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Old Nov 20, 2011, 3:38 PM   #1
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Default Dark Side - black on black

This topic attracted me when it was first brought up, but I seem to be really struggling with it. It could be because I've got a cold that's affecting my enthusiasm for anything but it's not entirely that - I just don't think I have a feel for this at all at the moment.

Here are two attempts. The first one taught me something - if you have a black background that's really shiny (my black glass-top stove), it will reflect the light around it and not look black. While the picture looks better when converted to b&w, I'm going to post the color version here, just to prove that the original subject is black, even if the stove-top doesn't look it.

Also shot this morning - another black subject (RRS QR plate) against a black background (Kata 3N1-30 bag).

I think I'll try something low-key, maybe after I clean off the satellite dish - it's filling up with snow again. Too bad the topic isn't high key, I could take lots of mostly white pictures this afternoon!
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Old Nov 21, 2011, 12:26 PM   #2
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I really like the first shot! Nicely done.

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Old Nov 21, 2011, 12:49 PM   #3
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I like #1 a lot, too. You also have a very clean stove...

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Old Nov 21, 2011, 5:34 PM   #4
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The trick to eliminating ambient light from reflecting on shiny surfaces is to eliminate the ambient light. This means shooting in a totally darkened room. Unless the room has shades or drapes that totally block all light, this can only be accomplished at night.

In the case of your first image, you could also reduce the exposure by an f-stop or two and focus a small, narrow beamed light on your subject. One of those common LED flashlights you can find everywhere for a couple dollars would work great. The trick is to not have the light fall on the background. This is very tricky but if you looked at some of the photos shown in the links in the challenge description, that is what has been done.

Just some thoughts on technique.

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Old Nov 21, 2011, 9:32 PM   #5
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Before I bought a glass top stove I researched them. Those who loved them all said that you needed to make sure you kept up with spills etc. It's very simple to wipe it off after every use and use a bit of cleaner on it every day. Much easier than trying to keep a stove with coil burners clean.

After I took these pictures I tried to use an off-camera flash for directed light, but it took me too long to figure out that I hadn't changed the camera to have the on-board flash as a controller only. By that time I also realized that my flash, even dialed down, was going to be too strong and I gave up, not wanting to spend the time and effort to devise some sort of snoot. I really need to buy a small LED flashlight!
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Old Nov 22, 2011, 7:07 AM   #6
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Love the first shot. We have a Glass top stove and would not trade it for anything!!
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