BetterPhoto Q&A
Category: New Questions

Photography Question 
Junia C. Bain
 

How to shoot pics. of cutlery without reflections


I am trying to take three pictures of a silver spoon, knife and fork to frame for my friends kitchen. I have tried putting them into a 'black box' (suitcase lined with a black cloth material), but I keep getting reflections. I have stayed as far away as possible using my 70 - 300mm lens. Any suggestions besides using very dull cutlery?


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2/28/2005 1:43:53 PM

 
Robert Hambley
roberthambleyphoto.com
  Greetings,


Try a light box / tent. It will filter the light and remove the glare and reflections from bright surfaces.

Hope this helps,
Robert


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2/28/2005 2:02:56 PM

 
Andrew Laverghetta
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/13/2004
  Hi! Maybe I can help with this one a little. I recently bought a book by Susan McCartney called Photographic Lighting Simplified. In one part of the book she demonstrates taking pictures of a silver tea pot. Some things are suggested like buying a tent made of translucent white cloth or plastic. It also suggests making a tent like structure out of Tough Lux or Roscolux that you can buy from photo and/or lighting dealers. In the book, she makes a tent against a wall with white paper. The kind you would buy in bulk from a roll and maybe an art store. She made the tent leaning against a wall with a fair amount of space open for the flatwear to "breath." Then for the light source, leave one part open enough to put let your light source shine in (she recommends strobes but an off camera flash would be fine I would bet). One last touch, cut a hole just big enough for your lens to poke through and compose your shot. Hope this helps! Contact me if you would like me to further elaborate. Once again, all credit to Susan McCartney.


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2/28/2005 2:09:55 PM

 
Michael H. Cothran   Surfaces such as cutlery require a large, broad light source placed very close to the subject. You should strive for a long white reflection running the length each piece. You can build a flat out of a square wood frame, and stretch something like white shower curtain material over it. Place it very close to your subject, then back off the actual light a little. Leave just enough room to fit your camera.
Same principals apply to jewelry, and anything else metallic.
Michael H. Cothran
www.mhcphoto.net


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3/4/2005 10:40:59 AM

 
John D. Nixon   There is a book called "Light Science magic" That has been very helpful to me. In short to fully light the metal object fill the family of angles. To make it dark remove the light from the family of angles. Sounds scary but it is really easy. Frame your shot and then place the light source on the opposite side bring the light back far or close enough so that it fills the metal object. From the cameras veiw point.

Hope that helps if not let me know I can tell ya more
Links may help as well

http://nowlin.css.msu.edu/brian/imag203/metal.html

http://www.disk919.com/bb/archived_learnins/photographing_metal/ask_the_expert.html


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3/6/2005 8:09:43 PM

 
Jennifer Hopper
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/30/2004
 
 
 
I have a suggestion that is free. I recently took photos of silverware for my own kitchen. Mine were is sepia color, but the lighting would be the same. I especially wanted the detail because some of these are antique pieces with my initial engraved on them, and I didn't want to lose the great patina either. I used the best lightbox ever--bounced sunlight. I hung up an old piece of black cloth just inside my open garage door at about noon, when the sun was hitting straight down on the driveway outside. I rigged up a way to prop up the silverware and I was very pleased with the result. The light was beautiful, and no harsh glare. I'll try to load an example. To see the rinky-dink setup you wouldn't believe these were the pictures--or maybe you have done this sort of thing yourself and you would believe it. :)


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3/21/2005 10:17:20 PM

 
Jennifer Hopper
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/30/2004
 
 
 
I have a suggestion that is free. I recently took photos of silverware for my own kitchen. Mine were is sepia color, but the lighting would be the same. I especially wanted the detail because some of these are antique pieces with my initial engraved on them, and I didn't want to lose the great patina either. I used the best lightbox ever--bounced sunlight. I hung up an old piece of black cloth just inside my open garage door at about noon, when the sun was hitting straight down on the driveway outside. I rigged up a way to prop up the silverware and I was very pleased with the result. The light was beautiful, and no harsh glare. I'll try to load an example. To see the rinky-dink setup you wouldn't believe these were the pictures--or maybe you have done this sort of thing yourself and you would believe it. :)


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3/21/2005 10:18:43 PM

 
Jennifer Hopper
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/30/2004
 
 
 
Ok, so I have managed to submit my humble suggestion twice without a picture attached. Sorry for looking like such a dweeb.


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3/21/2005 10:23:20 PM

 
Jennifer  L. Bales
BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/22/2004
  Jennifer,

Now you have peaked my interest. Put the pic on!

Jen


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3/30/2005 6:34:31 AM

 
Jennifer Hopper
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/30/2004
 
 
 
trying again. seriously, do they make you quit the "club" if you can't manage to make something this simple work?


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3/31/2005 11:35:13 AM

 
Jennifer Hopper
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/30/2004
 
 
 
trying again. seriously, do they make you quit the "club" if you can't manage to make something this simple work?


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3/31/2005 11:35:16 AM

 
Jennifer Hopper
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/30/2004
  Oh, can you believe this? It's like a bad joke. For Pete's sake, I really am more capable than it looks. I have added one of the shots to my gallery. You can look there. They look darker here than on my monitor, or in print, but you get the idea.

Jennifer


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3/31/2005 12:08:11 PM

 
Andrew Laverghetta
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/13/2004
  Possibly, you can load the picture to your profile and then, remember, write down, or copy and paste the ID number (I think it's 6 digits) and use that number instead of trying to upload the picture directly to the Q & A.


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3/31/2005 12:56:18 PM

 
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