40 Shiny surfaces

From having played with a few small shiny objects in previous exercises I knew this would not be easy. It turned out not to be easy to find an object that was not a repeat of what I had already photographed and was small enough to fit inside the tracing paper cone..

The exercise asks for a shiny, reflective subject to be placed on the floor on a black velvet background and photographed from above. First with the light source next to the camera, then the same lighting but with a diffusion cone made out of tracing paper from the lens to surround the subject. After that then free to move the light anywhere.

My object is a large silver yacht, which when trying to lay flat on the floor, it would lay at an obvious angle. So I had place a glass under the bottom of the larger sail to lift it slightly of the black cloth (sorry no velvet) and make it level to the camera. 

Equipment used Nikon DSLR, 28-300mm lens, speedlight flash and tracing paper.

Light next to camera – no tracing paper cone


As you can see the light has reflected straight back at the camera.

Light next to camera – with tracing paper cone in place.


The tracing paper cone has reduced the reflection but not enough, with the light still next to the camera.

Tracing paper set-up with light moved to suitable angle.


With the light moved back onto a stand and to an angle 45 degrees to the side and pointing 45 degrees down, there in no longer any direct reflection back to the camera. However you can now see a reflection of the camera lens in the main sail.

Setup as above – camera moved…


So with everything the same as before but now the camera is not directly above the yacht, it has been moved towards the boat hull and effectively looking up at the subject. Without a shift lens or a technical camera it’s about as good as it gets, if I’d had another flash I could have finished off with better lighting, but this has achieved the objective.



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