How to Photograph Shiny Objects

Photographers face many challenges which range from composing a shot to its color balance. However, one particular problem that annoys almost all photographers is how to photograph shiny objects. Glare makes it pretty hard to photograph them. If you are also perplexed by this problem, continue reading.

Why are Reflective Objects Hard to Photograph?

As we mentioned above, this article will teach you how to photograph shiny objects without glare. But before doing that it is important to understand how glare is produced and how it affects an image. First of all, coming to the basic physics of light. If light falls on a surface, then it is bound to reflect. The problem with shiny surfaces is that they reflect too much light. Now you might ask why should that be a problem? The most important thing to understand here is that cameras work differently than our eyes. Our eyes can distinguish between a large range of intensities. However, if a camera is exposed to extremely contrasting light intensities, it gets confused. When too much light is coming from reflective objects, the camera cannot recognize any objects in that area. Therefore, it causes a loss of detail. Secondly, the overall exposure, color balance, and texture of the image also get deteriorated.

Light is the Key

Of course, there are many ways in which you can remove the glare in post-processing. However, the lost detail can never be recovered. Therefore, it is better to learn how to photograph shiny objects without glare. The very first thing you need to know is the light rules in photography. If it is light that is affecting our images, let’s find ways to control it.
Reflective Alarm Clock - How to Photograph Shiny Objects

Change Your Angle

It might sound basic, but the most important tip for shooting reflective objects is to try out different angles. Again, returning to basic physics, if light falls on an object at a specific angle, it will be reflected at the same angle. So, simply move around and determine an angle where the reflected light is minimum.

Best Setup for Photographing Shiny Objects

If moving around does not help you, you might have to put in some more effort. In this step, you are going to learn how to set up a studio for different kinds of reflective objects.

Essential Tools

Now, let’s talk about some tools that will help you photograph reflective objects. Basically, we cannot emphasize the value of a sturdy tripod enough. Investing in a sturdy tripod paired with a remote shutter release will not only give you the creative freedom of setting up your camera but also allow you to remove motion blur. Secondly, polarizing filters will help you remove glare from water surfaces. A dulling spray is exactly what it sounds like. When applied on a reflective surface, it minimizes the glare produced from it.
Reflective Key - How to Photograph Shiny Objects

Photo edited in Lightroom.

Basic Tips

Use Photoshop to edit Shiny objects

Photoshop with its amazing tools is the best option to post-process the product photos of shiny and reflective objects.

Conclusion - How to Photograph Shiny Objects

To sum it all up, light rules and if you learn how to control light, you also learn how to photograph shiny objects.Therefore, try to learn to analyze how light reflects off of a specific surface so that you can photograph it even better. Lastly, photography is all about experimentation. So, experiment with different setups and settings to get the best results.

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Have a nice photoshoot! 

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