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How do you photograph chrome objects?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by BRENT in 10-uh-C, Nov 15, 2007.

  1. BRENT in 10-uh-C
    Joined: Apr 14, 2004
    Posts: 502

    BRENT in 10-uh-C

    I am trying to take detailed pictures of chrome hubcaps, bumpers, and etc. and the flash is messin' with the quality of the photo. Is there any tricks on how I can do this with a digial camera where it looks like photos in magazines?


  2. SUHRsc
    Joined: Sep 27, 2005
    Posts: 5,081


    im no expert by any means
    but i think just getting proper lighting otherwise and then turning off the flash seems to work alright for me?

    good luck
  3. I used to do product photography, jewelry mostly. I've hid behind a piece of foamcore with a hole for the lens. Only leaves a tiny black dot if the what you are backed up to is a big, white wall.
  4. raven
    Joined: Aug 19, 2002
    Posts: 4,691


    Think white sheet.
    Use that to 'wrap' the area around the object to be photgraphed.
    Use a strobe or light to light it from the outside of the 'wrap'
    Pin or clip the cloth around your lense to completely encase the object to be shot.
    Vary the intensity of the light for proper exposure.

  5. ANewBeat
    Joined: May 1, 2005
    Posts: 245

    from Floriduh

    Turn the flash off. Indirect lighting is much more appealing. Also, look for your own reflection in the peice, try to keep it to a minimum.
  6. Brad54
    Joined: Apr 15, 2004
    Posts: 6,015

    from Atl Ga

    Is it an SLR (removable lenses) or a point-n-shoot?
    If it's an SLR, I like to set them up on a tripod, no flash, ambiant light, set the aperture for F12 or numerically bigger, let the camera figure out the shutter speed, hit the self timer and then step way out of the picture so my reflection isn't in it.
    If you have a flash you can aim, bounce it off the ceiling if you don't want to mess with the tripod and self timer.
    Otherwise, if it's point-and-shoot, light the whole room well, or put some spotlights/drop cords aimed at the chrome, and turn the flash off.
    OR, you can keep the flash on, but difuse it through something white and semi-transparent.

    Diffusing it through your fingers gives things a neat, red cast to them!
    Joined: Aug 10, 2006
    Posts: 2,259


    Im no expert but I had a truck shot for a mag cover and they dusted the chrome bumpers with hair spray to numb the reflection ??????????????????????????
  8. jcruz
    Joined: Apr 5, 2006
    Posts: 298

    from Austin, Tx

    like this?


    dude...just turn the flash off (there should be an option). as long as lighting is decent any point 'n shoot will figure out the proper exposure.
  9. TagMan
    Joined: Dec 12, 2002
    Posts: 6,210


    "How do you photograph chrome objects? "

    Never naked !! :eek:
  10. kustombypook
    Joined: Oct 12, 2002
    Posts: 683


    Never naked !! :eek:[/QUOTE]

    That's funny, I guess everyone has seen the tea pot.
  11. Chris Casny
    Joined: Mar 13, 2006
    Posts: 4,873

    Chris Casny

    A polarizing filter works pretty good sometimes, depending on the light
  12. Fredo
    Joined: Nov 9, 2007
    Posts: 97

    from So Cal

    Tripod, self timer, f-stop at f-12 or smaller (bigger number) over cast days are best if you can shoot outside. What ever you do stay out of bright sun light. Like Brad said the camera will set the shutter speed.
  13. Spike!
    Joined: Nov 22, 2001
    Posts: 2,733


    I use the same method as the ones above for product photography. I basically have a semless white backdrop that I curl back towards me and cut out a hole for my lens. Gives you a nice effect. Outdoors I would wait for an overcast day and use "God's softbox" for light, A longer focal length will keep you out of the image. Try different angles as well. Most of all...practice.

  14. Spike!
    Joined: Nov 22, 2001
    Posts: 2,733


    As an example, look at the latest Rodder's Journal. I photographed an engine for the Edmunds article for Jay Fitzhugh. It had plenty of chrome parts on it and I did my best to keep reflections to a minimum. I kept the lights (studio strobes) overhead and kept playing with angles uintil I was satisfied with the results. You mention that you want them to be "magazine quality", however magazine photographers are finely tuned image making machines, highly skilled, that get paid incredible amounts of money to produce such images. Ha Ha Ha...just kidding. You can do it.

  15. seventeenseconds
    Joined: Mar 21, 2007
    Posts: 241


    I've always heard that 45 degrees was the rule, but I may be wrong
  16. Spike!
    Joined: Nov 22, 2001
    Posts: 2,733


    45 degrees for flat surfaces and that are highly reflective, like glass for example. Yes, 45 degrees works most times. Curved surfaces, both convex and concave, are more difficult.

  17. plym_46
    Joined: Sep 8, 2005
    Posts: 4,018

    from central NY

    A piece of white adhesive tape over the flash helps difuse the light while killing the shadows from ambient or other lighting. I have one of those halogen shop lamps, I will use this for general lighting, then either shut of the flash or cover it. I just keep the tape stuck to the camera and use it whenever needed. You can also screw around with the way the flash is covered, all of it, top half, bottom half, one side or the other, each will give you a different result in the finished photo.
  18. NO FLASH. 90% of my pics come out way better without flash. If it's too dark to shoot without flash, change the surroundings instead of activating the flash. If you have to use the flash (I don't know why) shoot from an angle so the flash doesn't bounce back into the camera
  19. That's funny, I guess everyone has seen the tea pot.[/quote]

    No, but how about the guy selling his dining room table? Always check your mirrors.
  20. Zombilly
    Joined: Sep 5, 2006
    Posts: 351


    It depends of course on the look you want, even magazines differ to some extent. I think you've been given good advice; not be in the picture, use some sort of diffused lighting, but also think about what you want reflecting in the bumper, etc. I like to have the horizon going across the middle, as well as something dark as to make the chrome look crisp. Blue at the top, black in the middle (letting that gradate down). Anyway thats what recommend.
  21. speedtool
    Joined: Oct 15, 2005
    Posts: 2,540


    Ford used to have a white room to photograph their cars in, so that the chrome would seem "white", not a lot of reflections and flashes.

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