What is the best approch to photographing a mirror or other highly reflective surface?

  • I have been asked by a client to take some product photographs of some vintage mirrors that they would like to sell and I am struggling with getting good clear shots of the mirrors. As such, what is the best way to approach photographing them such the mirror does not appear to be washed out or contain any unwanted reflections?

  • As Rob said, a tilt-shift lens is ideal.

    I talked to a product photographer who specifically mentioned it's use. Basically, you position the camera on a tripod just to the left or right of the mirror so it's out of the reflection. With a normal lens it will be obvious that it's taken at an angle but by using the shift function of the lens you're able to correct the perspective distortion (just like an architectural photographer) so it looks as if the photo was taken head-on.

    This article has an example shot: http://www.popphoto.com/how-to/2011/05/complete-guide-to-tiltshift-photography?page=0,3

    Or if you're not a professional product photographer you can use a regular lens and just crop the photo, it's a heck of a lot cheaper than buying a tilt-shift lens!

    And even without an actual tilt-shift lens, a similar perspective correction can often be performed with tools like Lightroom when the photo was taken with a standard lens.

    To use a regular lens plus crop to mimic the effect of a tilt/shift lens you need to place the product as close to one edge of the field of view as possible so that after you crop the center of your image is well of the optical axis of the lens.

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Content dated before 7/24/2021 11:53 AM