Getting gray background using white paper

Started Jun 26, 2013 | Questions thread
24Peter Veteran Member • Posts: 3,163
Re: Getting gray background using white paper

Some good suggestions. To recap:

1. The problem the OP is having has nothing to do with the "color" of his white paper; rather it is the level of exposure. "White" paper can be white, gray or black depending on how much light is hitting it.

2. In this case there are only 2 ways to get a true "white" background -

a. light the subject and background separately. Difficult if not impossible if the subject is resting directly on the background. Separate the two. Clear Plexiglas raised off the background is a good way. For jewelry, I also often hang the item in front of a white backdrop and light the item separately that way;

b. use Photoshop and do a knockout to remove the background and replace it with pure white. This involves creating a selection. This can be done with one of the selection tools or the pen/path tool. Often difficult/time consuming with silver/reflective jewelry. You can create a shadow in Photoshop once your extraction is complete if you want more realistic look.

I actually usually do both a. & b. with silver (and sometime gold) jewelry since lighting the item separately also helps with getting a good selection in Photoshop.

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