Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Reds! Copper REDS!

I think photographing bright shiny red glazes are probably right up there as being one of the hardest things to photograph. I have tried everything from matting spray to using gobos... and nothing ever completely cuts the glare. My frustration right now is that the backdrop paper I am using (even though it is obviously grey) reflects just enough light back into the sides of the bowls as to create washed out side-glare. Ugh! I want sharp crisp outlines! Today's goal is to try to figure out a way to keep that light from bouncing back up around the bowl.

4 comments:

  1. Have you tried a polarizing filter? I tried to shoot some shiny glazed pieces the last time I had my photo booth set up, but couldn't find it and gave up.
    I've also been told that hairspray works as a cheap matting spray.

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  2. Funny that you should mention polarizing filters... they do work. I use them all the time. But they dont seem to do a great job on Copper Red glazes. Either they throw off the color, or they simply move the glare to a new place. I have never tried any of the mega-pricey polarizers out there... but my sub$100 ones really arent solving the problem. I have lately been working with the idea of using gobos and using black paper or foam to block the light before it reaches the object. Then you also have to consider where this shadow may fall elsewhere. Fun but it sometimes feels like I need to hire an octopus for an assistant!

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  3. hmmm, interesting that it's worst on the reds. Must be a wavelength thing. I know that a lot of glare and haze filters operate at UV, so maybe polarizers have a similar handicap.

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  4. I was thinking along similar lines. I know that polarizing filters tend to darken what is already dark... similarly to the way ND filters do too. I dont know enough though, to explain why they dont eliminate the glare completely. Someone once suggested I try polarizing filters over the light source. Not really sure how I would do that. If anyone has a source where I Could find such a thing, I would be very keen to try it.

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