1. Welcome to Mu-43.com—a friendly Micro 4/3 camera & photography discussion forum!

    If you are thinking of buying a camera or need help with your photos, you will find our forum members full of advice! Click here to join for free!

Lighting question: Glass

Discussion in 'Lighting Forum' started by quatchi, Feb 23, 2013.

  1. quatchi

    quatchi Mu-43 Veteran

    May 17, 2012
    Munich, Germany
    Here is a recent still life of mine. So far I like the picture, expect the reflections at the top of the glass. The bright white part is my soft box (60x60cm) whereas the rest seems to be other stuff in my room.

    A light-tend would probably fix the "other stuff" but is there a trick to get rid of the soft box reflection?

    Here is the picture:

    <a href="http://500px.com/photo/26675031">
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
    "Childhood Memories by quatchi) on 500px.com" border="0" style="margin: 0 0 5px 0;"></a><br/><font style="font-size: 80%;"><a href="http://500px.com/photo/26675031">Childhood Memories</a> by <a href="http://500px.com/olli_muc">quatchi</a></font>
  2. 0dBm

    0dBm Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 30, 2011
    Western United States
    Use a circular polarizer filter and in conjunction with multiple soft boxes or umbrellas.
    • Like Like x 1
  3. jziegler

    jziegler Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 15, 2012
    Salem County, New Jersey
    I'd suggest the book Light: Science and Magic. There's a whole chapter on lighting glass. Glass and metal are probably the hardest things to light well. I can't give any specific suggestions on how to fix it, but the book will help out.
    • Like Like x 1
  4. elavon

    elavon Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 1, 2012
    Tel Aviv Israel
    ^^ +1 a great book.
  5. Chrisnmn

    Chrisnmn Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 26, 2012
    Auckland, New Zealand
    Bounce the flash to a wall or a reflector and dont direct the flash straight into it.

    If not use a diffuser (big enough to cover the size of the softbox) and put it in front of the sf. And pull the light source couple steps back.

    That should help.
    • Like Like x 1
  6. speedandstyle

    speedandstyle Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Most of my lighting training came at film school{movie} and the solution used there is a large scrim diffuser. One like this!
    However this is a rather large and expensive piece.

    But what about doing a home-made version? A large piece of parachute nylon hung on a couple of light stands might work.
    • Like Like x 1
  7. dwig

    dwig Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 26, 2010
    Key West FL
    True, with both it is not the object that you are photographing. Instead, you are photographing the surrounding room reflected from and/or refracted by their surfaces. You must construct a room that, when reflected/refracted in/by the object you are made to see the object's shape.
  8. Savas K

    Savas K Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 10, 2013
    Roger that.

    Imagine the challenge set by something mirrored and round? Like 360 degrees round? Can't help by wind up with a dark spot somewhere that is the lens being seen poking through a translucent shroud.

    In reference to the OP's case, funny thing is seeing old hand-drawn cartoons where the character's eyes are luminous with the precise shape that the OP is attempting to get rid of.
  9. RobWatson

    RobWatson Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Put a gobo just the right size to block the softbox so there is no reflection.

    You could move the box back to make the reflection much much larger.

    I'd try to add more dark field illumination to bring out the emphasis on the glass edges above the milk.

    For certain get the Light, science and magic book. Work through every example in that book.
  10. sprinke

    sprinke Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 5, 2011
    Pasadena, CA
    What RobWatson said. Get the book. Use a gobo.
  11. davidzvi

    davidzvi Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Aug 12, 2012
    Outside Boston MA
    A diffusion screen as close to the subject as possible would help.

    fyi, gobo = diffusion screen for those that may not have heard the term.
  12. RobWatson

    RobWatson Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    gobo can be anything between the object and light source.

    On second thought probably better to move the softbox closer to make the reflection so big it becomes less obvious.

    Moving the box farther away will make the reflection smaller but probably not enough.

    The double diffusion example is basically the same thing as moving the softbox closer to make it bigger. See the double diffusion has not made the reflection go away but made is so big diffuse and low intensity that it is less obvious/obnoxious.

    To eliminate the reflection takes a bit more effort.
  13. speedandstyle

    speedandstyle Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Not exactly! A diffusion screen could be called a gobo in the very loosest sense. Gobo, short for Go-Between, is anything that is placed between a light and the surface the light falls on to modify the light. However, very few people use the term gobo for a diffuser because a gobo usually refers to a modifier that creates some sort of shape with the light.

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    A gobo!{above}
    The effect the gobo has on the light{below}
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
  14. davidzvi

    davidzvi Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Aug 12, 2012
    Outside Boston MA
    Yes, a GOBO can be anything. But in this specific case it does refer to a diffuser, which is why I added it when Debi (Sprinke) mentioned it. And since I and others mentioned diffusers I though it would help. Many in here are enthusiasts, probably not as many have studio production experience. Which is where I learned the term and it was actually the use of a diffuser where I was introduced to it.

    Very nice image by the way Speed.
  15. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Great suggestions from everyone here! :D 
  16. RobWatson

    RobWatson Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Drift Alert!

    GOBO actually has (or used to have) a very specific meaning that has been co-opted to mean almost anything put between a light and a subject. These days even 'cookies' or 'flags' are called gobo ... I too am fairly loose with this usage.

    I don't mean to be argumentative but I never heard of calling a diffuser a gobo. gobo are for making shadows/patterns and diffusers are for eliminating shadows and patterns.

    In the context of the OP eliminating a reflection cannot be done with a diffuser. Sure, the reflection can be made larger than the subject using a diffuser but it is still there. The difference between a large diffused reflection and no reflection can be very significant depending on exactly what the goals are for the shoot.

    To my tastes a much more significant problem with the OP's photo is the scarcity of cookies (the eating kind).
    • Like Like x 1
  17. Lisandra

    Lisandra Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 16, 2010
    had that problem with a wine bottle ad shoot. After 3 hours of fiddling the solution was simpler than I thought, I never felt so smart and stupid at the same time. Light the cookies with a vary direct focused light (so that none of it hits the glass, we used several LEDs we bought at walgreens) and light the bottle from behind. We used a 30% transparent white background and a fairly big soft box (24x36) behind that. The problem here is that my wine was the light colored transparent kind, and with milk the light might not come trough enough. Alternatively (and more easy I think) you can shoot the scene just like you did and then shoot it backlit and merge the two in photoshop. Anyway, its the only sure fire way to get no reflections at all
    • Like Like x 1
  18. Savas K

    Savas K Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 10, 2013
    What the diffusion screen did in that case was make a real product appear like an illustration.

    It''s apparent at the end when they compare the before and after. Certain materials appear like and are recognizable as the material because we always see them in the way that we as photographers try to eliminate.
  19. veereshai

    veereshai Mu-43 Top Veteran

    May 12, 2011
    Arlington, VA
    It's all about perception in the end, right? We as photographers will try to portray what we think it should look like or in case of professionals, what the creative/art director/client thinks it should look like. And the choice is personal and depends on the satisfaction level of the photographer.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.