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EOS 7D Settings For White Background Product Shots

Nanette Z , Nov 20, 2012; 04:03 p.m.

Hi, I'm testing out a Canon EOS 7D and trying to come up with settings to achieve a pure white background for product shots using a pair of fluorescent lights in 24" soft boxes and a white vinyl background. On my existing Canon, I used the P mode, a high fluorescent WB setting and a variety of different setting tweaks to do so. I've been playing about with the settings but haven't found anything super yet. Can anyone suggest some basic settings that I could try to work off of for most products? If I had a good starting points I could adjust as needed depending on the product.


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Stephen Lewis , Nov 20, 2012; 04:10 p.m.

If you're shooting in RAW just try to come close and use a white eyedropper in post production. Fluorescents are always iffy.

Sarah Fox , Nov 20, 2012; 04:32 p.m.

Fluorescents indeed can be "iffy." If they're the type with the high frequency electronic ballast, you should be OK. If they're the old fashioned transformer type, you'll get color variation through every electric cycle (Either 60 or 50 Hz, depending on where you are). With either type of fluorescent, you'll get lousy color. You should use either tungsten hot lights or flash if you're able.

What you're trying to achieve is something the camera can't do for you. You'll need to learn how to use exposure compensation or (even better) full manual exposure. You also need to learn how to work with RAW files and postprocessing, as Stephen suggests. You can learn these things from any number of basic books and other resources -- or you could always hire someone who has already learned them either to do the photography or to get you set up and trained. If you read your camera manual from cover to cover, I think you'll have a very good start.

I can tell you this, though: P won't get you where you need to go, nor will the mystery green box.

Nanette Z , Nov 20, 2012; 05:25 p.m.

Thanks for the input, I have been watching the enclose video, You Tube videos and slogging through the manual. The EOS is a lot more complex than my other camera. I am also considering a course if I go with this camera. Here are some of my test photos:photos.

Stephen Lewis , Nov 20, 2012; 09:04 p.m.

A course is fine, but READ THE MANUAL again and again as you become more familiar with its features.

James Farabaugh , Nov 20, 2012; 10:58 p.m.

Have you tried custom white balance? Take a picture of just the white background with all the lighting that you will be using turned on, then use that picture to set your custom white balance.

Mark Anthony Kathurima , Nov 21, 2012; 02:17 a.m.

Based on your questions, it would seem to me that you need to get to grips with the basics. In my opinion, you should do the following:

1. Learn how to use your camera by reading the manual and continued experimenting. I would avoid P mode and learn to use full manual (M) mode, to get consistency in your exposures. In a studio lit environment, this is almost a given. You need to have full control of depth of field and exposure.

2. Invest in formal study; enroll for a photography course, perhaps focused (no pun intended) on Studio photography.

As a general point, I'm not sure I would use fluorescents in softboxes for product photography. Maybe strobes? You also haven't indicated what types of products you are trying to shoot. Are they dark, shiny, reflective, large, small, round, flat, etc. All those factor into how you'll light the setup.

Lorne Sunley , Nov 21, 2012; 04:49 a.m.

Well, P mode will have a hard time providing a white background as the camera light meter will try and expose all that white as a shade of grey (about 16% to 18% - depending on the camera).

To get a white background it should be lit separately from the subject.

I'd recommend you get and read the book "Light: Science and Magic" it will provide you with lots of information on how to set up lighting.

William W , Nov 21, 2012; 06:52 a.m.

Are you capturing the files in raw, or JPEG?


William W , Nov 21, 2012; 07:06 a.m.

Is this what you want?

Photoshop > Image > Adjustments > Curves > “White Point Set”.
Total PP about ten seconds.
There are other methods.


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