From the “How did you do that?” category
In my previous blog entry, I discussed using a digital camera as a magnifier or microscope. I happened to use the occasion of searching for an IPod’s serial number as my real-world example. The mild surprise was that most readers wanted to know about the photo of the IPod rather than more details on the magnification technique.
- Did I put my face in the shiny IPod’s reflective surface on purpose?
- Did I add it with an image editing package like Adobe Photoshop or Corel PhotoPaint?
- If I did it on purpose and didn’t add it in post production, how many exposures did it take to get my face placed correctly in the reflection?
The answers to these questions are, respectively, yes, no, and one.
The easy way to put your reflection into a shiny object is to actually shoot the image with the reflection already there. It makes the job so much easier. Adding reflections in post production is time consuming and difficult. Think of the etched writing, the scratches, the shape, the perspective, the existing reflection and then imagine working around those difficulties. It is much easier to shoot the reflection than create its illusion.
“So, Rikk, how did you get that reflection right with only one take?”
Easy. When you want to shoot your reflection in an object, look directly at the object. If you can see the reflection of the camera lens staring straight back at you, then the lens has you directly in its sights. The mistake most people make when attempting a shot like this is trying to see their reflection in the object during capture. Trial and error gets them to the point where they can see themselves but it takes a more than a few attempts.
The closer the camera is to your face, the less important this concept becomes. Conversely, if you are at an extreme angle, using the camera’s reflection as your sighting mechanism becomes critical. The angle created in the diagram above is about 90°. The actual photo was taken with an angle of approximately 60°.
Remember: When shooting your reflection, look for the camera-not your own mug. Now go out and find your way to include yourself in something shiny!
Rikk Flohr © 2009