White backgrounds - Floors

Started Sep 2, 2013 | Discussions thread
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leecamera Senior Member • Posts: 1,053
White backgrounds - Floors

I don't shoot much in the way of white backgrounds, and if I do it's usually just mid or headshots because my studio (black walls and ceiling,) isn't that large.

The area I have is about 15ft x 15ft for the main studio, but I can back up into a doorway to get me another 5 - 6 ft so full length shots aren't distorted.

Lighting the background evenly is a doddle. No problems there and it poses no issues. Even for full length shots I'm getting an even background - even when just using 1 soft key light.

However getting that pesky floor white is more of a challenge.

I've got a feeling it is more to do with the angle of reflection from the floor rather than the actual exposure as with a single main key light I'm getting an exposure of 2/3 stop more on the floor than the back - but on camera it is coming out darker.

First I thought it was my shutter was too fast for my PW's but no it's not that (I've tested down at 1/100 and 1/125)

I'd rather not resort to multiple lights here and there as it gets messy and of course will spoil the subject's lighting.

In the US you seem to have "Tile Board" but I'm not sure what that might be here in the UK.  Plexiglass might be an option to get more light reflected, but large sheets seem heavy (and costly...!)

Next thought is to have a white or silver reflector on the 10ft ceiling (Calumet do a good cheap one at about 4ft x 6ft) and to bounce a light down. Granted I'll get a bit of top light on my subject but it could help fill the floor.

Am I missing something obvious here, or is this an issue everyone "deals" with when using just paper?

I've checked all the usual sites and tutorials but the emphasis is always on the background and everyone almost seems to assume the floor will just go white!  The excellent Zackarias tutorials are great, and it seems he relies heavily on Tile Board.

Sure there's always post production - but it irks me that I would have to tweak every image.

I've got a sneaky feeling life would be easier with more space - but alas we're not blessed with much of that in congested London.

Thoughts oh white room masters of light...?

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