Getting gray background using white paper

Started Jun 26, 2013 | Questions thread
Sailor Blue
Sailor Blue Forum Pro • Posts: 11,122
Re: Getting gray background using white paper

Here is my suggestion.

Create a small open frame box out of PVC tubing. Add a side to side crossbar to the middle of the top opening.

Attach a sheet of translucent white plastic or paper at the top back and the front bottom, curving the sheet at the back so that you form what is called an infinity background. Tracing paper found at an office supply or art supply store will work well.  If you tape it to the sides of the box as well it should support your small jewelery.

For heavier items a bent sheet of 1/8th inch white acrylic will work.  I heat gun will help you bend it but be very careful since those guns are very hot and you can overheat the plastic easily.  I suspect a hair dryer may not be hot enough but it is worth trying first.  If you don't want the floor to be reflective you can sand it down until it is dull and non-reflective.

You light the back wall from behind and the floor from below and adjust the brightness of those lights until the all of the sweep of paper just starts to blink when your camera aperture is closed down 1/3 stop from where it will be when you shoot the subject.

Now either lie the product on the floor and light it through the open sides and front. Don't forget to reset the aperture before you shoot.

The result will be shadowless but you will be getting some light from the floor adding to the brightness of the edge of the product touching the floor. This can cause reflections you don't want or even cause the edges to go pure featureless white.

If you want to eliminate the added brightness to the edge of the product then suspend it by a length of fine monofiliment fishing line or white thread. It is easy to take the fishing line or thread out of the image in Photoshop or a similar post processing program.

You can use your light tent the same way but you will have to support it high enough to get the light for the floor under it.

Use all the same type of lights for everything so that you don't have color WB mismatches. Shoot with your camera set to the correct WB or better yet, do a custom WB by closing down the aperture by two stops and shooting the background.

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