Avoiding The Double Reflection

Avoiding The Double Reflection On my Ode to my Power Supply Unit post I got quite a few comments about that nasty double reflection. I just had to fix this. The reason for this reflection is that a glass board has some thickness so I got one reflection from the top surface of the glass and one dimmer reflection from the bottom surface of the glass.

I intended to go with the strobist solution of black granite tile when I realized that I would have a hard time explaining my wife why I just had to have a piece of junk I mean a black tile I mean a photography accessory to make my studio complete.

Another issue was that 30 X 30 centimeters was a bit too short for my doll. I decided to take a different approach. I went down to the local art store and got a sheet of clear Nylon. (If you don’t have a nearby art store, you can get one at the local florist – they use similar cellophane to wrap flowers).

I then placed the clear sheet on top of my black Bristol board and TADA!  I got me a 100cm X 70cm reflective surface. The nice thing about this method is that the nylon is very, very thin so there is only one reflection.

When solving the double reflection problem, I also realized that I have come to peace with making gridspoted background product shots and that I want to try something else for my next shoot. I have also realized that I made a small series about making a neat product shot, so I’ll post all the relevant links at the bottom.

To make this series complete, I would like to share the step by step  setup for this last shot, including post processing (which I shamelessly adopted from Yanik’s product shot tutorial).

The General Idea And Setup

Avoiding The Double Reflection
(Click on image for setup notes)

First thing was to place a black Bristol board on the table and then place a clear nylon sheet on top of it. (Actually, the first step was to convert my leaving living room table into a portable studio, but the wife was asleep so we were fine with it).

Then I placed the doll on the table and adjusted my Nikon SB 26 with a gelled gridspot and a radio slave. I set the flash to tightest zoom so the flash and gridspot will work together. (No point in having the flash on wide if I am trying to restrict light).

If you look at the setup image, you’ll also notice it is yellow – this is the light coming from the the leaving room lamp. I didn’t care much about it as I used high shutter speed, so only “flash light” made any impact on the sensor.

The following trio from left to right is:

  1. Gridspot flash+ gel on 1/8
  2. Adding a flash shot through umbrella on right (1/32)
  3. Adding a foam core reflector on left

Avoiding The Double Reflection

Post Processing

You can check Yanik’s tutorial for the general idea. From lest to right:

  1. Original image
  2. Crop to desired size
  3. Shrank the reflection
  4. Added a curves layer to make the “table” black
  5. Masked the image so only the table is black
  6. Layers flattened and added a bit of contrast with curves

Avoiding The Double Reflection

More Gridspot Product Shots: