hand cream in the form of glossy plastic pipe No. 1;
Mascara bottle with logo, which is made with silver embossing – №2;
Lipstick – a bottle of metallic – №3;
Nail Polish, glossy object made of plastic with a label with matte metallic cap – №4;
A bottle of toilet water with a mirror surface, metal – No. 5
Do before pictures of these promotional items on a white background to use them in online store. In this case, we will choose the most advantageous of them and consider each of the objects different lighting schemes.
When shooting, as we’ve discussed, objects matte need to take three sources of pulsed light, and optionally, a tripod, a synchronizer and two sheets of white plastic.
Scheme for setting light # 1 reflector
Alternately shoot for the beginning of the five items, using a nozzle on one block. For total convenience, call this kind of photography.
As in the previous lesson, we place 1 sheet of white plastic on the table, and 2 the sheet behind him as the background. Also install a light source with a reflector for increasing the lumen through the plastic.
When shooting was used with a capacity of 400 j monoblocks with adjustment and step, respectively, 1/1–1/32 1/10 degree.
The following parameters were used: behind the plastic reflector on the 28 gradation on each side – two analog 25 graduation. As for equipment, the camera settings were set 100 ISO taken lens Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 24-120MM F/4G ED VR, and applied aperture of f/16, 120 mm focal length, white balance – flash.
Even on the sides are of modest size, cardboard sheets black (black flags). This accessory allows you to make boundaries are more clear and precise, as well as to remove the light rays are not necessary.
Note: the same technique was used when shooting Matt advertising objects.
Relatively well managed to cover the first bottle, but upon closer examination we will find that we have formed patches of white reflectors. To understand what these highlights do not contain useful information, refer to the tool Eyedropper tool by clicking on it – we see the color white in RGB. What does it mean? This means that when printing in the printing you can output to a region on the image that will remain completely untouched.
When photographing even with good technique it is not always possible to pull all the necessary details and texture.
The second bottle had been scratched, and there is no volume
It does not read the texture of the material, also no volume
In the fourth picture there are scratches on the metallic label and the bottle is glossy. This is the texture for the matte cover.
On the fifth picture there is no texture or volume of the material, and its surface is mirror reflected in all Studio items.
So we found that great reveal at items matte texture, this example hard lighting is not suitable for photographing glossy objects. It creates a destructive form, and is absolutely unattractive kind of glare. Let’s use a different technique in the subsequent shooting glossy subjects.
Looking ahead, it can be noted a special method when using reflective and glossy objects.
At a time when set glossy advertising object on the table we have in the object the reflection of its surface. (First photo).
The actual manifestation and the intensity of this behavior may depend on a number of causes and depending on the material and shape of your subject is, our task is to avoid this, and just to raise the object above the plane using the normal stand, which will not act on the width of the base. Convenient in the specific example will be a cover of plastic from the bottles of perfume – you can use anything.
The second picture is clearly visible that the bottle is raised and the reflection plane of the table, it really decreased. To completely remove it, we need to increase the height of the stand. Photo 3 gives an idea of what a plane is not reflected on the bottle.
Scheme No. 2 – leidub
Many photographers believe that litkov is the perfect tool for photographing glossy objects, because it makes them more soft and beautiful ambient light, but also insulates the advertising object from external influences.
Let’s try to make pictures with this lighting scheme.
Re-install reflector on both sides of our listcube and make adjustments behind on 28 and 30 graduation. Camera settings: 100 mm – focal length, shutter speed 250, aperture f/16, ISO 100, flash white balance. Black flags made of cardboard, are used at the edges of objects.
Regarding the first picture with the bottle you can tell that he’ll be fine. There’s no glare, which would have led to a lack of information. The only observation will be uneven in the lower pane of the advertising object as a consequence of this is reflected in the numerous irregularities that are present on the fabric stretched over laidup.
As for the bottles 3 and 2, they also have the glare from below, although we have used the technology of raising them up to the surface with stands, plastic.
About a fourth subject – you can find the roughness and defects due to reflection of cloth, but as for frosted cover, it lost the texture and smoothed out.
The fifth photo with the bottle, which has a mirror surface, reflects almost any crease and the inaccuracy of the fabric of our listcube. Strange get the picture.
Leidub makes indirect lighting, though not quite suitable to solve the reflections on the surface of glossy objects. In addition, it is not possible to properly control the distance to the plane of the table from the promotional material, because it is limited in space.
Scheme No. 3 strip boxes
For illumination of advertising objects, we will use 2 special strip-boxes, which constitute the nozzles for the light sources, and form a narrow rectangular shaped softboxes. Place them on either side of the camera.
One of the sheets of white plastic is put on the table, put the second sheet behind it as a background. Behind it is installed with a reflector, a source of pulsed light, to illuminate through the plastic background.
The strip-box-left – 40 gradation of power, right 55 of the gradation (which is located on the right side, a little larger), and reflector 28. 120 mm focal length lens, ISO 100, aperture f/16, exposure 1/250, flash white balance. When shooting camera was a Nikon D800 and a great lens the Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 24-120MM F/4G ED VR. Black flags out of cardboard, on the sides of the promotional items.
The first bottle of contrast, and smooth, not too overexposed highlights, which were obtained from the strip-boxes, well distinguish the shape of the object. This type of lighting is great for our pictures.
In the second vial are also both highlight that only emphasized the form and gave a contrast and made the Shine on the black plastic. The picture fits our requirements, but we are unable to correctly convey how the name of the carcasses, and logo. To do this, fix the tripod, take a frame, before it is placed before him a sheet of A4 white with a hole for the lens. Now the logo is clearly visible, and it can be further combined with the first image in Photoshop.
On the bottle 3 the glare from the strip boxes look too contrasting, and generally destroy the volume. Also did we get that in this example no texture metallic object or its form. Now it looks striped and not presentable.
On the subject of fourth on the label again, no useful information, and the matte cover and its texture looked better in hard light with 2 reflectors (the first scheme).
The fifth vial, which contains a metallized surface, a difference in size, as well as the reflection from the strip boxes. Helpful information in our reflections again equal to 0. In addition, this type of bottle looks too sharp, and its texture is completely not readable.
Scheme No. 4 – frost filters
The latest in our example, the lighting scheme, which uses a frost filter. This filter is a special light-scattering instrument that is similar with tracing paper and is used to soften shadows on the image. It can be purchased in rolls in stores specializing in the sale of photo and video accessories.
This type of filter is mounted on a special frost-frame of rectangular form which is fixed to the uprights. It (the filter) you can also stretch, attaching between the uprights. This design is placed between remove the object and light source.
The sheet of white plastic is put on the table, and the second of them set as the background behind, placing him in another light with a reflector.
Symmetrically installed on both sides of our table frost filters. It is desirable that they went for a white piece of plastic that is behind the Desk and as close as possible converged ahead of him, leaving room for the lens. We isolate this way glossy objects from the reflections.
On either side of the camera behind frost-filter set two-which are equipped with conventional reflectors.
About settings: 25 gradation on the 28 – reflectors on the sides and rear respectively. Also used the Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 24-120MM F/4G ED VR AF-S Nikkor and the Nikon D800 camera. The parameters are as follows: 120 mm focal length, ISO 100, aperture f/16, exposure 1/250.
It turned out on the first and second bottles is fairly smooth and soft highlights that really accentuate the harmonious volume of the advertising object. Though the material looks less glossy in comparison with the photoshoot with 2 strip boxes (the third scheme).
As for the third bottle, it was able to convey uniform glare, which only emphasize the volume, to convey the texture and material of the object. This effect we could not achieve no matter how using 2 strip boxes, or in listcube.
At the fourth vial there are patches of uniform hue present on the black plastic, but the texture of the matte cover surface completely lost.
We made a frame, put a sheet of white A4 paper in front of a metallic label to highlight it evenly.
At last the fifth vial having a mirror surface, we still got the glare and uniform light transitions, which is clearly passed as the material of the advertising object and its volume. Also we have reduced to the minimum value of reflection that we don’t need.
We can’t string together two paintings frost filters, so we can’t remove the dark strip down the center of the object, because you need a hole for a tripod. We were able to get a result image with equal transitions and high-quality shadows, in the future, you can retouch pictures in Photoshop.
The turn came to select the best shots and retouch them in Photoshop.
For number 1 winning options will be the scheme 3 and 4.
For the second object also become successful lighting schemes 3 and 4. The main picture will be the photo with the third scheme, since the picture is with the mascara looks commercially attractive and more contrast.
The third bottle is suitable only as a template, №4. In this case, we really will give the material, shape and volume.
The fourth option consists of two types of plastic matte cover and the glossy bottle. Scheme No. 1 conveys the texture of the cover by means of hard light. As for the plastic from the gloss, it looks good when shooting in schemes 4 and 2. Take 4 and scheme 1 (compatible frost filters and reflectors).
The fifth and final in our case, the bottle suits us, while covering 4 of the scheme. Only using frost filters may well convey the material, and the volume, reducing the maximum output of the reflection on the mirror surface.
Transfer photos in Adobe Photoshop for further editing and clipping of images on a white background. For these purposes you can use the Polygonal Lasso tools and Magic Wand to remove the background quickly. Next, combine pictures, edit the contrast and white balance with Levels, Color Balance and Curves. Also clean texture tools with the Patch Tool and the Spot Healing Brush Tool. You can apply the Liquify filter, if we want to align the highlights. The sharpness of the image may be done using the filter Sharpen Edges or Unsharp Mask.
In this paper, we have considered 4 possible lighting for our 5 advertising objects of different types. Obvious is the absence of any single solution, and one scheme for lighting of the objects. The main reason for this are as their reflectivity, and the material of manufacture, shape and texture. In addition, an important factor when choosing a final decision will be the customer requirements and your own preferences.
Of course, a great experience will also become the fundamental basis for selecting the necessary schema, but nothing is perfect in this world, so try to find the best option in order to correctly expose of the advertising objects.

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