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lighting for taking photos of polished rock

 
 
James
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      12-02-2005
Hi,

what type of light can I use that will allow me to take photos of polished
rock. the surface of which is quite reflective. the stones will very in
size from 12x6 to 40x40 inches and around 3 inches thick. my biggest
problem is that I can't reposition the lights/tent/camera for each shot as I
will be doing very many shots all the time (I.e. production line). the
stones are often super heavy and can only be laid down flat on a skateboard
type roller. right now I roll them into a photo both that is one size and
bounce my lights off of the white walls which then give indirect light to my
stone. but the problem is since the stones very in size the light has hot
spots on some of the different size stones.

Should I get one big huge light with a giant light diffuser box around it?
any problems with doing that? what about shadows etc.. what about getting
two huge lights with light diffusers. hot spots?


 
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Joseph Meehan
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      12-02-2005
James wrote:
> Hi,
>
> what type of light can I use that will allow me to take photos of
> polished rock. the surface of which is quite reflective. the stones
> will very in size from 12x6 to 40x40 inches and around 3 inches
> thick. my biggest problem is that I can't reposition the
> lights/tent/camera for each shot as I will be doing very many shots
> all the time (I.e. production line). the stones are often super heavy
> and can only be laid down flat on a skateboard type roller. right now
> I roll them into a photo both that is one size and bounce my lights
> off of the white walls which then give indirect light to my stone.
> but the problem is since the stones very in size the light has hot
> spots on some of the different size stones.
> Should I get one big huge light with a giant light diffuser box
> around it? any problems with doing that? what about shadows etc..
> what about getting two huge lights with light diffusers. hot spots?


Without knowing what you want as results, I can only suggest two ideas
that may help or may be worthless.

1. Polarize the light sources and the lens.

2. Spraying a little water on the rocks can create quite a different
effect.

If either works great, if not, I am out of ideas for now.

--
Joseph Meehan

Dia duit


 
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James
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Posts: n/a
 
      12-02-2005
the result should have no hot spots or glare. the stone is like a plaque and
is one flat peice. do you know of a liting figure that would work for my
needs that doesn't need to be repositioned depedning on the size of the
stone? since we take a lot of photos i don't want to have to adjust the
lights or the tent or reflective materail each time. if i polierize the
light, does that mean i would put a polerized lens on the camera? would
there still be hotspots? can you recommend any lighting equipment that would
work for this project?



"Joseph Meehan" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:ZV1kf.135559$(E-Mail Removed) ...
> James wrote:
>> Hi,
>>
>> what type of light can I use that will allow me to take photos of
>> polished rock. the surface of which is quite reflective. the stones
>> will very in size from 12x6 to 40x40 inches and around 3 inches
>> thick. my biggest problem is that I can't reposition the
>> lights/tent/camera for each shot as I will be doing very many shots
>> all the time (I.e. production line). the stones are often super heavy
>> and can only be laid down flat on a skateboard type roller. right now
>> I roll them into a photo both that is one size and bounce my lights
>> off of the white walls which then give indirect light to my stone.
>> but the problem is since the stones very in size the light has hot
>> spots on some of the different size stones.
>> Should I get one big huge light with a giant light diffuser box
>> around it? any problems with doing that? what about shadows etc..
>> what about getting two huge lights with light diffusers. hot spots?

>
> Without knowing what you want as results, I can only suggest two ideas
> that may help or may be worthless.
>
> 1. Polarize the light sources and the lens.
>
> 2. Spraying a little water on the rocks can create quite a different
> effect.
>
> If either works great, if not, I am out of ideas for now.
>
> --
> Joseph Meehan
>
> Dia duit
>



 
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Fred Williams
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Posts: n/a
 
      12-02-2005
I don't usually top post. but I'll follow your lead in that.
You've got the idea with diffuse light. You need to spead it out
as much as possible, without using an angle that reflects off the
stone into your lens. Do you have to shoot at 90 degrees to the
polished surface? If you can angle it a bit, you can place a
black matte opposite to absorb the light and prevent a reflection.
You have different sized stones, but they all lay flat, right?
Diffuse side lighting and light from the general area of the
camera lens, (under the camera), shouldn't reflect if you can drop
the angle enough. In fact the light need not be terribly diffuse
as long as the reflections are going in another direction and not
back into the lens. Hmmmm. you might even be better off with
non-diffuse light from the sides, and black, light absorbing
material everywhere else.
If you need to be at 90 degrees to the surface, lights can be
arranged at a shallow angle so the reflections skip off to the
sides and don't reach the lens. They can be directed right at the
stone in that case and you have no diffuse lighting and
reflections are absorbed in a "black room" environment. Yeah, I
think that would be best.

On $DATE , James wrote:

> the result should have no hot spots or glare. the stone is like a
> plaque and
> is one flat peice. do you know of a liting figure that would
> work for my needs that doesn't need to be repositioned depedning
> on the size of the stone? since we take a lot of photos i don't
> want to have to adjust the lights or the tent or reflective
> materail each time. if i polierize the light, does that mean i
> would put a polerized lens on the camera? would there still be
> hotspots? can you recommend any lighting equipment that would
> work for this project?
>
>
>
> "Joseph Meehan" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
> news:ZV1kf.135559$(E-Mail Removed) ...
>> James wrote:
>>> Hi,
>>>
>>> what type of light can I use that will allow me to take photos
>>> of
>>> polished rock. the surface of which is quite reflective. the
>>> stones will very in size from 12x6 to 40x40 inches and around 3
>>> inches
>>> thick. my biggest problem is that I can't reposition the
>>> lights/tent/camera for each shot as I will be doing very many
>>> shots all the time (I.e. production line). the stones are often
>>> super heavy and can only be laid down flat on a skateboard type
>>> roller. right now I roll them into a photo both that is one
>>> size and bounce my lights off of the white walls which then
>>> give indirect light to my stone. but the problem is since the
>>> stones very in size the light has hot spots on some of the
>>> different size stones. Should I get one big huge light with a
>>> giant light diffuser box around it? any problems with doing
>>> that? what about shadows etc.. what about getting two huge
>>> lights with light diffusers. hot spots?

>>
>> Without knowing what you want as results, I can only suggest
>> two ideas
>> that may help or may be worthless.
>>
>> 1. Polarize the light sources and the lens.
>>
>> 2. Spraying a little water on the rocks can create quite a
>> different
>> effect.
>>
>> If either works great, if not, I am out of ideas for now.
>>
>> --
>> Joseph Meehan
>>
>> Dia duit
>>


--
Regards,
Fred.
(Please remove FFFf from my email address to reply, if by email)
 
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m Ransley
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Posts: n/a
 
      12-02-2005
A polariser on the lens should do for reflections.

 
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James
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      12-03-2005
my camera needs to be directly above the stone. i have tried putting lights
with no defusers on each side of the stone and "skiping" the light off it.
but that creates really big hot spots. is there a type of light fixture and
bulb you would recomend that won't do this? i have also tried using defusers
but they barly make any light show up on the stone at all. im using this
type of light, i have two of these:
http://cool-lux.com/Merchant2/mercha...ry_Code=DHMCKL
and i tried using little white defusers for them. is it that this just isn't
powerful enough for the size of my stone? on avg the stone is 30x15 inches.




"Fred Williams" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:z75kf.133157$(E-Mail Removed)...
> I don't usually top post. but I'll follow your lead in that.
> You've got the idea with diffuse light. You need to spead it out
> as much as possible, without using an angle that reflects off the
> stone into your lens. Do you have to shoot at 90 degrees to the
> polished surface? If you can angle it a bit, you can place a
> black matte opposite to absorb the light and prevent a reflection.
> You have different sized stones, but they all lay flat, right?
> Diffuse side lighting and light from the general area of the
> camera lens, (under the camera), shouldn't reflect if you can drop
> the angle enough. In fact the light need not be terribly diffuse
> as long as the reflections are going in another direction and not
> back into the lens. Hmmmm. you might even be better off with
> non-diffuse light from the sides, and black, light absorbing
> material everywhere else.
> If you need to be at 90 degrees to the surface, lights can be
> arranged at a shallow angle so the reflections skip off to the
> sides and don't reach the lens. They can be directed right at the
> stone in that case and you have no diffuse lighting and
> reflections are absorbed in a "black room" environment. Yeah, I
> think that would be best.
>
> On $DATE , James wrote:
>
>> the result should have no hot spots or glare. the stone is like a
>> plaque and
>> is one flat peice. do you know of a liting figure that would
>> work for my needs that doesn't need to be repositioned depedning
>> on the size of the stone? since we take a lot of photos i don't
>> want to have to adjust the lights or the tent or reflective
>> materail each time. if i polierize the light, does that mean i
>> would put a polerized lens on the camera? would there still be
>> hotspots? can you recommend any lighting equipment that would
>> work for this project?
>>
>>
>>
>> "Joseph Meehan" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
>> news:ZV1kf.135559$(E-Mail Removed) ...
>>> James wrote:
>>>> Hi,
>>>>
>>>> what type of light can I use that will allow me to take photos
>>>> of
>>>> polished rock. the surface of which is quite reflective. the
>>>> stones will very in size from 12x6 to 40x40 inches and around 3
>>>> inches
>>>> thick. my biggest problem is that I can't reposition the
>>>> lights/tent/camera for each shot as I will be doing very many
>>>> shots all the time (I.e. production line). the stones are often
>>>> super heavy and can only be laid down flat on a skateboard type
>>>> roller. right now I roll them into a photo both that is one
>>>> size and bounce my lights off of the white walls which then
>>>> give indirect light to my stone. but the problem is since the
>>>> stones very in size the light has hot spots on some of the
>>>> different size stones. Should I get one big huge light with a
>>>> giant light diffuser box around it? any problems with doing
>>>> that? what about shadows etc.. what about getting two huge
>>>> lights with light diffusers. hot spots?
>>>
>>> Without knowing what you want as results, I can only suggest
>>> two ideas
>>> that may help or may be worthless.
>>>
>>> 1. Polarize the light sources and the lens.
>>>
>>> 2. Spraying a little water on the rocks can create quite a
>>> different
>>> effect.
>>>
>>> If either works great, if not, I am out of ideas for now.
>>>
>>> --
>>> Joseph Meehan
>>>
>>> Dia duit
>>>

>
> --
> Regards,
> Fred.
> (Please remove FFFf from my email address to reply, if by email)



 
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Fred McKenzie
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      12-03-2005
In article <iK1kf.3428$H84.1399@trnddc04>, "James"
<(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

> Should I get one big huge light with a giant light diffuser box around it?
> any problems with doing that? what about shadows etc.. what about getting
> two huge lights with light diffusers. hot spots?


James-

Are you familiar with the "Blimp" light diffuser? It is like a
translucent bag that goes over your flash, spreading its light over the
inside of the bag.

I don't have any references, but they are commercially available. They
may not be best for your application, but others have found them useful
for difficult lighting situations.

Fred
 
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Deedee Tee
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      12-03-2005
On Sat, 03 Dec 2005 00:08:28 GMT, "James"
<(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

>my camera needs to be directly above the stone. i have tried putting lights
>with no defusers on each side of the stone and "skiping" the light off it.
>but that creates really big hot spots. is there a type of light fixture and
>bulb you would recomend that won't do this? i have also tried using defusers
>but they barly make any light show up on the stone at all. im using this
>type of light, i have two of these:
>http://cool-lux.com/Merchant2/mercha...ry_Code=DHMCKL
>and i tried using little white defusers for them. is it that this just isn't
>powerful enough for the size of my stone? on avg the stone is 30x15 inches.


Place one light on each side of the largest slab you must photograph,
so that no reflection from the lights shows in the picture. Use black
curtains around the setup to cancel any unwanted environment
reflections. If you have uneven illumination on the slab, move the
light sources higher up and further away sideways from the slab. This
is the only thing you can do within your constraints. You need to
place the lights at a distance from the slab of at least 4-5 times the
width of the slab. Once you have a setup that works for the largest
slab, you can photograph all the others by changing the camera height
above the slab or the camera lense. I assume you are using a studio
stand or repro stand, but if you are using a normal tripod you should
add a horizontal arm to move the camera out and directly above the
slabs.

Usually there are fine scratches on the surface of polished rock, and
probably these are better controlled with point sources of light
(i.e., no diffusers). A point source of light may also add interesting
sparkle from mineral crystals in the rock.
 
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