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I have a blue glossy guitar that I was trying to photograph for product photography practice.

I wanted to have a pink rim light on it, so I angled the flash appropriately and put a pink gel on it. When I clicked the pic, the reflection i got was white, despite using different camera settings and flash powers.

So I assumed that since it is a blue guitar, it is not reflecting other colors. However, when I bring my phone near it and open a pink image on it, I can clearly see the reflection of my screen on the guitar, color and all.

I don't understand this. Why is it reflecting one source like a mirror, but the light coming from a gelled up flash is reflected as white? here's the guitar

here it is reflecting a pink image like a mirror this is it under a magenta colored flash from front, with a white cardboard next to it for reference

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  • $\begingroup$ Which one is supposed to be the pink rim light reflecting white? $\endgroup$
    – BowlOfRed
    Aug 8, 2022 at 3:02
  • $\begingroup$ @BowlOfRed I don't have that pic here since I only needed to convey the idea that it doesn't reflect pink light from a flash. So i used a head-on angle instead. It's the last pic. $\endgroup$ Aug 8, 2022 at 13:58

2 Answers 2

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It is called perception of color, and it is a combination of physics and biology. The mathematics is discussed here.

A humanly perceived color may be modeled as three numbers: the extents to which each of the 3 types of cones is stimulated. Thus a humanly perceived color may be thought of as a point in 3-dimensional Euclidean space.

here:

color perc

Many frequencies contribute to what color the eye and brain perceive, and in your particular problem it depends on the reflectivity of your guitar and the frequencies involved in the reflection.

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It is possible your camera has automatic color correction software built into it which detects the color temperature of a flash source and tweaks it. Can you get at the raw, unprocessed data file for the image in question?

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