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Flash Reflection

Discussion in 'General flash photography, lighting, and technique' started by accurateshot, Aug 17, 2008.

  1. Hello all. I am trying to evenly light this and as you can see its very difficult. The badge itself is very shinny and reflective. I bounced the light with a sb-26 on full power. The ceiling is two story high as just to camera right is a open stair case. Any direct or indirect light diffused or not reflects like crazy. As you can see I got everything evenly lighted except the top of the symbol at the beginning of the word integrity. I was able to mess with it post process but just wondering if anyone has any other ideas on how to light this.

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    This one is after post processing. I used 1/8 CTO to try and bring out the gold but I think its a little too yellow so I cooled it off a little and worked on the hot spot.

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  2. fivegrand

    fivegrand Guest

    Shoot through a ring flash with a large octobox attached, or DIY something similar. I've built HUGE shoot-through pseudo-softboxes with a large scrim hung between C stands.

    Very rudimentary drawing (because I can't find any shots of it at the moment)

  3. rsprouse


    Jan 25, 2006
    Encinitas CA

    Judging by the white stripes of the US flag, your White Balance is WAY off. If you are shooting RAW this can be fixed pretty easily, but it is always better to get it right in the camera.

    The way the plaque is lit from above is what is causing the hot area at the top. Jon's suggestion is a good one that should solve the problem. Another idea is to try some "negative fill" by placing a dark card or cloth above the plaque just out of the frame, and vary the size and placement until you get a balanced result.

    -- Russ
  4. Guys,

    Thanks for your responses. rsprouse--I was going that direction. Fivegrand--great idea I think Ill give this a try just to have the experience.
  5. I'd suggest indirect lighting. Is there a white wall behind your shooting position? If so, aim the flash to bounce off it rather than off the ceiling.

    Another solution would be to forget flash, bring a tripod, and take a time exposure using the available light.
  6. dking99


    Aug 19, 2008
    Rockville, MD
    I vote for tripod/available light technique.

    Also, try purchasing a 3' x 2' foam core board ($2) from yuor locat craft store and experiment with bouncing the flash off that. My suggestion is to set camera up on a tripod, set it to timer mode, swivel the flash to point back at you (behind the camera) and hold the foam core board up at an angle so that it hits the emblem. From a good 10 feet away, it should be a very diffused / evenly balanced light.

    Good luck.
  7. It's counter-intuitive, but the further away from the subject that 3x2 foot bounce card is placed, the less diffused the light bouncing off it will be.
  8. Because, the further away the light source is, the smaller it gets relatively, and for a soft light, you want the light source to be as big as possible.
  9. fivegrand

    fivegrand Guest

    especially when you're working with a big, shiny surface.
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