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Old 12-31-2009   #11
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Default Re: Product Photography C&C

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Bigger and more translucent. Check out this lighting theme I wrote for Photo.Net.....

WEEKLY LIGHTING THEME: Controlling Specular Highlights............ - Photo.net Lighting Equipment and Techniques Forum
Cool, I like your article and your experiment. Why does the specular highlight become more transparent as the softbox gets bigger?
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Old 01-01-2010   #12
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Default Re: Product Photography C&C

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Cool, I like your article and your experiment. Why does the specular highlight become more transparent as the softbox gets bigger?
Kevin,

Thanks, though that thread is more of a demonstration than an experiment.

The specular highlight becoming more tramsparent is the result of moving the softbox much closer to the subject. Moving a diffused light source such as a softbox closer to the subject does make it relatively larger but it also makes it much brighter.

It's this increase in the amount of light from the closer softbox which allows a change in exposure settings on the camera ie: from f/5.6 to f/16 and that allows the specular highlight to be less than white or more transparent.

Using a larger softbox AND moving it very close to the subject increases that effect.
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Old 01-01-2010   #13
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Default Re: Product Photography C&C

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Kevin,

Thanks, though that thread is more of a demonstration than an experiment.

The specular highlight becoming more tramsparent is the result of moving the softbox much closer to the subject. Moving a diffused light source such as a softbox closer to the subject does make it relatively larger but it also makes it much brighter.

It's this increase in the amount of light from the closer softbox which allows a change in exposure settings on the camera ie: from f/5.6 to f/16 and that allows the specular highlight to be less than white or more transparent.

Using a larger softbox AND moving it very close to the subject increases that effect.
But when you switched softboxe sizes from the 2'x3' to the 3'x4', the distance remained constant. Why did the highlight become more translucent? Thanks for everything; I'm learning a lot. : )
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Old 01-01-2010   #14
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Default Re: Product Photography C&C

The distance from the subject to the front screen of the softbox decreased because the larger softbox is deeper so the front screen was closer to the subject. The front screen of the softbox is the light source. If I remember correctly in that demonstration I did also move the softbox even closer to the subject. The front screen of the overhead softbox was only inches above the subject, just out of the crop.

Another consideration is that the larger softbox adds more wrap around light to the subject which puts even more light onto the subject relative to the specular reflection's density.

By the way this only works with a subject surface that's less efficient at reflecting light (less smooth) than a mirror. A mirror like surface would always show the specular highlight as an opaque white.
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Old 01-02-2010   #15
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Default Re: Product Photography C&C

You did a very nice job!
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Old 01-02-2010   #16
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Wow, those shot are a cut above! Probably overkill for eBay, but I know how difficult product shots can be. I have a light tent for such occasions.
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Old 01-05-2010   #17
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For selling things on Ebay those images are quite adequate- better than most of what you see there.

As a commercial shot- check it out! Take a look at the cover shots and ads for equipment in the top photo magazines. They emphasize the lines of the camera in the same way commercial photographers emphasize the lines of a sleek automobile. On all the camera and lens ads there is light reflected into the lens to bring out its brilliance just like portraitists bring out the rich colors in their subject's eyes. The look of that fancy glass "SELLS"! Some of those coatings are so "glamorous"!

Going by the shadow under the camera, I would bring the light slightly more to the back of the camera thereby emphasizing its "lines" and pump in more reflected light to bring out the texture on the body and illuminate that lens.

Ed
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Old 10-06-2011   #18
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They are some great shots!, I have just started some product photos and can really appreciate how hard they are to get right. Nice one!!
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Old 11-22-2011   #19
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Nice shots... I often use a softbox directly above my subject and seldom see other photographers do the same...
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Old 08-17-2012   #20
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Going by the shadow under the camera, I would bring the light slightly more to the back of the camera thereby emphasizing its "lines" and pump in more reflected light to bring out the texture on the body and illuminate that lens.

Ed
Bingo. Move the box subject left and slightly forward. The textures and lines will pop. You can also loose the heavy shadow directly under the subject which isn't optimal. A softer casting shadow (right and back somewhat) will be more pleasing.

All opinion of course.


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