White background

Started 6 months ago | Discussions thread
Gato Amarillo Veteran Member • Posts: 6,847
Re: White background

Hopeful_Beginner wrote:

Hey all!

I am having a difficult time lighting my background an even white, I have read article after article, watched various adorama videos and tried for myself different techniques. I cannot light it enough, and certainly not evenly.

Here is a picture of my two Neewer tt560 speedlights at full power, pointed to last 1/3 of area to light. The diffusers are on, so the flash heads are zoomed out.

Adjust the aim on your speedlights to get the most even illumination you can -- as others have suggested, turning them on the side may help, aim them across the background, and add a simple "bounce card" type reflector. You may not be able to get it perfect, but if you can get a clean white around the edges of your subject it's not too hard to clean up the corners and edges in processing.

Are my speedlights too weak? I have a 300 w strobe lighting me for full body portrait, maybe I should use the strobe to light the background (with a standard reflector which I have) and use the speedlights bounced off v flats for the full length portrait lighting (catalogue photography).

More power would make it easier, but you should be able to do it. It's a matter of proportion -- you may need to dial down the power on your main light. Just as a guess, try with your main light around 1/4 or 1/8 power and adjust your camera settings for a good exposure on your subject -- you may need to bump up the ISO a bit.

Or another approach: Set your speedlights and adjust your camera for the minimum exposure to get a white background, then bring in your subject and main light and adjust the power on the main to get good exposure on the subject.

Are my speedlights just useless or is it my technique?

I used to do this with 4 speedlights on the background, but it can be done with 2.

ps. keep in mind that I am working with 3 metres of depth, I know that ideally my speedlights should be 6 ft from the backdrop (i have a seamless in my studio now) but when I will be shooting on my seamless in my basement studio, I will have, at best 5 ft for lights, and not much left between me and lights, and then between me and the camera.

A bigger room makes it easier, but it can be done in a small space, with possibly a little help from Photoshop.


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