Lighting a Polished Stainless 1/2 tube without reflections???

Started Jun 2, 2011 | Discussions thread
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Randy Colwell Regular Member • Posts: 300
Lighting a Polished Stainless 1/2 tube without reflections???

I was asked to photograph a part for a friend who works in the same field as I do. I work in the Stainless Industry and I photograph stainless all the time but I came across a lighting situation which I consider to be near impossible considering my camera had to be directly above the area to be photographed.

The challenge was to photograph multiple pieces of tubing that were cut in half. The catch was I needed to catch the detail on the individual welds, including colors and detail. Which I did fine. However, the issue was lighting the tube to produce absolutely no reflections. The reflections I am referring to are the horizontal bands running through the photo. The orange bands that run vertically are what my friend was trying to show as poor weld discoloration to acceptable discoloration. I had a total of (20) photos in all.

This lighting setup was my first attempt. It went pretty well but I still got reflections in the tubing. So, I switched today to a completely tented setup (not shown) with my camera shooting directly above the part. The results were not as good as this and I did not photograph the setup.

I sent the parts back to him today and they found a “jewelry photographer” who said they could do it. I figure with heavy Photoshop anything is possible but man this one really stumped me.

Below are my results. One style of the tubing was a near mirror finish, the other was polished tubing.

Is this even possible, and has anyone on here had any luck with this? The results I got really had the reflections in the tubing. I honestly don't believe it's possible to light this tubing and photograph it without having a reflection.

Thanks in advance.

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Nikon D800
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