too much light

I'm new to product photography, what causes this blown out highlight in the mannequin's left hand as shown in the picture above?

See the lighting setup below, I am using two softboxes as light modifiers.

enter image description here

  • \$\begingroup\$ Post how you set up the lights and what kind of lights you are using (flash, fixed lamps, etc. etc.) \$\endgroup\$
    – Christian
    Commented Mar 16, 2016 at 12:19
  • \$\begingroup\$ its a SS-350H falcon eye studio flash \$\endgroup\$
    – Margz
    Commented Mar 16, 2016 at 12:19
  • \$\begingroup\$ without softbox? \$\endgroup\$
    – Christian
    Commented Mar 16, 2016 at 13:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ i am using two softbox falcon eye \$\endgroup\$
    – Margz
    Commented Mar 16, 2016 at 13:42
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ It comes to my mind that mannequin should have matte finish to avoid this reflection. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Mar 16, 2016 at 15:24

2 Answers 2


Hum... I have the feeling you are sacrificing your overall ilumination for some natural reflection high lights. Your image looks too dark.

A reflective material like glossy plastic is expected to have thoose blowned highlights.

On this post Glossy "metallic" looking skin someone needed the opposite thing, a normal skin image to look glossy. Look at the graph. The intention is to blow thoose reflections.

If you need a matt mannequin, you need either re-paint it, or blur that in Photoshop. Probably some HDRI technique. But in my opinion you do not need to do that.


As can be seen, this is a direct reflection of the flash, it basically renders the image of the softbox distorted by the surface of the mannequin on the hand.

  1. First of all you have to think about whether this is something bad or not. It might give shape to the mannequin if applied correctly.
  2. You can get the softboxes closer. This will make the light softer but spread out the direct reflection. Take care that due to the 1/r^2 the light on tha background will dramatically decrease. This can be overcome by a third light for example.
  3. You could tilt the hand so that there is no direct reflection anymore if you do not want to change the lighting setup.
  4. Diffuse the light on the mannequin on the spot of interest by adding a light diffusing coating, i.e. something that creates a rough surface. Try things you have around, hairspray might help, but might make things worse.

I am not a product photographer, though, these are just some ideas that came to mind.

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ You could also (3b) try playing with the height (and therefore angle) of the lighting to shift the hard reflection away from the camera. \$\endgroup\$
    – Chris H
    Commented Mar 16, 2016 at 16:20

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