White background

Started 5 months ago | Discussions thread
Sailor Blue
Sailor Blue Forum Pro • Posts: 15,527
Re: White background

You can get a fairly even pure white background with hot-shoe flash units but you need to do it right.

Position the lights even with the edges of the background but about 6' from the background. Just move the lights out away from the wall in your image.

Use the wide angle adapter (light diffuser panel) and aim the lights 1/3 of the way in from the opposite edge of the background area. This way the lights will overlap at the center to even out the lighting over most of the background area. You can adjust the aim of the lights to get the area more evenly lit.

The lights should be at about 1/2 the height of the largest area of the subject being photographed. Higher for a head shot, lower for a waist up shot.

Have the subject 6' from the wall/background.

Set the subject exposure without the background lights. It is okay if there is some light on the background from the subject lighting.

Turn on the camera's Highlight Alert to show you the area of the background that is overexposed.

Turn on the background lights, keeping them at the same power settings, and start at a low enough power that the background is a light grey.

Increase the power of the two background lights in 1/3 stop increments until the background just starts to blink, indicating that is is being overexposed for JPGs straight out of your camera with the current camera settings for Style, Contrast, and WB settings.

This JPG clipping point should also be close to or slightly less than your RAW clipping point.

If there is only a halo around the subject that is acceptable. You only need the halo around the subject pure white straight out of camera. You can paint the edges and corners of the image pure white in only a few seconds during post.

You do not want the background lights to be any brighter than necessary or light reflecting from the background can cause the edges of the subject to be overexposed and "bleed" into the background. An overly bright background can also cause lens flare, which from broad area light source causes a loss of image contrast, not the line and bubbles type of lens flare you see from a bright light source.

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