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  1. #1
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    Default Skin reflections - any tips please?

    Hi,

    I hope I am posting this question in the right section.

    After having a photo printing kiosk installed in my shop I need to take some Passport and ID photo’s.
    A very simple setup in a very limited space. My problem is reflections on dark skin.
    Anybody with any experience of this kind of thing with any tip to avoid getting reflections on skin?

    Please?
    Photography is like Golf: the lower my handicap the more I realise how bad I am playing but it does not stop me from aiming for a hole in one – maybe one day!

  2. #2
    Frequent Member Dave_'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Skin reflections - any tips please?

    I can suggest using a black flag, i.e. an obstacle on either side of the face, this should absorb stray light causing the reflections.

    If you are not sure what I mean about "flag", try read up here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flag_%28lighting%29
    The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity. - Ellen Parr

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Skin reflections - any tips please?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave_ View Post
    I can suggest using a black flag, i.e. an obstacle on either side of the face, this should absorb stray light causing the reflections.

    If you are not sure what I mean about "flag", try read up here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flag_%28lighting%29
    Hi Dave.

    Thanks for the advice. The problem is not to absorb stray light causing reflections it is a matter of direct and indirect lighting reflecting on skin.

    Seems to me the only solution would be to use makeup. Not practical at all.
    Photography is like Golf: the lower my handicap the more I realise how bad I am playing but it does not stop me from aiming for a hole in one – maybe one day!

  4. #4
    Frequent Member Dave_'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Skin reflections - any tips please?

    Understood, but the use of a black "flag" can often absorb even this. Especially if placed close to the subject. You could alternatively create a "diffusion box" that your subject can just stand under. This would soften the light.

    This could be simple wax paper, or you could buy some diffusion type paper. Even a 5.1 reflector, using the diffusion part, set up on a reflector holder.

    There are a number of solutions you could use other than resorting to makeup.
    The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity. - Ellen Parr

  5. #5
    Frequent Member Karin Leibbrandt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Skin reflections - any tips please?

    I actually experimented with the light effects on black skin, it is quite difficult to get right. I resorted to buying strip lights (around R100 each from the light shop next to ODP), to use as light source, and then bouncing the flash off the white ceiling, obviously not directly into the person's face.

    Though these lights look like a single fluorescent tube light connected to a plug, it actually is filled with LED's. They work very well indeed for soft lighting under any circumstances.



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    Frequent Member Deneys's Avatar
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    Default Re: Skin reflections - any tips please?

    Hi Karin,

    Got any images from those experiments . I would love to see the results. Just a question or two .... how did u balance the w.b between the flash and the l.e.d light strips? Can u draw up u light setup of where u placed the light strips? Not that it matters as it is a I.D photo.

  7. #7
    Frequent Member Karin Leibbrandt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Skin reflections - any tips please?

    Dennis, I deleted all the images as I realised too late that the girl was wearing a Hello Kitty t-shirt and I could not use any of it for stock.
    I remember playing around with the WB settings, but I don't remember where it was best. To be honest, generally when I use a combination light source, I have found that WB set to about 7000 (or "shade") works ok.
    I hung the strips on washing racks either side of the girl's face at more or less 45 degrees from the face, and the flash is bounced about 75 degrees off the ceiling (which is quite low).
    Hope this helps.



    Those who danced were thought to be quite mad by those who could not hear the music -

    Angela Monet

    (Comments on images reflect personal opinion on creativity, visual impact and beauty.
    Technical aspects are not commented on whatsoever.)





  8. #8
    Frequent Member Peter Connan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Skin reflections - any tips please?

    Andre, have you tried a polarizing filter? Got this tip from an old school photographer (who also happens to be my father) who had to handle vastly differing skin tones with the same setup and in very rapid succession.

  9. #9
    Frequent Member Deneys's Avatar
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    Default Re: Skin reflections - any tips please?

    It's a pity u got rid of the images Karin. I battle with dark skins as well... worst is when I have a dark skinned person and a light skinned person in the same image but that's a whole new ball game.

  10. #10
    Frequent Member Dave_'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Skin reflections - any tips please?

    Try a very dark skinned person, wearing a white suit next to a lighter skinned bride, wearing a white dress, sitting on white "throne" chairs in a clear roofed pavilion in 12:00 sun...
    The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity. - Ellen Parr

  11. #11
    Frequent Member Karin Leibbrandt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Skin reflections - any tips please?

    I saw a demo on youtube that said that there is no difference, however that was not my experience at all.

    Deneys, this is might sound stupid, (as I often do, I guess!): After a throw-away comment on the radio the other morning I have decided to, where possible, ask dark-skinned people whether they have used any Vaseline or glycerine that morning...

    I will nevertheless at some point quickly re-do that set-up and call the neighbour's lady to quickly come stand for me.

    Andre, that sounds like a very good idea and I actually suddenly realise that I DID do some work on a black person using a polarising filter when we did the rim lighting project in the Beginners Forum. I just don't remember what post processing I did.



    Those who danced were thought to be quite mad by those who could not hear the music -

    Angela Monet

    (Comments on images reflect personal opinion on creativity, visual impact and beauty.
    Technical aspects are not commented on whatsoever.)





  12. #12
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    Default Re: Skin reflections - any tips please?

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Connan View Post
    Andre, have you tried a polarizing filter? Got this tip from an old school photographer (who also happens to be my father) who had to handle vastly differing skin tones with the same setup and in very rapid succession.
    No Peter, I have not even thought of it! If it can reduce reflections in glass it should remove reflections from dark skin.

    Thank you Mr. Connan!
    Photography is like Golf: the lower my handicap the more I realise how bad I am playing but it does not stop me from aiming for a hole in one – maybe one day!

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Skin reflections - any tips please?

    Quote Originally Posted by Karin Leibbrandt View Post
    ask dark-skinned people whether they have used any Vaseline or glycerine that morning...
    That is the problem! Vasaline.

    I think Peter has the solution to the problem.
    Photography is like Golf: the lower my handicap the more I realise how bad I am playing but it does not stop me from aiming for a hole in one – maybe one day!

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Skin reflections - any tips please?

    Thank you all,
    I think this problem is about to be solved. Will do some tests and report back.
    Photography is like Golf: the lower my handicap the more I realise how bad I am playing but it does not stop me from aiming for a hole in one – maybe one day!

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