QA: Cylindrical Aquarium Umbrella Reflections

Photo ©Alison Carlino

Reader Alison Carlino asks, via Twitter:

"How could I light posed formals in front of tank w/no umbrella reflection showing?"

Welp, there's good news and bad news.

The bad news is there is no way to effectively stop those reflections from happening. I mean, it's a CYLINDER for Pete's sake, right?

Fortunately, there is also good news. And it'll probably result in a forehead-smack moment for you.

The good news is, just because the reflections have to happen doesn't mean you have to see them.

Just close your eyes...

Kidding. Although that would technically work.

A better way to make the reflections invisible is to simply make sure your subjects stand in a spot that will keep your camera from seeing the spot on the glass where the reflections are visible.

And in this sense, the cylindrical-shaped aquarium, which is doing you a big, mathematical favor by creating correspondingly skinny umbrella reflections, actually ends up being your friend rather than your enemy.

For a quick test, just let your index finger be a stand-in for a person and line it up in front of the reflection in the photo above. See? Gonzo.

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