Friday, February 19, 2016

Those Darned Shinny Surfaces!

From jewelry to water filters(?) Package and product designers love to use clean polished surfaces to give the product an up-scale appeal and it works for the most part. Hey,lets face it, we love the shinny. It's amazing how human vision can cloud the details of what we really see for what we want to perceive. 
In a store we see the chrome cap on that bottle of cologne as a shinny silver embellishment. We seem to ignore the fact that that little piece of silver is mirroring back all the objects in the area. From the sales person to all the fixtures and lighting are reflected in this little mirror. Our eyes see this visual "noise" and our brains filter it out as extra information we don't need. Examine a photograph of that bottle taken in the same place and distance, suddenly we see all the little reflections and imperfections. Our eyes are drawn to them as a moth to a bright light. When we examine a photo our full attention is focused on the item without any other distractions. Our brain shifts gears and we begin to focus on the details of the product. 
As a product photographer it's my job to photograph that shinny without any distracting reflections and still show a shinny surface without the use of software fixes which tend look faked. I have spent years learning and experimenting with the shinny enough to know that each item presents it's own set of problems and solutions. Here is an example of a shinny object that, while not being a mirror, still reflects all that is around it.
A big shinny cylinder!

Keeping some of the unevenness in the reflections helps to define the objects shape and how smooth the surface.
Having trouble with your "shinny"? I can take out the stress of the shinny. Give me a call.