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# How to take pictures of shiney objects like a trumpet without taking a picture of a reflection of the camera and me? Answered

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Three steps to hiding the photographer: 1. Use indirect lighting from two sources, one to your right, one to your left, slightly higher than the incident angle of the camera, and at least three feet away from you. 2. Set a background behind the photographer that is the same color as the photographer's clothes and the camera. For instance, black. 3. Put some distance between the photographer and the reflective surface. Use a lens to get closer. Explanation: Light will reflect back off a surface at the same angle to a line perpendicular to the surface. Since the surface you are photographing is curved, you want as much reflected light as possible to not reflect back on the camera, but rather below it. Therefore, you want an incident angle to be nearly perpendicular to the surface. The curvature of the surface will disperse the light. If it were a flat surface, you would want the surface and light to be positioned such that the light bounced back below your waist, or above your head. By coloring you, the camera, and the area to your back the same color, you reduce the distincitveness of any surfaces that may be reflecting light onto the object, and back at the camera. The more distance between you and the object, the less impact your reflection has on the surface. Using a soft bounced light (light bounced off another surface - diffused), you will reduce the harshness of the lines on what you photograph.

roliop (author)2011-12-26

Just a guess, but the ultimate solution might be a large semi-silvered sheet of glass, although with the right lighting ordinary glass might do.

The glass goes between the subject and the camera and is angled 45° from the vertical. In this way it shows either the ceiling or the floor to the subject, and this is what is reflected back through the glass into the camera.

You could even take something in front of a mirror and you wouldn't see the camera !

rp

kenhol (author)2010-06-23

AN OVERVIEW AND A FEW PRINCIPLES: Just remember that you are photographing the reflection, so... put in the reflection. In the studio this is done with white, grey or black cards and paper. Objects which are flat are easy, just put the material you want to see in the reflection in the position which makes it visible in the reflective object from the point of view of the camera. For a non-flat instrument like a trumpet, you need a tent which could be just a roll of white paper maybe 2-6 X the diameter of the bell on the horn. Cut a small hole in the side for your lens to view the instrument horizontally and light the outside of the paper roll to make the reflections you want. (The paper tube/tent must be large enough that your lens can cover (be placed properly to ) the subject in the manner you desire.) Then, use Photoshop or equivalent SW to clone enough to eliminate the hole (where the camera lens is located) in the reflection. One must experiment with any "tenting" material to assure that it does not change the color of the light you use. Don't forget to white balance on a standard white target inside the tent in the exact lighting conditions you will use for the horn. There is much more to this subject. Was this too much information?

SFHandyman (author)2009-02-26

Hahaha, I was taking photos of my mixer for "How to Make Butter" and I realized the tripod and my boxer shorts were reflected in the stainless steel bowl. I held a green towel in front of the tripod, and it just reflected the color. Look at step three "Parchment Paper". The official way to cancel a reflection in a pane of glass is to use a "Polarizing Filter". You just rotate the filter until it blocks the reflection. If you are standing in front of a pane of glass, taking a photo of the scene outside, but see your ghost in the window, a polarizing filter can sometimes block it entirely. It's pretty cool. I don't think it would cancel the trumpet reflection though. I'm pretty sure only cancels reflections from transparent objects, not mirrors. It will dim bright flashes from a mirror but can't remove the image. You could cancel some of that hot spot with a polarizing filter. If you have a background that would allow the camera to mostly blend in - maybe a gray towel to match the stainless steel, it will conceal most of it.

POKERPOP1937 (author)2009-02-27

I like the grey towell idea. I will try that and I have polarize filters that doesn't seem to help much. I have been experimenting with light tents of sorts with not much success.

ve2vfd (author)2009-03-13

A polarizer only removes reflections from non-metallic objects (like water, or glass), so it would probably not help you there. Plus a good quality polarizer is expensive. The best bet is what mhpembe suggested, indirect lighting from multiple sources, I use big white foam core project boards and use them as reflectors. Also if you use your cameras flash, be sure to diffuse it.

fwjs28 (author)2009-02-26

is it that bad of a reflection, i dont think its that bad...however, if you use proper angles, you can get rid of the reflection (like in moveis witha mirror, there never right behind the mirror)

POKERPOP1937 (author)2009-02-27

Thanks, I will include that suggestion with the other good ideas I have received. I like the grey towel idea to hide the camera and blend in that greenkeith suggested.

greenkeith (author)2009-02-26

You should try making a suitable 'tent' with a thin off white sheet....shine a light or lights through it to get the desired effect, this cuts down on unwanted reflections. A little experimentation and you'll be like a professional photographer.

POKERPOP1937 (author)2009-02-27

I have been experimenting with light tents of sorts with not much success. I like the idea of using an IKEA laundry basket I saw here. I plan to try that. Thanks a bunch.