Product tables and reflections

That amazing time of year! The time we all hold our breath and hope the tax man likes us enough to give us enough tax back for what ever it is we want at the time.  For me this was some new equipment and what do you know I was lucky this year. So after a little looking and a lot of planning I had enough to splurge on a new set of lights. In combination with my new product table that had been given to me for an early birthday and Christmas present.

My son has been asking me for a shoot with his skull money box for a while now and I had told him sure, when I get the new table we can. But alas I had miss read the description of my table and it was a non-reflective table. ( a little part of me had dead when I realized) But this could be fixed. A trip to Imageplastics in Padstow NSW set my happily on my way again.

It felt like a lifetime ago that I had been working with a product table and had forgotten something. The first photo I took was lacking the reflection, the second not much better and the third too. What on earth was I doing wrong? I had my light set up under the table and it had a low intensity too but I just could not get a good reflection like I did as a student.


It took a good few minuets to think back long and hard about it until it dawned on me. We were using two lights not one when I was a student. One from the back and one from the bottom. Maybe it was the back light that caused the reflection so clear. Well worth a try if i am to deliver on my promise to my son I thought. So moving the light and keeping an eye on the time for being a mum I worked on my reflection dilemmas. Light had always seemed to fall into place for me so I was to say the least a little flustered at myself for not getting it within the first few shots. Then taking the next shot showed me a miracle. The reflection was much stronger now.


So light manipulation is not just a throw here and laugh a bit. The angle and intensity is so important even for a simple little shot like this flower. I had a reflector underneath the table at one point too but found that the more intense light underneath the table was making the reflection less pronounced so took it away. The light underneath the table works against getting a nice reflection on the table. It’s all about the back light not the under light. This valued realization needs to be stored some place more than just my mind and so I hope now it will help you too.