How to Deal With Silverware Reflections in Food Photography

Silverware can be really pretty, but it can also be a complete pain in the you know what when it comes time to photograph it. This great video tutorial will give you numerous helpful tips to deal with distracting reflections on silverware. 

Coming to you from The Bite Shot, this helpful video tutorial will show you how to deal with pesky silverware reflections in food photography. Even if you don't shoot food, it's a great lesson in reflected light. The problem is that highly reflective silverware can create undesired highlights in your images that pull the viewer's attention away from the main subject. While things like spatulas and knives can be fixed relatively easily, spoons are particularly troublesome, as their curved surface creates a wide range of angles in which you can expect to see a reflection. There are a few solutions to this problem, including slight repositioning of the silverware and flagging the light, among other interesting methods. It's certainly an annoying issue, but in a genre where the devil is truly in the details, it's important to keep an eye out for it and know how to fix it. Check out the video above for the full rundown. 

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John Dawson's picture

Two words: cross polarization

She mentioned a polarized filter for the lens, but that's just half of the solution. You have to also polarize the light. Just get a polarized sheet (from Amazon) and put it in front of the light (in her case the beauty dish). Then simply adjust the CPL filter on your lens until the reflection magically disappears.

Jen Photographs's picture

Saved us a click!

Tony Clark's picture

I have tried using Polarizers but did not care for the results. I had luck changing the angle of the item or use dulling spray.

imagecolorado's picture

Plastic utensils. That's the ticket.

John Dawson's picture

Ha! 👍🥄

Spy Black's picture

Strangely, the best solution is something I have yet to find commercially available, and that's a diffused white plastic polymer dome. Light tents, whether prefab or move-able diffuse panels, will always have their "skeletons" in the live reflective surfaces, along with the camera hole. That is, at least in most of the production shots I've dealt with.

You think spoons are bad? Try something like a set of chrome teapots together. With a couple of chrome spoons thrown in for decor. Photoshopping the camera hole out is cake, removing tent bracing and maintaining smooth linear surfaces is another thing.