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Shooting Sawblades - best lighting advice

angej 14 479 United Kingdom
14 Nov 2017 1:47PM
Hi Guys,
Wondering if you can helpSmile I need to shoot some steel saw blades and wondered what you would advise in terms of lighting. As the sawblades are highly reflective I was wondering as to what the best flash set up would be and what type of flash unit would be best?

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saltireblue Plus
8 8.7k 34 Norway
14 Nov 2017 3:47PM
It all depends on what effect you want the finished image to show, or in the case of product photography for a client, how they want their product portrayed.
No matter which, I would have thought continual lighting would have been easier to set up and manage than flash.
angej 14 479 United Kingdom
14 Nov 2017 4:00PM
What do you mean by 'continual lighting' and what set up would I need?
ChrisV Plus
12 2.3k 26 United Kingdom
14 Nov 2017 4:10PM
Continuous lights are more often used for video, but these days people also use them for stills work. Mostly they tend to be based around low-energy LED bulbs with a daylight white balance which run relatively cool. You can buy them in kits and mostly they're packaged with soft-boxes to diffuse the light. They're incredibly easy to use because you can meter and shoot on auto. There are also LED panels available which are much more compact, but they tend to be more expensive and also relatively low-powered.

Have a search on Amazon or eBay and you'll find a kit which may suit your needs. They won't have the same sort of peak output as strobes, but there always has to be some compromise and a good reason why studio flash is still a better choice for high and and more demanding stills shooting.
justin c 15 5.0k 36 England
14 Nov 2017 4:20PM
What about using natural daylight, combined with reflectors and/or diffusers, if needed.
Philh04 Plus
13 2.0k United Kingdom
14 Nov 2017 5:43PM
Highly reflective, you probably need to be concerned about what will be reflected....

What sort of background are you planning to use?

What sort of image are you after? Close up detail, one blade on its own, or several in the same image?

All will need a different lighting scenario.

As a start for a simple product shot, one soft box above and slightly behind using reflectors to bounce light in, which need to be carefully placed, along with black 'reflectors to add shape and form.
keithh 15 25.4k 33 Wallis And Futuna
15 Nov 2017 7:35AM
Phils correct. With reflective surfaces, the trick is always to bounce the light in via a diffuser and bounce surface. Never point them directly at the subject, no matter how diffused the light is.
angej 14 479 United Kingdom
15 Nov 2017 8:58AM
Many thanks for your advice guysSmile
I'm planning on using a simple white background and the shots will be varied, ie one sawblade on it's own as well as various group shots
Philh04 Plus
13 2.0k United Kingdom
15 Nov 2017 9:54AM
One soft light, as stated not directly at your subject, lots of white and black card and a pair of scissors, a black flag can be just a thin piece to pick out the edge, use the reflectors and black flags to give your subject shape and form whilst still maintaining the nature of the material.
AlexE 1 129 United Kingdom
15 Nov 2017 5:52PM
Post up the finished items, I'm interested to see how you get on (and steal your ideas!)Tongue

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