This article is Part 2 of a series on photographing highly reflective black objects, often referred to as “mirror black”. Part 1 can be found here.
In May 2019, the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam hosted 2+3D: Practice and Prophecies, a biennial international conference on 2D and 3D digital photography for museum and cultural heritage professionals. I was invited to lead workshops on lighting techniques for highly reflective black objects. Frans Pegt, a photographer at the Rijksmuseum, and I originally planned to jointly lead these workshops, but Frans was later asked to give workshops on the 360° capture of a masterwork in silver (another very difficult subject). However, The Rijksmuseum generously funded Frans to come to Corning in March of this year for an intensive week in The Corning Museum of Glass photography studios where together we documented lighting solutions for the objects that appear in this post.
Part 1 demonstrated techniques using a photo table with a translucent white acrylic surface that allows for both backlighting and surface lighting.
Part 2 of this series demonstrates similar techniques adapted for an opaque background, as well as more traditional object lighting techniques modified for mirror black glass, and finally some hybrid approaches.Read more →