We are going to show you how to light metal while shooting video and photos. So we are using the example of this teapot as our first object to light. It’s interesting you see around the teapot. Metal doesn’t like a light shined directly at it, it reflects a harsh heavy light. We have our model with us today, Hailey West (@haileymichelewest) that is going to help us out.
How to Light Metal
So what’s lighting the teapot? This V-Flat board is reflecting light from a light source and bouncing it directly back onto the pot. A V-Flat is a foldable foam core board that is taped together to stand upright. These are from V-Flat World and one side is white and the other side is black.
You can control the amount of light that is reflected on the teapot by simply moving it around. In order to light this teapot perfectly, you would have to surround it with a 360 whiteboard so it can reflect light in all directions. We are just using it to demonstrate the principles of how light reflects on metal.
Lighting an Object
For our photo shoot today we are going to be lighting a…BB gun!
So the first thing we are going to do is take off the directional light that is shining directly onto the gun because it’s too harsh and it’s not the mood we are going for today.
Because we took off the light on the gun we need to find a replacement light source. I want to reflect light onto the gun, so it softens the intensity. The easiest way to do this is to test the angle with a mirror.
So if I turn this card in to reflect this light we have set up, then it shines beautifully onto the gun without being overpowering. The key to remember is that metal wants a reflection of a white surface, not a direct light. An alternative to the V-flat is a softbox.
Metal is lit from the angle of incidence. The angle of incidence is around 45 degrees from the gun. It’s not from the top of the gun but rather from the side. So now that we’ve discussed which lights to best light the gun, let’s light our whole scene.
We are using a rim light from behind to just highlight the back of her head and the smoke behind her. I’ve got a full blue gel on the light that’s on her left side facing a V-Flat. The light is from the floor so it’s glowing upward to fill in her face.
Our last light is the one for the gun. So we shined an Aputure 300D in a V-Flat and this helps to highlight the metal and doesn’t shine more light onto her face.
Check out our final edited image. Edited with Luminar 3 using Mystic Land preset.
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