Infinite White Background Question

Started Aug 3, 2012 | Discussions thread
Sailor Blue
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Re: Infinite White Background Question
In reply to TotalNeophyte, Aug 4, 2012

Wow, that's a huge amount of power for only f/8. The subject must be blind for hours afterward.

This perfectly illustrates the reason why using studio strobes for animate subjects is preferable to using continuous lighting. I can get f/8 with 150-200Ws of power in a 40"x40" softbox at 6' from the subject.

With your lighting setup you have several options.

You can move the subject lights further from the subject and decrease the shutter speed to maintain the same aperture, thus effectively increasing the background exposure, but this reduces the softness of the subject lighting.

You can adjust the background lighting so that it forms a pure white halo around the subject for your current subject lighting then paint in white beyond the halo during post processing. I have even painted in white when some of the area beyond the white background or a softbox wound up in the image.

If the background is close to white you can adjust the Exposure in Adobe Camera Raw or Lightroom 4 until the background is pure white then bring back the highlights with the adjustment tools. Again, you can always paint in more exposure in the background area away from the subject so just a halo of pure white around the subject is necessary.

Let me emphasize what Barrie Davis said. Whatever you do, don't overexpose your background by more than 1 stop. If you do you will likely get the background light bleeding around the subject's edges. Keep your model at least 6' from the background to minimize this problem. A bright white background can also cause broad light source lens flare with a resulting loss of subject contrast.

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