View Full Version : Shiny noses

06-21-2013, 01:04 AM
Hi people,

Just a quick question about lighting:

Many shots I take, even were I am content with the overal lighting of the subject, get me a shiny highlight on the nose, sometimes the cheekbone as well.
Of course his is only with certain type of compositions, lighting angles, but I still want to do these angles.
Even when the nose highlights are not blown out, it kind of looks unnatural to lower these highlight spots in post.

First, do you think this is acceptable/normal (it is a shape that naturally reflects like that)?

Second, what would you do to prevent it if you don't like it? More diffusion?


06-21-2013, 01:37 AM
I could be wrong, but I think the answer is probably makeup, some kind of matt powder on the shiny parts of the face? (We need some female members in this forum!)

06-21-2013, 02:25 AM
I could be wrong, but I think the answer is probably makeup, some kind of matt powder on the shiny parts of the face? (We need some female members in this forum!)

That's exactly what you need, make-up (for women & men). There are a lot of powders out there. I'll check what brand we use when I get back into the office.

Frank Glencairn
06-21-2013, 02:41 AM
I got this tip from my powder gal:
A lot of consumer powder and makeup stuff doesn't play nice with cameras/sensors and pro lights.
Translucent rice powder is the best you can get, for "deglossing" your talent, especially if you are NOT a make up person.
Works on every skin under every light in every situation - and it's cheap on top of it.
I always have it in my bag, just in case and it saved my a... more than once.


06-21-2013, 03:14 AM
Great, thanks so much! Will try to find that stuff here in Tokyo, plenty of rice here...

06-21-2013, 08:00 AM
I got this tip from my powder gal:

Thanks a million for the tip - will give it a go as a replacement for the regular powder, in the cases where we have no makeup person on the shoot...

06-21-2013, 10:35 AM
Thanks Frank, will try those out!

06-21-2013, 03:44 PM
I was able to check it out. We use Kryolan for our normal matte makeup.


No complaints so far.

I think we actually used their more extreme stuff here.....


I know it's not exactly what your looking for. :)

John Brawley
06-21-2013, 06:17 PM
It's hard to say without seeing any images.

Perhaps you can post some examples ?

It sounds to me like you're getting *specular* highlights.

There is a certain point where skimming a light along the cheek will turn the cheek (or nose) into a kind of mirror. You get a specular highlight, even with lower power sources. The same reasons that wetdowns and dark alleys look good when backlit. You're *reflecting* the light into the camera. There are natural oils in the skin that help this mirror effect.

So when you have harder point source lights this will tend to happen more easily.

Try using softer backlights and kickers, either as broader sources, or bounced sources. Makeup won't make a specular highlight go away.


06-23-2013, 12:32 PM
Thanks John. Yes sometimes the light is just harsher than I expected, like on a cloudy day where I feel the light is naturally diffused, it can actually still add those specular lights. I will look for an example.
Sometimes I feel that when using diffusers and refs, you don't always really notice the result until you watch it back home on a big screen. You just have to decide they are needed when you estimate them to be, and trust your experience and judgement. I guess this experience will need to be build up in my case. I have recently been able to reduce these highlights quite a bit, but they still tend to sneak in from time to time!

MJH, that clips looks pretty cool! Will check out that powder.