Watch The Bathroom and Kitchens For The Worst Reflections
Property Photography Reflections
One problem that you will come across at some point is light reflecting from the shiny surfaces in the house from the studio lights or flash. The trick is to position the camera, lights and yourself so that nothing is visible in the final image.
Sometimes it is inevitable that you will get some reflections showing, but these are easily removed in Photoshop later on.
So, how do we deal with this?
Obviously, if you are shooting with natural light, there is not a problem unless you are using a reflector. A quick look through the viewfinder should ensure that it isn’t in view. If it is, simply move it until it has vanished although check to make sure it is still having the same effect.
When you have two huge studio lights with large, white umbrellas, it can be that much more difficult to “hide” them. I have, on more than one occasion, photographed rooms with nothing but windows…quite a challenge to get it right.
Bathrooms are generally the most difficult. You may have many mirrors around, marble walls and floors, chrome fittings and large windows, the light is just going to bounce everywhere and somehow make it back to your viewfinder. I will explain the best way to deal with this in the “individual” section.
When you are setting up the shot, make sure that the lights are switched on and in “modelling mode”. This will enable you to see any reflections before you shoot. Take a shot and replay and zoom in (using the cameras rear preview screen) and look all around the image looking for signs.
In the good old days of film, this would have needed a Polaroid image before each actual shot was taken, meaning more expense as these are not cheap.
If you can see the lights;
- Move them out of view so long as you still get the desired lighting effect.
- If you cannot move them and the reflection is in a window, open it to an angle where the light is no longer visible.
- If you cannot open the window, cover the reflection with a curtain or item of furniture.
- Failing that, make a note and remove later in Photoshop.
- Last resort, take one shot with the reflections in and then remove the lights altogether, and take another shot from EXACTLY the same angle and expose correctly. Then later, “clone over” the part where the reflection is using the second image.
The first image below shows where the property photography reflections are, the second shows how they were made and the last shows the image once these reflections have been removed in Photoshop.