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I'm trying to take product photos of some eye glasses.

The glasses are metal and plastic. For these photos, the LENSES are REMOVED so they do not constitute a problem.

I am trying to photograph the frames without ANY specular reflection. I've had a lot of success taming the specular reflection by doing the following.

1 - Linearly polarize the light sources and the lens. 2 - Move lights in angles where the specular reflection is minimized. 3 - Remove all other unpolarized light sources (dark room)

Although I've been able to greatly reduce the specular reflection, there is still the reflections of the light bulbs themselves as tiny spots or smudges on the plastic and metal glass surfaces.

Is there any method that would allow me to get rid of any and all specular reflection in this scenario?

Thank you

  • Please can you attach a few images including closeups of the issue. Thanks – Abdul N Quraishi Sep 10 at 5:44
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I. You can not remove EVERY specular reflection.

Light bounces, that comes with the concept of Photo-graphy.

Imagine you are taking a photo of a mirror, eliminating every reflection would mean every mirror will be pitch black. That can only be made on a computer-generated image. The same would apply to a chrome metal lens frame. It would be black.

II. There is no way of removing reflections on metallic surfaces.

Because light is not polarized, so there is no way to block using any polarizing filter.

III. Reflections are part of what makes a product shot beautiful

Especially on glossy materials. Imagine a photo of a car without reflections...

You need to learn how to make those reflections a beautiful part of the photo.

Reflections give shape to forms, it gives you a clue if a shape is flat or curved.


Sayed that:

You could use some method of multi-exposure

Moving the lights around, in controlled angles, and using the non reflected zones of each photo.

Take (at least) two shoots with the camera mounted on a tripod.

Prepare a setup with two sets of lights than can be turned on and off using different switches, you can simply plug and unplug set 1 and set 2 of continuos lights (you said "of the light bulbs themselves as tiny spots") or using different groups if you are using flashes.

Then you can stack them and use "if darker" blending mode.

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    That's a really cool technique. I might switch to that if things get more serious. Thanks – Lanky Panky Sep 10 at 16:16
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    Good point with multiple shots. I once saw a car shot done that way to get the illusion of interesting lighting without distrubing reflections. It is quite some work though. – Kai Mattern Sep 11 at 11:50
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    I've done this with a single light at a time. The key light has several shots, the fill light has several, etc. Stack all the images for each light in a smart object and use the "median" blending mode for the stack. Then stack all the individual light smart objects and stack them together using the screen blend mode. It also lets you adjust all the lights individually in post by adjusting the opacity of the layers to get your perfect exposure. It's a LOT of work, but I did it for a hand-painted Harley gas tank so the highlights wouldn't hide any of the actual artwork. – LightBender Sep 18 at 18:43
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When lighting tableware, ceramics, jewelry, and high-gloss surfaces; a light tent provides the necessary diffuse source to virtually eliminate all specular reflections without losing the reflections necessary to show form.

Whenever a dull, flat surface is desired; I have 'retouched' the subject by using dulling spray to get the desired effect. It comes in both a lacquer and removable version that no studio should be without. The spray works for anything that isn't wet, though.

Good luck.

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  • Thank you for your useful comment. Would you recommend any material to build with a light tent on the cheap? – Lanky Panky Sep 22 at 13:13
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Diffuse all lights sources, twice if you need to. The reflection will soften and fade out. The lights hot spot is the problem.

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