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I'm using a speedlight positioned to the left of my product when taking the picture and I see circular lines and a shape around it.

I've tried removing the cap, changing the position of the speedlight and removing ambient lighting in the room but the issue persists.

enter image description here

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Anything in the room that can bounce light (white ceiling or wall...)? \$\endgroup\$
    – xenoid
    Sep 7, 2023 at 7:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yeah the white walls are quite low, and room is overall small. Do you think I should block the off the environment with maybe black foam boards or something? \$\endgroup\$
    – hamz
    Sep 7, 2023 at 16:38
  • \$\begingroup\$ Easy to test with one screen somewhere that should suppress an arc or the lines. Another way is to have a more directional flash that doesn't light up the ceiling. But in practice you should use several flashes for this, or some very reflective material on the opposite side of the single flash to have a secondary light source (my poor man's second flash used to be a wall mirror) \$\endgroup\$
    – xenoid
    Sep 7, 2023 at 17:09
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for the tip and advice, I'll try using a mirror since I only have one flash currently. \$\endgroup\$
    – hamz
    Sep 9, 2023 at 5:00

1 Answer 1

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The problem is that your speedlight is pretty close to a point source light. You need a large diffuse light source, such as through a diffuser, umbrella reflector(*), or using a light tent.

Pardon my poor highlighting skills with my computer trackpad, but I've outlined:

  • the label area lit by the flash in blue;
  • its reflected image onto the bottom surface in red;
  • the reflection of the cylindrical surface of the rest of the body onto the bottom surface in yellow; and
  • the reflection of the shadow of the bottle back onto the reflective label highlighted in the green oval.

enter image description here

Because your lighting is point-like, it creates distinct hard reflection boundaries, as well as hard-edges shadows. That's why the reflection of the shadow back onto the label is so distinct.

Again, the solution is a large diffuse light source. A diffuser lightbox, umbrella, or light tent, will eliminate hard-edged reflections and shadows.

* Note: while an umbrella reflector isn't so much a diffuse light source, its size is many times the size of the object being photographed. The light from a large directional light source like an umbrella reflector will still "wrap around" the small bottle, pretty similar to how a diffuse light source will spread the light around the bottle.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Thank you for such a detailed explanation. It makes sense now! \$\endgroup\$
    – hamz
    Sep 9, 2023 at 4:59

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