How to avoid reflections?

Hi all,

This is what I am presently find great fun :slight_smile:
I can handle DOF somewhat, but I would like to avoid the
reflections from the flash…

Yes, there is a diffusor on the flash (pointing straight at
the model) — but I fear that if I diffuse too much, the light
will not become sufficient…?

X-T4, XF50, f/7.1, 1/250th of a sec, flash with diffusor straight on

Suggestions, anyone?

Claes in Lund, Sweden


pol filter

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Hm… Perhaps I should rephrase my question —
from How to remove reflections to How to avoid reflections!

Removing the reflection in post us going to be rough… Lots of careful dodge and burn and cloning is about as good as you’re going to do.

For the capture, @darix is right, polarizer on the flash and on the camera will get rid of the glare. You’ll need to do a bit of fiddling with flash power and exposure to figure out how much light the polarizers eat up.

This is common practice in commercial photography for thingsine watches and jewelry


As a former commercial industrial photographer I would also agree that the solution is based on using a polarizing filter on the camera. I personally never polarize my light source as it was not practical for me, but you could try that. Instead I would place the light source at an angle such as 45 degrees. If the light is coming from the direction of the camera then no polarizer will remove the reflection. This is because polarizers work best when the light is ninety degrees to the direction of the camera (side lit). Sidelight is inappropriate for most subjects, hence my preference for 45 degrees.

With subjects like in the OP I would bounce the flash off a white card and would not expect much refection even if the flash was mounted on the camera. With a diffuser stuck on the front of the flash I would still expect reflection. I am not a huge fan of the diffusers that are supplied for the flash units.


Morning, @Terry, and @paperdigits!

Back in my commercial days, we often smeared vaseline
onto the gadgets to be shot in order to eliminate reflections.

Just for fun: here are short descriptions of two other
methods I’ve used:
First the quickie: DIY home studio
Then the heavier solution: DIY home studio - #4 by Claes

Unfortunately, I do not believe that I can persuade my present
favourite models to undress & jump into a bathtub.

However, perhaps I can erect a smallish light tent in situ out
in the wilderness…?

More play & experiments needed!

Have fun!
Claes in Lund, Sweden

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In my stilllife studio days in very rare cases we would use dulling spray to make hard reflections smoother. We never used a polarizer, anywhere.

It was all about controlling the light and using it to get the effect you want.

We had a huge collection of every kind of diffusing and reflecting materials to shine through or bounce off the lights. The lights rarely had anything else than the standard reflector on them.

For stills … fix the object and the camera for a good shape. Only then start working with the light.
If you use a flash/speedlight without modeling light use a torch/flashlight to test out how your object reacts to different positions. Fix the light. And then start modeling it.

Btw, a lot of controlling the light is actually about controlling the shadows or to be even more precise: the transition from lighter to darker areas.

Gradients are the magic stuff in stilllife photography.

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For macro shots like in the starting post the polarizer might be a much easier option.

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I’d totally do that for you, @Claes :crazy_face:


Thank you, dear!
Much appreciated.
Regarding DOF: if you enter my tub, what do you recommend, f/32?

Have fun!
Claes in Lund, Sweden

Obviously whatever aperture gets the most of my glorious figure in focus!

f/64, then?

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What kind of diffuser did you use?

Hallojsa, @Donatzsky!

For that shot I used the standard diffuser that came
with the flash, a smallish Godox TT350F.

Got any better ideas?

Are you using it on the camera? If yes, try pointing it upwards and sideways - or even backwards - and bounce the light off some white paper. That will increase the relative size of the lightsource compared to the object significantly and should improve your lighting a lot.


That’s not at all the intended use of the plastic-cap diffuser. In this case it would rate somewhere around “better than nothing”, but that’s it.

If it fits your lens, this is excellent (and cheap): 30cm Lens White Softbox Universal Foldable Portable Flash Diffuser Flexible Speedlight Reflective Cover Accessories For Camera|Flash Diffuser| - AliExpress
Beyond that, there are a number of more specialised macro diffusers, such as AK and Pope Shield.

I highly recommend that you check out Micael Widell’s YouTube channel. He focuses on macro photography.

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Thanks for your advice, @Donatzsky & @grubernd!

From today’s play:

No diffuser, flash way off camera.
My old Canon OC-E3 off-camera-flash cord seems to work just as fine with a Fuji X-T4 :-).
I just feel that I could use an extra hand…

Have fun!
Claes in Lund, Sweden


Moin @Claes,

are you aware of this flash-diffuser method?

Its a bit fiddling , but it indeed works.



Edit: forgot to insert the link