Last week in my Advertising and Illustrative Photography class our project was to photograph reflective objectives. We couldn’t use any kind of glass because photographing glass involves a more complex lighting system.
In order to correctly and effectively photograph reflective objects we had to use two light sources. Using two light sources makes what you’re photographing look more realistic, like you could reach out and feel the object.
The reflective object that I used was change, like dimes, pennies, and quarters. I set it up by taking grass from outside and using that as my background. Then I arranged the change how I wanted it to look like. Then I used a spray bottle full of water and sprayed it onto the change and grass. I decided to use water because water is also reflective and would make the change look even more realistic. After I sprayed the water onto the change, I rearranged the lights to help make the subject look like it’s actually outside. So instead of having the full force of the light sources on the subject, I diffused the light. On the one light I put an umbrella diffuser in front of the light. This helps make the light spread further around the subject. The second light, I put a rectangular diffuser in front of it. This has the same effect as the umbrella diffuser, but shaped differently.
After I rearranged the lights, I took a meter reading to determine what shutter speed I need to take the photograph with. I didn’t need to know what aperture to use because I already knew what aperture I wanted. So I took the photograph with the shutter speed the meter told me and then took other photographs with different shutter speeds. I did this because a different shutter speed could actually look better than the one suggested.
I may have had to respray my subject a little more than a few times, but I believe I ended up with a believable photograph that looks like it was taken outdoors.