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  3. It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of a long-standing member, Just Dave.

    Dave Barker was a member of Talk Photography for nearly 10 years, and was a prominent member for most of those.
    A very warm, friendly and enthusiastic member, he spent the largest portion of his time on TP welcoming and helping others.

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  1. Wissel

    Wissel

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    David
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    Hi all, I need to photograph some products (kitchen doors) for my own company.

    The problem I think I'll have is a lot of these doors are reflective, so I wondered if any of you have tips on setting up the camera/lights/product ?

    I'll be photographing on a pure white background and using LED continuous lighting (proper LED lighting). Colour accuracy is important, so I'll be using a Datacolor SpyderCheckr.

    In an ideal world I'd like to shoot directly at the door square on. Is there a way of doing this without showing the lights and camera as a reflection?

    If not, would the best way be to have the door at a slight angle with the lighting evenly lighting the subject and the camera at the opposite angle to the lights?

    I'd really appreciate any help or suggestions.

    Thanks, David
     
  2. Garry Edwards

    Garry Edwards

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    Garry Edwards
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    No
    It's impossible to avoid all reflections and even if that was possible, the results would be flat and dead and nobody would want to buy the products - what you need to do is to control the reflections, not try to eliminate them.
    Partly, this involves using light sources considerably larger than the subject, and very very close - as you only have continuous lighting I doubt whether you will have softboxes anywhere near large enough, so use silks instead.
    Partly, it involves getting the angles right so that none of the light reflects towards the camera.

    See this tutorial on the Lencarta Lighting Blog https://www.lencarta.com/studio-lighting-blog/controlling-specular-reflections/#.VjzW6ysl-hE

    If you need to avoid reflections of the camera in the product, the only real solution is to use a monorail camera and make use of the camera movements.
    Second best is to use a tilt shift lens
    And a poor third is to put a sheet of material in front of the camera, cut a small hole in it for the lens to poke through and retouch out the small reflection later.
     
    Wissel and maarten.dhaese like this.
  3. Kodiak Qc

    Kodiak Qc

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    French Canadian living in Europe since 1989!
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    Any given surface won't reflect a light source it can't see.
    Disguising the light source altering its size, angle of inci-
    dence and proximity are the options you can work with.

    In interior
    architecture, compositing an image is a normal
    procedure given the multiple and complex surfaces.
     
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  4. Wissel

    Wissel

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    Thanks Garry. Do sell softboxes that I could fit the LED lights into? (I'm using Aputure 528's)

    If not, do you sell a suitable diffuser material or could you recommend what you think I'll need? The size of the largest products is 570mm x 400mm.
     
  5. Garry Edwards

    Garry Edwards

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    No
    Those are panel lights - no accessories are available for them :(

    So, make up some silks. A silk is just a large sheet of diffusion material, that can be either suspended in place or fixed tautly over a wooden or plastic frame.
    White shower curtain from Tesco is probably your best source, and certainly much cheaper than buying rolls of diffusion material from Lee Filters or Rosco+
     
    Wissel likes this.
  6. Garry Edwards

    Garry Edwards

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    No
    Wissel and Graham W like this.
  7. Wissel

    Wissel

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    Thanks Garry, that thread was interesting.

    I've ordered some diffuser material so will give this a go when the other bits I'm waiting for turn up. Once I've done a little experimenting I'll post an image in this thread and hopefully receive a little feedback on what I could and should be improving.

    Quite looking forward to this, David.
     
  8. Chaz Photos

    Chaz Photos Jack Elam

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    Chaz
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    Yes
    lightingimage.jpg lightsetup.jpg With light remember angle of incidence equals to angle of reflection.
    What you need to do is have your lighting at an angle that will not come back to the lens, if you check live view it will show up easy.

    It matters not what light you have or its size, it al about direction, and to be honest if your lighting is coming in from an angle you get more detail of any texture and form.
    so for any example two light both at approx 45deg from subject and camera at 90deg you should be fine.
    See box with plastic film and clear inside. Hope this helps
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2017
    Wissel likes this.
  9. Garry Edwards

    Garry Edwards

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    Sorry, but that's just theory that works (to a very limited extent) on textiles and similar subjects. With this subject it isn't correct is just plain wrong. Small light sources create small bright reflections that are totally unacceptable on any kind of shiny surface, and having two lights, one each side at an angle of 45 degrees produces flat, boring lighting that will turn off any potential customer.

    The answer I gave above is correct, and the tutorial I linked to explains why.
     
    TheBigYin likes this.
  10. Chaz Photos

    Chaz Photos Jack Elam

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    Chaz
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    Not when controlled well side light will always show detail front lighting give flat lighting like a ring flash
     
  11. Garry Edwards

    Garry Edwards

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    No
    That, in theory, is partly true. Are you really saying that a small light source can light a large subject adequately? That's just nonsense.
    Again in theory, a light each side can show detail - but only on a textured surface, and these shiny doors will have virtually no texture. Trust me, I'm a photographer:) who has photographed a lot of doors, so I know the practice as well as the theory.
    And the light would only show the detail (that's actually there) if each light can be placed a very long way away, to create strong shadows, and we know that the OP only has LED panel lights that are far too small without diffusion anyway, and they have very little power, which means that even if he has the space to throw the light a long distance, he certainly won't have the power to do it, unless he is shooting in a large, totally blacked-out professional studio with absolutely no light pollution from any ambient light.
    Kitchen doors are typically about 500mm wide, and the side lights would therefore need to be at a distance of not less than 2m from each edge - and even if that worked, the shadows from any mouldings, handles etc would be horrific.
    Given enough space and enough equipment, it could be done with:
    3 of these flash heads https://www.lencarta.com/smartflash-300w-studio-flash-head
    2 of these strip softboxes https://www.lencarta.com/30x200cm-stripbox-profold-folding-strip-softbox
    2 of these honeycombs for above https://www.lencarta.com/30x200-stripbox-egg-crate-strip-softbox-honeycomb-grid
    2 of these light stands https://www.lencarta.com/redline-pro-pneumatic-air-damped-light-stand
    1 of these boom arms https://www.lencarta.com/studio-boom-arm-with-casters
    1 of these softboxes https://www.lencarta.com/150cm-profold-folding-octa-softbox

    Or of course, similar products from other sources.
    But this isn't what the OP has available to work with, so for answers to be helpful, they need to match the available resources.


    Given the size of the subject and the size of the lights, your proposed method would produce flat lighting, with undiffused specular highlights in the small areas lit by the lights, more undiffused specular highlights on the sides of any mouldings or handles, and my cat could do better than that - and I haven't even got a cat:)
     
    TheBigYin likes this.
  12. Wissel

    Wissel

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    Just one more quick question Garry, would a large softbox give better results than just using diffuser material in your opinion?

    I figure using one of the ones built for speedlights would house my LED lights?

    Thanks for your help. There's a few bits I need that you sell, so I will be placing an order with you very soon :)
     
  13. Garry Edwards

    Garry Edwards

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    No, not better, just a bit easier. But I don't see how you can fit those panel lights into a softbox.

    I retired from Lencarta at Christmas, although I still wander in there sometimes to mess up their product photography:)
     
    Graham W likes this.
  14. Wissel

    Wissel

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    Thanks. The Aputure 528's aren't that big (powerful for size) and my brackets have the standard umbrella spindle socket. So I figured I could probably fit a light or two into a large softbox that has the speedlight spindle already fitted. I've just ordered a cheap 120cm oct box to see if this works anyway.

    Didn't know you'd already retired, although I'll still be ordering some better stands etc from Lencarta soon :)
     
  15. HoppyUK

    HoppyUK

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    You're trying to fit an LED panel into a 120 octobox? I do hope I've read that wrong.

    Suggest you stop trying to push water uphill, forget LEDs and get some decent studio flash equipment. £400 should buy you a couple of Lencarta Smartflash units, decent softboxes and stands etc. They have bright modelling lamps so they're WYSIWYG like LEDs, but have plenty of power and accurate colour. You'll need to learn how to use them though ;)
     
    Wissel likes this.
  16. Wissel

    Wissel

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    This is kind of the conclusion I'm coming too Richard.

    My plan at this point is to try with what I have, post my images here, then hopefully get advice on where I need to improve and what I need to invest in.

    This type of photography is completely new to me. But fun to learn something new :)
     
    Graham W likes this.
  17. Wissel

    Wissel

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    Is there a reason why the SmarfFlash units get recommended over something like the QuadLite?

    Tbh I have the LED lights for video work (which they do well).
     
  18. Garry Edwards

    Garry Edwards

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    Yes there is - how many reasons do you want to read? :)

    1. Much more power, any ambient light that's present won't affect either colour balance or exposure. Allows much smaller apertures to be used, if required
    2. Much more adaptable/versatile - can be fitted with literally any light shaper. The QuadLite can only be used with the supplied softbox, or with an umbrella
    3. Much more adjustable, from full power to 1/32nd power, the QuadLite is just full or half power
    4. Much less obtrusive, all continuous lights can be blindingly bright even though they don't produce much usable power.

    Video is something else entirely, that's where continuous lighting comes into its own.
     
    Wissel likes this.
  19. HoppyUK

    HoppyUK

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    No
    See Garry's reply. I actually have two Lencarta QuadLites, they're standing there permanently ready if only because they're such a PITA to pack away. And actually, as continuous lights go, they're amongst the best this side of affordable with (relatively) a lot of brightness and a good size for most general working. I use them because sometimes I need continuous light.

    But I also have the option of flash, and when there's a choice, the QuadLites simply never get used.

    Edit: Tip - if you have to pack away each time, get easy-fold softboxes like the Lencarta Profolds that simply push up like an umbrella. The more basic 'manual' version work just fine, but they're a PITA too ;)
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2017
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  20. soeren

    soeren

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    90
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    Soeren
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    Yes
    Wissel likes this.
  21. soeren

    soeren

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    Soeren
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    First pic. Speedlight in softbox.
    Second pic. Speedlight in softbox, polarizer on lens, turned to about max effect ish

    _20170405_070646.JPG _20170405_070618.JPG
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2017
    Wissel and ralphhardwick like this.
  22. Garry Edwards

    Garry Edwards

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    Light: Science and Magic is an excellent book - much better than any that I've written:) and I recommend it for everyone who wants to understand lighting, but possibly overkill for this application, which is a very simple one.
    Unfortunately a polariser won't help much for this job, if at all, because its effect is highly dependent on angle, and the angles are wrong for these doors.

    To the OP - look, this really isn't complicated but as soon as something like this is discussed on even a good forum like this one, it quickly becomes over complicated and turns into a daunting task. I don't know where you're located, but I'm in Bradford and if you want to call into the Lencarta studio with your most difficult door by arrangement, I'll happily spend the 5 minutes it takes to show you how to do it. I'll be away next week, but will be back the week after - not that you need me there, any one of the Lencarta staff, including the guy who unloads the lorries, has picked up enough lighting knowledge.
     
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  23. Wissel

    Wissel

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    Thanks for the great offer Garry, unfortunately a little far from Cornwall :)

    Tbh I'm not at all worried about this - just a learning curve for a type of photography I know little about. As I said earlier in this thread, once I start I'll post some images and hopefully get more great advice on what to change until the images are what I need.

    Really appreciate the help so far from you and everyone else.
     
  24. soeren

    soeren

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    Soeren
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    Hmm post a pic here and I'm sure someone will tell you how.
     
  25. sixfootandstocky

    sixfootandstocky

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    Andy Brown
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  26. Wissel

    Wissel

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    Thanks Andy, I might just do that :)
     
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  27. sk66

    sk66

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    My suggestion for "product shots" of something as large as a door would be to work in a smaller white room and light the walls/ceiling rather than the product directly.

    For shooting "square" a T/S (rather expensive) should allow you to avoid reflections as the subject is flat. Otherwise, use as long of a lens as possible and shoot through a white panel (rather cheap). Lastly, I would not worry about trying for a pure white BG... just get enough contrast so that cutting out the door/editing the BG is easy.
     
  28. Garry Edwards

    Garry Edwards

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    Unfortunately, with light bouncing off of so many surfaces, it's very unlikely that there would be no reflections from a shiny, flat surface.
    And even it it worked, the lighting would be too flat if there are any mouldings, handles or similar.
     
  29. Wissel

    Wissel

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    I've had a go at photographing the doors today. As a lot of you already pointed out, my Aputure LED video lights are not powerful enough to effectively light a 600 x 400mm door. Results were terrible (mainly due to ambient light I think).

    On the plus side, my lights are powerful enough for photographing smaller items like handles (and video use of course which is what they were bought for).

    I did a few test setups with a couple of different small products using a white vinyl background, my 4 lights and a reflector. I used a SpyderCheckr to set the exposure and colour once the lighting was right. Having 4 I can move around until the light and shadows are how I want them on screen is so easy. I took a few test shots and very happy with them. So that's something :)

    These are the sort of shots I'll be using in social media advertising, so the sort of shots I'll need new ones of every week.

    This still leaves me needing a solution to photographing the doors.

    If I were to invest in something along the lines of a couple of Lencarta SmartFlash with softboxes etc, how much space would I need to use these effectively?
     
  30. sk66

    sk66

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    I would try it before I got into the rest. It doesn't much matter if you light a large surface as a reflective modifier, or light through something equally large... The main difference is in that one case you have to move the subject as the lighting is rather fixed. But yes, spill control is likely to be an issue.
    If you're going to go with direct lighting I'm thinking you're going to need to place the lights at least 15ft/5m away. The softboxes aren't going to be enough IMO, I would use them to light through large silks (fabric panels) which you will have to find a way to hang. For refined lighting the general ROT is a modifier at least equal in size to what is being lit, and used from no farther away... so you're looking at silks/panels around 8ft/3m in size (larger would be better).

    With reflective subjects I find it's easier to think of lighting/creating the environment that is going to be reflected rather than lighting the subject itself (in fact, it's the same thing).
     
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  31. sk66

    sk66

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    BTW, when you start getting into long distances and large areas strobe power starts to become an issue... I do think the 300ws smartflashes would be adequate, but I would probably opt for more (as long as there is a high level of power control).
     
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  32. Wissel

    Wissel

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    Thanks. The problem I have is I don't have the space to sit lighting 5m back.

    Th space I have is about 4m x 4m. Might have to have a re-think.
     
  33. Phil V

    Phil V

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    I think that's more than large enough for cabinet doors.
     
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  34. Wissel

    Wissel

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    That's encouraging Phil. What lighting setup would you suggest?
     
  35. Garry Edwards

    Garry Edwards

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    It is, except for when there is relief (such as mouldings) that need a very directional light, in which case the lights need to be a long way away, as I explained earlier.
    Strip softboxes, as I explained earlier, will be fine for this. Lencarta do 2, 140cm and 200cm, I'm pretty sure that the 140cm will be adequate, the 200cm ones do exactly the same job but remove the word "pretty":)
     
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  36. Phil V

    Phil V

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    Stripboxes - as above.
    And I'd aim to shoot only a portion of the door when wanting to pick out mouldings, you might struggle but a small gridded light as far away as you can to do that. (diagonally opposite side of the room).
     
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  37. Wissel

    Wissel

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    Thanks guys. So obviously 2 lights with stripboxes, would this be sufficient?

    Also (and hate to ask this but every penny counts), if I went with the Lencarta lights, would the Godox 160 x 35cm stripboxes do the job? It's just they are a lot less money (£50 inc, grid)
     
  38. Garry Edwards

    Garry Edwards

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    No
    They're cheaper for a reason, nowhere near deep enough and with poor light distribution.
     
  39. Wissel

    Wissel

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    Thanks Garry. And the lights, 2 sufficient or do you think I'd need 3?
     
  40. Garry Edwards

    Garry Edwards

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    2 will be fine if you're going to cut the subject out of the background, which is very easily done.
    You'll need 4 if you want to light the background to make it white, but I doubt whether you even have the space for that anyway
     

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