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Thread: First attempt at a white background

  1. #1

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    First attempt at a white background

    Hello,

    Trying to figure out how to shoot with a white background. Here's one from my first set of attempts.

    Any tips on how to improve the results? I find the upper left corner too hot/bright.

    First attempt at a white background
    IMG_3606 by thetamax8, on Flickr

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2

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    Re: First attempt at a white background

    Hanson, while the upper left corner may be a bit brighter than the rest I can still see the folds in the material so it's not blowing out. Perhaps your screen is a bit too bright. That is a common characteristic in most out of the box computer monitors and tv's. If you are serious about editing you are going to need to calibrate your screen so others see what you do both on screen and in print. Adjusting the lighting on that side will also drop the brightness down to where the rest is.

  3. #3
    Sponge's Avatar
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    Re: First attempt at a white background

    What a head of hair! I'm sure 2 of my brothers and father would be quite jealous
    Andrew has given some good advice but I was more captivated by this nice capture than to notice a slightly, if at all, overexposed corner. At least on my screen, it's no more overexposed than any other and honesly, I don't think any of them are, but then again I'm looking at a tiny version of the actual file on my laptop so who knows.

  4. #4
    rpcrowe's Avatar
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    Re: First attempt at a white background

    I am sure that there are lots of ways to get the white BG showing as white... IMO, one of the esiest methods is to use the dodge tool. The positive aspect of that tool is that you dont need to do any complicated masking. Additionally, a bit of cropping avoids a lot of the background.

    First attempt at a white background

  5. #5

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    Have a guess :)

    Re: First attempt at a white background

    Hi Hanson,

    It really depends on what you're trying to achieve.

    If you're wanting a TOTALLY white background then you won't be able to do it straight out of the camera without using separate lights, because any light level that's bright enough to blow the background will be stronger in the foreground, and will blow that even more.

    Also, a totally blown background - in my opinion anyway - leaves the subject "floating" - so I like to usually leave a bit of grey there to "anchor" the subject.

    If you're trying to get the best result straight out of the camera then it's best to use seamless paper on a hard surface. Using material like this leaves wrinkles, and if you increase the light power to blow the wrinkles out then you'll get bleeding in the fine detail of the hair.

    Your best bet if you only have a couple of lights is to use white seamless paper - use the lights at full power - into shoot-through umbrellas - and back the lights off a reasonable distance so that the light DoF is more even - and then fix the (slight) under-exposure of the background in post-processing.

    I used no less than 4 studio strobes to get this shot!

    First attempt at a white background

  6. #6

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    Re: First attempt at a white background

    Thanks for the suggestions. I'll play around with the digital editing tools. With the exception of cropping, I haven't done much PP or other edits before, so don't know what the various tools are capable of.

    Colin, thanks for the tips. When I get more equipment I'll give it a shot. Right now, I just have the $6.99 white tablecloth and my Canon speedlight using it in off-camera slave mode. I should have thought of paper! Going to try and get a large roll and see if that works out better.

    In hindsight I do like the wrinkles in the fabric under her arms.

  7. #7
    Scott Stephen's Avatar
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    Re: First attempt at a white background

    How many flashes/lights are you using? Are some dedicated to blowing out the background?

  8. #8

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    Re: First attempt at a white background

    I only have the on-camera flash and a speedlight 430-exII as a slave. That and the light from the window to the right (of the photo)

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