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I need some help with this shots. Recently I did some shooting for this wine business, and since the beginning and even before, they had this problem with some labels like the one attached.enter image description here

Question is: "What's the best practice for shooting this kind of examples?". As you can see the gold reflection doesn't reflect very well and it's hard to read back.

I shoot with Canon 5d, 35mm 1.4, 2 flash with softbox (80cmx120cm). Sometimes I use a reflection panel, it help for white wine bottles, or extra dark bottles, but not for this one. Thanks

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Have you tried using reflective umbrellas instead of 2 soft boxes directed at the bottle? \$\endgroup\$
    – thebtm
    Feb 2, 2017 at 16:08
  • \$\begingroup\$ Why are you suggesting the reflective umbrellas? Unfortunately I'm trying to obtain the best result with the actual set up. Consider that the two white reflective rectangles on the sides of the bottles are required due to consistency with other shots. \$\endgroup\$
    – Ale Mastro
    Feb 2, 2017 at 16:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ I was only suggesting possible other setups that might get the result your looking for. one of the answers below is most likely a better option. \$\endgroup\$
    – thebtm
    Feb 2, 2017 at 20:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ Use two ligths, left and rigth one and both above the camera. If using flash unit, point it backwards up. If you have to use built-in flash shoot slighly from above. In all cases I suggested the light reflects from the polished surface somewhere else than the camera. \$\endgroup\$
    – Crowley
    Feb 2, 2017 at 20:08

3 Answers 3

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I would leave the lighting in place and just use some small flags to block out the light falling on the lettering. Probably something small and close to the bottle, just out of shot. Hopefully you can substitute continuous lighting or have a modelling light to figure it out.

I'd recommend the book Light, Science and Magic. It covers all you ever need to know about this sort of thing.

Related Q&A: Avoiding reflections when taking close-ups of a wrist-watches dial

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks MikeW. Having something in the in the shot won't be a problem, since it'll be clipped out anyway. So your suggest is to "shield" the flash light in the portion where hits the reflective parts of the labels (gold, silver or bronze most of the cases). Right? \$\endgroup\$
    – Ale Mastro
    Feb 3, 2017 at 11:10
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@MikeW is absolutely right. Before reading his answer I had the same answer. You just need to put some blocking objects those blocks the light directly affecting the glossing gold area.

Other than that. I notice you've placed two reflectors in left and another on right side (visible in glass/reflecting area of bottle), better you move them a little upwards and diagonal. so direct reflection will be moved upwards or downwards and no reflection will appear on golden text. Those gold text is not so shiny / flat as glass that could reflect every light angle but that is reflecting because of direct luminance.

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Aside from the lighting issue, using the 35 mm fl length this close distorts the image. We are looking 'up' at the top of the bottle and 'down' at the base. I suggest backing up and/or using a longer focal length

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  • \$\begingroup\$ While this answer doesn't do anything to address the actual question, I completely agree with it. At this focal length, even though I don't think there's any actual barrel distortion, everything about the perspective suggests barrel distortion to the eye (i.e., optical illusion): rounded top and bottom of label due to perspective; curved lettering (perspective); rounded bottom and shoulder of bottle (perspective, and by its design); taper of label from top to bottom (design). Backing up with a longer focal length will reduce the optical illusion of barrel distortion. \$\endgroup\$
    – scottbb
    Feb 7, 2017 at 19:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yes that's right is part of the problem! To get a better result we're gonna move towards a 100mm macro 2,8 IS to get a better straight effect without any wide angle distortion. But that won't fix this kind of problem as you noticed. Thanks anyway for your time. \$\endgroup\$
    – Ale Mastro
    Feb 9, 2017 at 14:04

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