View Full Version : Any metal pen photography tips?

April 5th, 2014, 09:42 AM
This is something I keep meaning to ask, then keep forgetting. I find it dashed difficult to photograph metal pens. They always come out with crap focus, glare, and so on. Any tips?

April 5th, 2014, 09:49 AM
Indirect lighting is best.

April 5th, 2014, 10:58 AM
What Ivan says. Lightbox or a very overcast day would both give you a fighting chance.

April 5th, 2014, 09:51 PM
I made a light box from an old cardboard box to get that soft light.
I can recommend making some light struts out of cardboard as well, though. That way the box will last longer. ;)
I used sewing pattern paper for the top and sides to diffuse the light, then I bought two cheap work lamps and used a halogen office lamp as overhead light.
Added some coloured cardboard as background, held in place with a clamp thingy, and I was good to go.




http://i557.photobucket.com/albums/ss15/Galland_2009/1236439_10151875874879210_1460435801_n_zps8c546c35 .jpg



I used my Nikon D3200, a 40 mm Nikkor macro lens, tiny pieces of putty eraser strategically placed to hold the pens in place so that they won't roll or move, a soft cloth to remove fingerprints on the blank surfaces of the pens, a rubber bulb blower to get rid of the last dust specks on the pens (- and trust me, you will get really tired of cloning away dust specks if you don't remove them before photographing, so getting rid of the dust before photographing can be recommended! ;) ), and GIMP, Picasa and Cyberlink Photo Director for resizing and working with the photos afterwards.
Picasa for quick/fast uploads, GIMP for resizing and better uploads, and Cyberlink Photo Director for really going all-out photo geek on the best photos.
That's my soft box on a budget.

April 6th, 2014, 12:02 AM
I don't even use a softbox. Too much fiddling around. I just point my flashes at the ceiling and crank them up to 11. The previous posters were correct, indirect lighting is crucial for shiny objects.










April 6th, 2014, 04:32 AM
Try using a CPL filter to reduce tricky reflections. If you have a dslr then the ;ens has a filter size and just screws in. If not then you could just tape a big one on.

Hoya are a great brand:


April 6th, 2014, 07:02 AM
Thanks everyone, tremendously helpful!

May 20th, 2014, 11:42 PM
The photos you have posted is really awesome. I really appreciate the person who took this photo because its that attractive

May 26th, 2014, 05:00 PM
A Polarizer is a must for any shiny/metal shooting especially with Jewelry. Also helpful on any reflective types of surfaces such as Marble or a Mirror.
(Circular Polarizer or CPL if you rely on autofocus, otherwise a Linear Polarizer which is cheaper will work just the same, you rotate it to control the reflections, which can also darken surfaces with a sheen).

At a minimum I am ussually shooting with a strobe off to my left shoulder with a 32" softbox umbrella attached (usually at 1/8th or 1/4th power on the photogenci powerlight 750) and the camera is typically set at 1/200th @ f/8 (may need to be opened up some when dealing with macro work), which I'll either be using the Sigma 60/2.8 DN-A or Tamron 90/2.8 1:1 Macro (manual focus lens from about 40 years ago fitted with an adapter) on my Olympus E-P3

:P oh and a Tripod is a must (or very strongly recommended).





You can to some extent achieve the same with a shoe-mount flash bounced off a white ceiling for dispersed light:


May 27th, 2014, 07:00 PM
There are some great tutorials on Youtube about product photography specifically of shiny metal objects and how the light bounces and such.