Polarizing Filter for Studio Light/Flash Units

Started 2 months ago | Discussions thread
Sailor Blue
Sailor Blue Forum Pro • Posts: 14,731
Re: Polarizing Filter for Studio Light/Flash Units

The first thing you should do is buy and read a copy of this book. Get the hard back or paper back book, not an ebook, so it will be easy to flip around in the book.

Amazon.com - Light Science & Magic: An Introduction to Photographic Lighting: 5th Edition - Fil Hunter, Steven Biver, Paul Fuqua

The usual lighting setup for art works like paintings is two diffused lights with sheets of polarizing gel filters outside the softbox. The lights are located central to and to each side of the painting at about 45° angles to the painting. The idea is to get good even lighting coming from an angle where most of the light will reflect away from the camera - the angle of reflection equals the angle of incidence.

With 3D surfaces such as pallet knife paintings you may need to try different angles to get the least amount of reflections. If you want to get rid of every specular highlight you might even need to take multiple exposures and combine them with HDR or Luminosity Masking.  Don't forget that you might want to leave a few specular highlights to give life to the painting.

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