Reflective subjects

Reflective surfaces such as glass or shiny metal need special lighting care; otherwise, shadowy reflections of the camera will confuse detail. Sometimes you can help matters by shooting from further away, using a longer focal length lens on an extension tube. This way, the camera can be far enough back to be a small, unsharp, almost invisible reflection (see Figure 21.12). A large sheet of tracing paper used close to your subject is the best way of controlling reflection. Angle the camera so that the tracing paper surface (through which all the lighting passed) is shown as an even white reflection off the reflective surface.

Some close-up shots stretch depth of field to its limits. For instance, with extreme close-ups of a face it can be almost impossible to get nose, eyes and ears all sharp. For the biggest depth of field possible, set the lens to the smallest aperture (f22 or f32) and, with the depth of field preview button pushed, examine the dim image as you move the camera fractionally backwards and forwards; all the important elements in your picture are just within the depth-of-field boundaries (see Figure 21.13).

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