There has been some recent traffic on the forums here about lighting and lighter colored paints. As the owner of three silver cars, I thought I would share a tip to find defects easier.
Disclaimer: This is what works for me. If you have a better way of operating then please, always use what works for you.
If you think it is hard to find defects in silver paint it's even harder to photograph but I did the best I could. These pictures have not been enhanced in any way and are straight from a Canon Rebel T2i set to auto.
1. This is the drivers door on my Arctic Silver Porsche 996 C2. I keep her in the best condition that I can. Currently she is wearing a coat of Blacklight and topped with V7. My garage is fully lit in this shot with overhead fluorescents. The tape is a focus point for the camera:
Things look pretty good and the paint shines nicely.
In this shot, I have added supplemental lighting with my Infratech Color Matching Light. Things still look pretty good:
Here is where I get jiggy with the whole process. I darken the garage as much as possible. Overhead lights are off and the window shades closed. I place a small, single head halogen on the floor. I place it at angle to the rear of the panel I want to inspect. In this case, the drivers door. Halogens on stands are too high to get the effect:
Now, I will inspect the panel at an angle, facing the light source. Angles of the light and the angle of your view are important. You will not see anything if the light and your view is straight on.
Wait, what is this? A scratch!! I cannot see this scratch in daylight or in any other lighting except for the sequence above. The scratch in question has been caused by magnetic track numbers. I need to wet sand it out and have now applied numbers to my windows to alleviate the problem.
Hope this helped. It works great on white paint too.