How to achieve pure white background using a muslin backdrop?

Started 1 month ago | Discussions thread
Jacques Cornell
Jacques Cornell Forum Pro • Posts: 15,778
I use a back-lit scrim as backdrop

I made a poor-man's Manfrotto HiLite for headshots by suspending the white translucent core of a large affordable 5-in-1 reflector kit between two stands and placing a flash behind it. Cheaper than a HiLite and needs only one flash. Takes up much less space than a front-lit backdrop. Requires just three stands.

I might not get pure white all the way to the edges, but others have already described good ways to deal with this in post.

Unfortunately, most 5x7 collapsible white backdrops are not translucent, which is why I went with a 5-in-1 even though I don't need the other 4. A ScrimJim would serve the same purpose, but costs more and is a bit narrower.

Another option is a very large softbox or umbrella with diffusion. Paul C. Buff's 86" PLM is a good budget candidate, and they have a video about this specific use (on YouTube?). With the PLM, you have to hide the flash behind the subject.

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"I learned long ago, never to wrestle with a pig. You get dirty, and besides, the pig likes it." - George Bernard Shaw
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