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how to shoot people/products with clean white background?

roberto leriquemo , Nov 05, 2006; 07:52 p.m.

shooting digital, nikon d70. system: dyna lite 1000 watt second pack and three heads. i have to shoot people and food and product with a super clean white background but am having trouble with bounce, white balance and fall off. i have exerimented with different set up including: 1)bounce head off white ceiling and use soft box/ umbrella for people subjects. 2) two heads pointed at white seamless at approx two stops higher than main subject light aimed at person. i find that i am either getting too much bounce and distorting hair or lighting on background is uneven or background is not stark white. i can achieve results by removing subject via photoshop background eraser and moving to new white document but i do not want to expend the effort. help please to learn a regular set up that i can use as a formula which always works. thanks.

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Todd phillip , Nov 05, 2006; 09:42 p.m.

position the soft box approximately 6 feet away. angled it slightly above the subject to serve as the main light. For the background, make two standing walls made of black/white foam core. Each wall consisting of two 4x8-foot sheets angled and taped together at the edge so that they would be self-standing. then use 2 bare heads to bounce into the white side of the foam core so that they would evenly illuminate the rear white background wal

The black sides of the foam core faced into the set. This helps to knock down any additional ambient light on Clarence.

light meter reading next to your subjects f/5.6 at 1/125th the white background should be 1/2 stops brighter than the subject. As a rule, I usually try to stay approximately 1 to 1 1/2 stops brighter on the background than on the subject. As you might expect, there are exceptions to this rule. One such exception worth noting is to determine how dark the overall subject matter is...good luck

Todd phillip , Nov 05, 2006; 09:44 p.m.

position the soft box approximately 6 feet away. angled it slightly above the subject to serve as the main light. For the background, make two standing walls made of black/white foam core. Each wall consisting of two 4x8-foot sheets angled and taped together at the edge so that they would be self-standing. then use 2 bare heads to bounce into the white side of the foam core so that they would evenly illuminate the rear white background wal

The black sides of the foam core faced into the set. This helps to knock down any additional ambient light light meter reading next to your subjects f/5.6 at 1/125th the white background should be 1/2 stops brighter than the subject. As a rule, I usually try to stay approximately 1 to 1 1/2 stops brighter on the background than on the subject. As you might expect, there are exceptions to this rule. One such exception worth noting is to determine how dark the overall subject matter is...good luck

Bob Bernardo - LA area. , Nov 06, 2006; 12:26 a.m.

All are good ideas, but if you can add 1 more light to light up the subject, and 2 lights to light up the background you may have better control. Bouncing will not really give you the best results.

Trent Whaley , Nov 06, 2006; 10:33 a.m.

One bare light...

Light in front of model, to her right, a diffuser panel between them shading her but not the background. a large reflector to her front-left, and a small mirror to her back-left to pick up a hairlight.

I wish I could remember the website I read this on.

roberto leriquemo , Nov 06, 2006; 10:34 a.m.

thanks guys, but i don't really understand this set up. if i tape 2 4x8 sheets together and will use as bounce, won't both sides be either white or black? you say face the black into set to cut down ambient but how can the black face in if the white is to bounce in as well? also, won't there be visible lines where the pieces are taped together? your description sounds as if i am building a box with one end open to shoot from so there will be either all white or all black facing into the set and the back will have a split. what am i not getting here? and where can i buy sheets of foam core that large? finally, will the foam core work much better than the white seamless hung from a stand that i have been using? thanks very much.

Ellis Vener , Nov 06, 2006; 11:11 a.m.

With people: light the background seperately. Meterthe light falling oin the background and if necessary make the background lighting about 1/3rd of a stop brighter than the light on the subject (as mewasured with an incident meter. You may need to place shield (AKA" flags") to keepo the back ground light from spilling on to the subject or being seen by the lens, which would cause flare.

For products, put the light in a large softbox softbox on a boom and position it over the set. generally you want it more on the bac kground than you do on the front of the subject but play with positioning. It als osometimes helps to use a diffusion scrim across the the top of the set and a foot or two beneath the softbox. You can then position "gobos" of other diffusion materials or black mat board on the scrim to further tune the light. Also try tilting the soft box in relation to the scrim to make a really nice gradated light fall off.

And use "Super White" Seamless background paper.

Todd phillip , Nov 06, 2006; 08:39 p.m.

Roberto, One piece of foam core is actually 2 taped together one side black and one side white then make four boards like that.....then take two of those boards and with the black side facing out tape one long side together with black tape to creat a V...the inside of the v (white side) is facing the background and has the head in it and the outside black side faces the camera but it is out of frame....

Anthony Stubbs , Nov 06, 2006; 08:41 p.m.

Hello Roberto,

You might also try placing a softbox behind your subject facing the camera.


white

Todd phillip , Nov 06, 2006; 09:33 p.m.

The foam core is not the bacground...it is sort of a very large open ended soft box to light your seamless background evenly....your pointing your strobe head into the inner V white side to bounce light in a even way onto the background...you can buy these boards at art supply stores like Pearl


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