Photographer Invents Clever Reflection-Blocking Box for Shiny Products

Photographer Erik Espinosa was tired of fighting with his own reflection when it came to shooting shiny products and decided there had to be a better way. Fresh off an approved patent, his new domed box concept calls “Entero” removes that problem entirely.

Espinosa tells PetaPixel that he came up with the idea while working at a restaurant supply company. He was tasked with photographing utensils, refrigerators, ovens, and all manner of objects, many of them highly reflective.

“At one point in 2016, I was photographing spoons and cocktail shakers,” he says. “I had to photograph them head-on, which was near impossible without heavy retouching or some sort of compositing of other images. In addition, I would have had to use a lot of diffusion material or use light tents to get the best results. However, they either looked flat or had horrible reflections in them.”

That’s when the idea of “fighting fire with fire” came to him. In this case, that meant fighting reflections with reflections.

“I remembered that two-way mirrors existed, like in a police interrogation room. You can see in but they can’t see out. That’s what set me off to create the Entero,” Espinosa says.

The Entero, which means “whole,” is made up of a box that contains the lighting and a domed two-way mirror that can come down over a product. Once a product is placed on the diffused base and that dome is closed, nearly all unpleasant reflections vanish. It can be used both vertically and horizontally, depending on the product.

Below are a several examples of what images look like straight out of camera:

But after a bit of editing, the finished products look extremely clean, to the point some even look like renders.

The finished results aren’t always perfect, as it appears that rounded objects like the colander and the bowl can still show some reflections, but the other objects are strikingly clean.

Espinosa says that he hopes to eventually work with a company who sees the concept, and his patent, as a good value for mass production.

“I’m currently working for an awesome company that I love and have no desire to leave anytime soon, which is why I haven’t tried anything like starting my own business to mass produce this. I’m not in that mindset at the moment,” he says.

Hopefully, someone takes him up on the offer, because his prototype is already leaps-and-bounds better than the cheap pop-up light tents that many companies use for in-house product photos.

Image credits: Photos by Erik Espinosa and used with permission.