Watt/seconds for Infinite white

Started Apr 13, 2013 | Discussions thread
Sailor Blue
Sailor Blue Forum Pro • Posts: 12,570
Re: Watt/seconds for Infinite white

rfactor wrote:

Sailor Blue wrote:

I can make a white muslin background pure white with 25Ws of strobe power, but to do that I have to work at ISO 400-800. Normally I use a pair of strobes at about 100Ws and shoot at ISO 100-200 at 1/160sec and f/5.6 to f/8.

When you do this, are you using both strobes on the background and a third on the subject?  Is it possible to light an entire 9' white background with 1 light or are 2 necessary?

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Two lights on the background, one on each side usually aimed about 1/3 of the way in from the opposite side then feathered until the light is evenly distributed over as wide an area as possible.  Sometimes you can't get the outer edges to go pure white but if the subject is against pure white then it is possible to make the outer edges pure white in post processing.  Just remember that all post processing takes time, so it is always better to get the image right in the camera and not rely on post processing unless necessary.

You can get a pure white background by placing a single light behind the subject at about mid-back to shoulder height and aiming it at the background.  Having the light (and subject) 10' away from the background gives you better spread and distribution than if the light is only 6' from the background.  You will almost always have to do post processing to make the edges of the image pure white with this setup if you do more than a head shot.

One note - don't spend money on those single power so called background strobes like this one.  They are basically worthless 99% of the time.  Every light you buy must be power adjustable.

B&H - Impact SF-AE80 AC Flash

I use one or two lights for the subject depending on the look I want.

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Living and loving it in Bangkok, Thailand. Canon 7D - See the gear list for the rest.

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