I haven’t performed this exercise quite as intended – primarily because the tracing paper I have wasn’t suitable. The instructions required me to make a cone of tracing paper to surround the camera and subject – but the stuff I’ve got wouldn’t stick with tape (and I tried a few different kinds) and I don’t own a stapler (and nor am I buying one just for this exercise).
I got quite annoyed and frustrated trying to make the tracing paper cone. That might be evident in the tone of this write-up so far!
The first step in the exercise was to find an object that was so shiny I could see my face in it, then take a reference shot with the flash close to the camera. I actually selected two subjects – my iPad and a spoon. Here are the reference shots:
Apart from the light from the flash not being diffused, you can also see reflections quite definitely in each – particularly of the flash gun itself.
As I couldn’t make the cone I used my light tent which, in all honesty, is pretty much intended for this kind of use (though it’s not perfect as the images below will show). There is a front section which attaches to allow me to place the lens of the camera through a small hole, diffusing the light and minimising the reflection of the camera and other items in the room:
The reflection is still visible in the spoon and the camera lens can just be seen. Changing the angle of the flash would have minimised it’s reflection further. The lens itself can’t really be eliminated, given the shape of the spoon. As mentioned in the exercise text, in thee cases the only solution (straight out of camera, at least) would be to include something else in the composition to ‘hide’ the reflection.