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Need Help W/ Product Photography
Old 02-05-2009, 12:50 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Hi All:

I have been asked to undertake a project that is out of my element but I am always up for a challenge and to learn so I am going to give it a shot.

I have been asked to photograph safety clothes like cops and other first responders wear at accident scenes and I am having a problem with my lighting.

The clothes are a bright, lime green and have reflective stripes sewn into them in order to conform to US Government regulations. When I try to photograph the clothing with a flash the light coming back from the reflective material overpowers the rest of the article of clothing.

I have been giving this a considerable amount of thought and have some up with what I think is a workable solution but I want to ask for opinions here.

What I am thinking is that I need to get rid of the flash altogether and photograph these clothes using hot lights placed at a 45 degree angle to the items and using a camera mounted on a tripod due to the potentially long exposure times. I am also thinking about covering the hot lights with a layer of white tissue paper to difuse and soften the lights a bit.

I want to do a good job at this but it is a volunteer project so I don't want to put a lot of time into it experimenting and such like that. If anyone can think of a better way or see something that I possibly haven't thought of please feel free to jump in. Thanks.
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Re: Need Help W/ Product Photography
Old 02-05-2009, 01:39 PM   #2 (permalink)
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On occasions I have taken a studio background on location and photographed in the shade. Is there any location where you can use subdued light, outside?
Remember Irvin Penn?
If not, there is always Photoshop.

I think hot lights would give you the same problem, because the reflective material will also reflect that. Just like when a flashlight shines on it.
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Re: Need Help W/ Product Photography
Old 02-05-2009, 01:52 PM   #3 (permalink)
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maybe take two sets of pics, ones with flash. and then ones without flash, so the reflective material doesnt reflect in one set. then maybe photoshop elemnts from each set into one set that shows you exactly what you want? Same setting, pose, postions, camera angles, focal lengths, etc etc?
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Re: Need Help W/ Product Photography
Old 02-05-2009, 05:24 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Maybe Scotch tape (the frosted type) taped over the reflectice strips?
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Re: Need Help W/ Product Photography
Old 02-05-2009, 05:29 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Ya might talk to BobbyG he is quite the product photographer!
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Re: Need Help W/ Product Photography
Old 02-05-2009, 10:13 PM   #6 (permalink)
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big soft diffused sources and a second light, over the lens, that is a small very controllable portable strobe, ( Vivitar 283, set to 1/32 power) to bring back the reflectiveness in a controlled manner.
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Re: Need Help W/ Product Photography
Old 02-06-2009, 08:58 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Ooooh... been there done that.

The frosted tape works well. I also did the double shot with flash on then off. However, these were athletic clothes with smaller reflective tapes I would assume. The two image thing is kinda fun and the results are weird. But, my gig was with manikins and studio shot sooo.... more control and nobody moves between shots.
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