Non-reflective Ink Needed!


Link Posted 30/06/2022 - 13:57
A bit of an odd question here. Does anyone know a weather-proof black ink that can be used for plant labels and is non-reflective?

The photographic relevance is that I am taking regular (usually monthly) record shots of each of the growing number of plants in an outdoor collection. The number of plants is well into the hundreds. Each shot needs to include the identity of the plant, which is done by laying the plant label horizontally on the pot. I gave up using pencil for the labels because bright light often made the writing almost invisible in the photo, presumably because graphite is fairly reflective. Weather-proof ink is now used and is better, but can still be invisible in photos taken in bright sun when the angle of the sun is wrong. The label can always be repositioned so the writing is visible, but it's a time consuming nuisance when all I want to do is put label on surface, take shot, reinsert label into pot, move to next plant and get the lot done as quickly as possible. In case you're wondering, the camera is Q + 01 used in Av mode, and I've tried changing various setting but the only thing that helps is to underexpose and that messes up the image of the plant. See below for an example of vanishing ink.

Now you see it...

Now you don't...



Link Posted 30/06/2022 - 14:42
I know that some folk swear by Sharpies. Have you tried them?
Be well, stay safe.


Link Posted 30/06/2022 - 17:34
Have you tried using a polarizer filter?


Link Posted 30/06/2022 - 19:11
I use Wilko wooden plant labels with a Stabilo Write-4-all pen. A matt finish permanent marker and environmentally friendly label.

K1000, Espio 140, ist, istD, K70, K3iii and numerous lenses, just don't tell my wife.


Link Posted 30/06/2022 - 22:16
You can look for mat black (or any other color) in any good hobby shop. I regularly use Vallejo paint with no problems, but any decent hobby paint will likely do. You might need reducer to use it with a brush, but it works very well, and is water resistant when dry.
Yves (another one of those crazy Canucks)


Link Posted 01/07/2022 - 14:10
Thanks - less than a day and four helpful suggestions . So here's progress so far...

Sharpies - I've heard about them but never seen or used them. They produce an 'extreme' version specifically for exposure to sun, rain and generally bad weather but I can't find anyone selling it in the UK. I'll try the standard version which claims to 'resist both water and fading'.

Polarizing filter - good suggestion, tried this morning but unfortunately it makes no difference . I did discover, though, that the writing can also vanish to the naked eye with the label at a certain angle to the sun, so it's not just the camera.

Wooden labels and Stabilo Write-4-all pen - I'll try the pen, it's cheap enough. Might even put it up against a Sharpie to see which of their marketing departments can be trusted the most ! Wooden labels might take over some time, but would they last anything like as long as the many-times-reused plastic labels that inhabit my label jar (some of them must be at least 10 years old ).

Matt paint from hobby shop - I wouldn't want to use a brush for plant labels. But I'm kicking myself for not thinking of trying the best hobby shop in town, where I know the people who own and run it and they are very knowledgable about their stock. Next time I'm in town...

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