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I'm taking pictures of DVD's to sell on eBay, and I get my refection in the pictures I take. How do I avoid this without laying the DVD flat and taking a slanted picture?

I am using a Nikon Coolpix S6100, point and shoot.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Just to be clear - are you photographing the covers, boxes, or the disks themselves? An example image would be useful. \$\endgroup\$
    – Tetsujin
    Nov 19, 2021 at 18:02

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Blowing out your reflection on the DVD using flash is a viable option, assuming that doesn't also overexpose any details you need to retain/show (labels).

Other options that help are to reduce your reflection by shooting through an opening in a white sheet or similar to create a large/even white reflection... that will still leave the lens element as a distracting reflection. You can then make that even smaller by moving as far back as possible and using a longer focal length/zoom. And you can then angle the DVD slightly (or change camera position) so the small camera reflection that remains falls on a non-reflective area (i.e. on the label).

In other words, more than anything else, with highly reflective objects you create the environment/scene you want to record reflected in the object.

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You can easily fix the slanted picture in post-production using the perspective correction tool of any good editor (Gimp, PS...).

Otherwise, either:

  • Use a remote controller (or a trigger delay) so you aren't next to the camera
  • Shoot through some makeshift screen (preferably dark) with only the lens showing
  • Make the camera area very dark (variant/addition: paint everything black, wear dark clothes and a face mask...)
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  • \$\begingroup\$ Why would you want to record a DVD as being black (reflecting black)? Yeah, it would hide the reflection of the camera/photographer, but it would appear "wrong." \$\endgroup\$ Nov 19, 2021 at 16:48
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Use a flash and 1/200 shutter speed.

The high shutter speed makes anything not lit by the flash unnoticeably dark. The flash hits the shiny DVD directly, so it doesn't need a lot of power, and thus doesn't backsplash a lot to the camera and photographer. It might also help to pull the camera back a bit and then zoom in a bit, to further deplete the flash's light splashing on you (see the inverse square law). A dark background for the product shot would help as well.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Off-camera flash has the advantage of not directly reflecting the flash off the shiny DVD or shiny DVD case back to the camera. \$\endgroup\$
    – Michael C
    Nov 19, 2021 at 5:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ @MichaelC Touchè. I was hoping that even a slightly non-perpendicular disc should make the primary blinding reflection miss the bullseye of the lens; especially if stepping back and zooming in, but if you have an off-shoe cord, product shots are one of the best times to use it for sure. \$\endgroup\$
    – dandavis
    Nov 19, 2021 at 5:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm upvoting this as a viable answer. But it has to be on-axis; you either get the flash bouncing back to the camera making the reflective DVD record as silver/white (specular), or it bounces off at an angle and is ineffective in preventing the reflection of the photographer from showing... \$\endgroup\$ Nov 19, 2021 at 15:30

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