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This article was kind of weird, in my opinion. First off, he or she seemed to disregard the importance of good light in macro shooting, and secondly, while reading, I wondered what the heck "macro spacers" were.....then when running a quick Google, I saw that the writer was actually talking about extension tubes. Doesn't he or she know proper terminology?

Probably the advice to use a macro rail was appropriate, although I don't think it is absolutely necessary if someone has a camera which will do focus-shifting/focus-stacking, whatever as part of its feature set.
 
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Around 30 Images; SW=1; 105mm f2.8 @ f5.6; Iso 100; Helicon
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This article was kind of weird, in my opinion. First off, he or she seemed to disregard the importance of good light in macro shooting, and secondly, while reading, I wondered what the heck "macro spacers" were.....then when running a quick Google, I saw that the writer was actually talking about extension tubes. Doesn't he or she know proper terminology?

Probably the advice to use a macro rail was appropriate, although I don't think it is absolutely necessary if someone has a camera which will do focus-shifting/focus-stacking, whatever as part of its feature set.
And a $18 tripod???
 
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Thanks Mike - just a single continuous light from above. Glass is on Black Perspex A3 sheet. Reflected BG, in this case, is textured white. NIK SEFX Wet Rocks.
 
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I have one of those! Used it my whole teaching career. I got it in my first year; it was given to me by the kindergarten teacher who was retiring. She said it was her husband's and he had carried it with him during the war. IIRC she said he was in the Air Force and it was issued for use if they had to bail out over water.
 
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20 images, interval 3, Helicon Focus.

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Stunning, Jim! I could stare at the details practically forever.

Your photo is an exact example of what I refer to as wanted reflections (as opposed to unwanted reflections). They add a bit of drama to the scene that is consistent with the texture in the flower and the tonal variation in the tabletop. Well done!

I tried another one using a circular polarizer to try to minimize reflections on the glass
If it was the direct reflections, which by definition are the mirror-like reflections of the light sources, that you were trying to minimize, the polarizer won't help.
 
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Stunning, Jim! I could stare at the details practically forever.

Your photo is an exact example of what I refer to as wanted reflections (as opposed to unwanted reflections). They add a bit of drama to the scene that is consistent with the texture in the flower and the tonal variation in the tabletop. Well done!
Thanks, Mike.

If it was the direct reflections, which by definition are the mirror-like reflections of the light sources, that you were trying to minimize, the polarizer won't help.
Actually, the polarizer did help a little bit.

The technical term is specular reflections in which the angle of reflection is equal to the angle of incidence. But in this case, since the vase is not a perfectly smooth surface, there are random polarizations. Thus, eliminating part of the reflected rays is the only possibility.
 
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The technical term is specular reflections
For those following along, the problem with communicating about this stuff is that the term, specular reflection, has various meanings especially among photographers. Contrast that with the term, direct reflection, which has only one meaning. The result is that sometimes it's appropriate to use the two terms as synonyms and somtimes not. That explains why the authors of Light: Science & Magic use only the term, direct reflection, to avoid potential confusion.

But in this case, since the vase is not a perfectly smooth surface, there are random polarizations. Thus, eliminating part of the reflected rays is the only possibility.
Yes, I should have clarified that important detail. You could have eliminated all of those reflections if you had also polarized the light source. Every once in awhile I think of buying some polarizing film to place in front of a lamp but I've never gotten around to making it happen.
 
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For those following along, the problem with communicating about this stuff is that the term, specular reflection, has various meanings especially among photographers. Contrast that with the term, direct reflection, which has only one meaning.
But direct reflection is never used in scientific or engineering literature and is not defined. Look at the Wikipedia article on reflection. There is no mention of direct reflection. Since it is not defined anywhere I have no idea what it means unless it's just another term for specular reflection.
 
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But direct reflection is never used in scientific or engineering literature and is not defined...Since it is not defined anywhere I have no idea what it means unless it's just another term for specular reflection.
It's very clearly defined in Light: Science & Magic. That fact is not unimportant considering that the book is so successful in the photography world that it is in its fifth edition and that this is a photography forum. As I explained, direct reflection is synonymous with specular reflection when used in the context that you used it.
 
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It's very clearly defined in Light: Science & Magic. That fact is not unimportant considering that the book is so successful in the photography world that it is in its fifth edition and that this is a photography forum. As I explained, direct reflection is synonymous with specular reflection when used in the context that you used it.
I'm not familiar with that book but perhaps I should be.

I'm quite sure you will find no reference to the term direct reflection in any textbook on optics or light.

You say "...direct reflection is synonymous with specular reflection when used in the context that you used it." What does it mean in any other context?
 

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