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Light for shiny metal objects

sasko1sasko1 Member
edited September 2015 in flash & lighting

I'd need some help for one of my project that came unexpected and I am in a bit of hurry. I have to take photos of large metal object, which is shiny. Something like here on this image:
Item is around 1,5m in height and shiny metal.

I will use white background and I have 3x SB900, 2 white or silver umbrellas and one Rapidbox 66cm. I also have one large bounce reflector (diffuser?) (sorry, my english is not so good). How should I set the lights, so I cen get at least decent photo that will look good?
Also, which lens you'd suggest? Longer (70-200), 85mm or 50mm or 24-70.

Thanks for help.



  • Looks like quite a challenge, not something you'd get done in a hurry unless you have a product photographer as a friend, hopefully there are some on here.

    I can recommend the book 'Light, Science and Magic' which gives detailed solutions to problems like this for shinny products photos. The book will help you with lens choice and hence light/gobo positioning. Your main issue is going to be creating a large and soft enough light for the size of the object.

  • The biggest soft box posible and avoid any other source of lights like light bulbs or windows. The will reflect somewhere.
  • To me, the biggest softbox you can find is a big white wall to bounce off.

    So, I have no experience with something like this, and I'm just shooting from the hip. Why couldn't you set up some large reflectors on either side, like you are trying to do "flat" lighting, and bounce the speedlites in to each one? Then, set up a large backdrop behind the camera, and bounce the third speedlite into it? You could fire a few shots and adjust the power of each flash. I don't know, just a thought.

  • It's already behind me. Managed to pull it off. I started with two large umbrellas, close to the object.... I had to position it in a way that gave flattering reflection, so the object gets some dimension. It worked well. A bit of work was with cropping it out, since it is hard to find edges of the object because I used graphite backdrop. Couldn't afford to use some colored backdorp due to reflections.

    I started with 105mm lens, but it was too long and I could not get a good perspective. So I change it to 50mm and it was good. 

  • I would really like to see the end result if you could post an image. I'm glad it worked out for you - Dave
  • dbruno, must ask for permisson first. Currently I am stil in processing of all images. Will let you know if I am allowed to do that. 
  • Oh, OK, didn't realize what was involved. Just interesting to me, you know?
  • No problem. I Will deliver them today and after that, I'll ask for permission. We will se. ;)
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