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Photography Question 
Christy L. Anderson

How to Shoot Monuments

What is the best way to photograph a slate or finished stone monument without glare and reflections?

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8/10/2005 12:39:55 PM

Christopher A. Vedros
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/14/2005
  Don't use a flash. Your flash probably wouldn't be strong enough, and spread out wide enough to light it evenly. If you're shooting at night, use a tripod and a long exposure time.

If the surface is shiny and you are getting glare from the sun, try using a circular polarizer filter. Turn the filter until the glare is minimized.

You can also try moving to adjust the angle between your camera and the shiny surface.

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8/10/2005 12:54:22 PM

Bob Cammarata
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/17/2003
  Chris' last bit of advice is the best: Change the angle. Reflected light is most prominent when the primary light source is at 180 degrees (either in front of you or behind you). At 90 degrees, the light reflection will exhibit its least amount of effect.
If you are using the sun as your light source, hold your thumb and forefinger into an "L" shaped right angle.
Aim your thumb toward the sun and shoot in the direction your forefinger is pointing. Reflected glare will at its minimum from this angle.

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8/10/2005 4:20:07 PM

Bob Cournoyer
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/9/2003
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  That thumb/forefinger thing always confused the bejeebers out of me. I understood better when I was told that when I point my camera (and myself) at my subject, look at my shadow: If my shadow is facing towards or away from the subject, that is not good. If my shadow is to either side of me, that is good. Same thing works for circular polarizers.

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8/10/2005 5:36:40 PM

Bob Cammarata
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/17/2003
  ... Same process, explained differently.

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8/10/2005 7:02:28 PM

Maria Melnyk   Are you able to shoot under an overcast sky? This would be better than bright sunlight.

Whether it's a bright day or overcast, the lighting will be directional. There are some exceptions, but make sure that there is more light on the front of the monument you are photographing than on one of the sides. You will keep the viewer's attention where it should be.
(I made a little mistake doing something like this last week. I had to take a quick photo of the side of a corner of a building that had a sign on it, and the less-important side had more sunlight on it than the main side. I only had 2 hours sleep the night before and wasn't concentrating properly. Had to go back the next day to re-shoot.)

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8/16/2005 10:56:57 AM

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