Earlier this week there was a thread, here in the Lighting Forum, about creating a graduated specular highlight. The sample photo in that discussion was an ad for Schneider Lenses and featured a close- up of the front element of a large format lens with a beautiful graduated specular highlight on the glass surface of the lens. The question was about how that graduated specular highlight was created. For those of you who have been following these Lighting Themes, you might remember that a specular highlight is a reflection of a light source. And that a larger, closer diffused light source creates a larger, smoother and more transparent specular highlight. (Previous Lighting Themes are archived in the Administration section of this Lighting Forum if you want to check them out) It makes sense then that a graduated diffused specular highlight is a reflection of a graduated, diffused light source. A softbox has an evenly lit front surface so is not as easily used to create a graduated diffused specular. A scrim can be partially lit so that the light intensity falls off from the center out to the edges and is ideal for creating graduated specular highlights. In recreating this effect in the studio I used a very large 6.5 ft x 6.5ft scrim and found that even with such a large scrim I had to position it within 2-3 ft. from the subject lens because the surface of the lens was convex and reflected light from all directions. Having the scrim positioned so closely to the lens surface would make it very difficult to use a reflector card instead of a scrim and still have room to bounce the light into the card. So I'm thinking that a sxcrim, rather than a reflector card was used in the sample photo from the original post. I could be wrong, I usually am, but I'm sticking to a scrim for this effect. You can use any type of light and any modifier on that light to light the scrim which will be reflected in the surfqace of the subject. You can light the scrim with a large diffused source or a small projected source, a softbox, bare reflector, or grid spot to project any shape and edge softness of the light onto the scrim which will then reflect as a graduated specular highlight in the subject. For example, this first shot uses a soft box without a scrim and you can see that the specular highlight is extremely gradual across the surface of the lens.