Product Shot Lighting
I recently shot a TV ad for a grocery store chain. I found it really difficult to get rid of the reflections of my k
Kino lights in the bottles of Coca Cola and Sprite etc. The scene was shot in a kitchen. I used my polarisers but it only killed the reflections slightly. Had to just fix it in post which was fine. I would be keen to know if there is a way around this. Any suggestions going forward?
Can you post stills of the shot and a diagram or wide shot of the room and lighting setup?
In a general sense, angle of incidence = angle of reflection, so tightening or widening the angle should move a reflection out of your frame.
Another way to kill reflection is the negative fill of a black card or some black cloth hung from a c-stand and gobo arm.
But maybe you're not talking so much about reflection, as specular highlights?
Lighting reflective surfaces is hard.
Generally, you want to avoid direct light. Instead, use long thin illuminated surfaces, typically strip banks or white foamcore that's LARGER than the object being lit to REFLECT light onto the product. That gives you shape defining specular highlights on the products side and soft, diffused overall product lighting.
Then yes, it's typical to use negative fill to kill reflections of the camera, crew and as much unwanted stuff from the product as possible.
When you've done all that - it's roto or retouching time.
General rule is that the more reflective an object is, the harder it is to light well.
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Thanks for the responses. I'm actually referring to both speculative highlights and reflections. Unfortunately I need to light both the product itself and also make the background look like it's a summers day. So the two need to be accomplished.
I've attached an image of another shot I lit for the same client and same product. Any advice on how you would have lit this would be great.
I recently shot a TV ad for a grocery store chain. I found it really difficult to get rid of the reflections of my kino lights in the bottles of Coca Cola and Sprite etc. I used my polarisers but it only killed the reflections slightly. Had to just fix it in post which was fine. Am keen to know if there is a way around this. Any suggestions going forward?
We shoot tons and tons of bottles, as one of our commercial clients is a bottled water company.
Biggest help is knowing exactly how to light, position instruments, and being aware of not only reflections but backgrounds behind see-thru items... but above that, I use dulling spray on virtually every bottle we shoot. Since it can be permanent, I don't use "real" wipe-off dulling spray, but rather just Krylon matte-finish clear spray from the hardware store. A very light spritz will take off almost all of the hard reflections and dry within five seconds. A heavier spray will give the bottle a more frosted look if you want it to appear cold, which we often do.
Another issue we have is with the labels that are on the bottles... the real labels are printed on some kind of very slick polymer which is very shiny, so we often use fake ones. Since our art director also did their product packaging and logo design, we have ready access to the elements so we just print our own labels on matte paper and stick them to the bottles. In some instances, we have had her design very slightly simplified versions of the labels to use for photography, eliminating some minor elements (i.e. product size and things like that) that do not read well on camera.
If you really want a bottle to look cold (which is also good at killing reflections), we use Ice Powder from Trengove Studios. It's a powder that you mix with a bit of water which becomes this gelatinous slush, and will adhere to bottles and glasses and look like icy frost... and it will last for hours even under hot lights. It especially sticks well if you frost the bottles with the Krylon spray first which gives it a better surface to grab. We actually use a number of their ice and frost products, and all of them (with the exception of steam chips) work very very well and look completely realistic.... http://www.trengovestudios.com/photoeffects.htm
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
I'd like to add one more trick about bottles for your arsenal. Sometimes, bottles are *too* clear, so, in order to make their contents and fronts more visible, and control contrast, you can cut out a piece of paper or diffusion gel in the rough outline of the bottle, and adhere that to the back side, then light from behind and/or in front.
I get reminded of this trick daily, since I have a Lava Lamp in my edit bay, and I've covered the rear half of the glass portion with some white paper, to make the red "lava" REALLY "pop". Without it, the globs get lost in whatever is behind the lamp, if it isn't a flat, diffuse white or gray wall.