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FORUMS General Gear Talk Flash and Studio Lighting 
Thread started 22 Aug 2012 (Wednesday) 14:40
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Recommend a light set for a white muslin backdrop

 
firme
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Aug 22, 2012 14:40 |  #1

I have seen various posts here and online on lighting a muslin backgdrop (white) to get that "pure" white look: light the subject, light the backdrop separate and keep the model away from backdrop. As everyone uses different lights, I would like to know which light(s) are good, last long, lights up if possible the and really helps to give that white look. Looking to spend less than $100. Is this a realistic budget to get what I want? I currently use a speedotron 1604. I'm sure the lights will serve other purposes for what I'm looking for, but as an amateur still have yet to learn and how I can really take advantage of these lights I plan to purchase.

http://www.twoshutters​.com/sample.jpg (external link)
http://www.twoshutters​.com/samplee.jpg (external link)
http://www.twoshutters​.com/setup.png (external link)

As you can see the background is way off, not uniformed (by the way these are not pp yet). I know I made errors on my part as well. Have tried to pp but the background ends up white on a section and not other sections (more like a radial gradiant of white and dark grey). Included picture of set up and used a 50 f/1.8 on an canon xti.




  
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gonzogolf
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Aug 22, 2012 14:56 |  #2

Its really difficult to light an entire backdrop pure white with a single strobe. The light tends to falloff quickly enough that a single light doesnt provide even coverage across the drop. Perhaps if you have the ability to put the background light dead center you can make it work, but if you turn it up bright enough to keep the edges pure white you may end up with enough wrap light to soften edge definition in the subject in the middle. Most folks use two lights on a drop of that size.




  
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firme
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Aug 22, 2012 15:41 |  #3

I agree with you... I have read and am aware that two lights will be required to get a "pure white background". I guess I mislead and know that 1 will not simply do the job.

What do you recommend that you have worked with and provided acceptable results?




  
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bobbyz
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Aug 22, 2012 15:44 |  #4

1. Move her closer to the wall.
2. Make her wear white instead of that black
3. Rest fix in pp, simple.


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gonzogolf
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Aug 22, 2012 15:45 |  #5

I use a couple of alien bee monolights, but thats not going to fit your budget. I suppose you could make do with a couple of bare YN speedlights, but that depends on how much light you are pumping into the front of the scene since you essentially need to slightly overexpose the background.




  
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firme
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Aug 22, 2012 15:56 |  #6

Bobby.... thanks for the suggestion but #2 will not always apply every time. But will follow your suggestion for the next time. This might be a stupid question but would I need to move the lights closer to her?




  
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bobbyz
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Aug 22, 2012 19:00 |  #7

firme wrote in post #14893180 (external link)
Bobby.... thanks for the suggestion but #2 will not always apply every time. But will follow your suggestion for the next time. This might be a stupid question but would I need to move the lights closer to her?

No. You want farther so less light change from the subject to the background. To keep light soft would in turn require bigger modifier.


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BrickR
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Aug 22, 2012 19:13 |  #8

I do high key frequently with speedlights, but I've never used less than 2 on the background. I've blown out regular wall (pictures, fireplace, tan paint color, etc) with 3 bare 460ii's but I was fortunate to have the room to move the subject a good ways from the wall.
All you're doing is overexposing the background. The farther the subject is from the wall, the less light spill you'll get on the subject (unless you want that of course)


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dmward
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Aug 23, 2012 08:34 |  #9

White background behind model is a straight forward lighting scheme.
Best approach I have found is to use to lights on opposite sides feathered across the white background so they have a consistent light value. I then read the light reflected off the background as a light source at the subject position with the incident meter pointed toward the white background. I aim for at least F8.

Now I can light the subject with a main and fill to get the same F8 for an exposure. That minimizes wrap from the background and still ensures the background will be at or near 255 to minimize post production work.

If you can't get the background evenly illuminated get the hot spot behind the model.

These were both shot using that technique. The woman was done in a studio with 4 Einsteins. She was about 10 feet from the background. The flower was shot on a product table with 2 lights. One on a white background from above, with the background angled about 45* and the main light was a large umbrella with the camera in front of the right edge.


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RichNY
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Aug 23, 2012 09:38 |  #10

gonzogolf wrote in post #14892939 (external link)
Its really difficult to light an entire backdrop pure white with a single strobe. The light tends to falloff quickly enough that a single light doesnt provide even coverage across the drop. Perhaps if you have the ability to put the background light dead center you can make it work, but if you turn it up bright enough to keep the edges pure white you may end up with enough wrap light to soften edge definition in the subject in the middle. Most folks use two lights on a drop of that size.

+1.

Also move back and shoot with a longer lens so you don't have as much of the backdrop in the frame.


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bobbyz
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Aug 23, 2012 10:29 |  #11

Not full length but these with subject next to light colored wall.

IMAGE: http://www.bobbyzphotography.com/img/s2/v52/p356998007-5.jpg

5dmk3, 35L, 85L II, 300mm f2.8 IS I, 400mm f5.6
Fuji XT-1, 14mm f2.8, 23mm f1.4, 35mm f1.4, 56mm f1.2, 90mm f2, 50-140mm f2.8

  
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bobbyz
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Aug 23, 2012 10:31 |  #12

Full length you need wto strobes on bg. Ample distance, tile board etc. with v-flats.

IMAGE: http://www.bobbyzphotography.com/img/s9/v13/p730252171-5.jpg

5dmk3, 35L, 85L II, 300mm f2.8 IS I, 400mm f5.6
Fuji XT-1, 14mm f2.8, 23mm f1.4, 35mm f1.4, 56mm f1.2, 90mm f2, 50-140mm f2.8

  
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Tigerkn
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Aug 23, 2012 10:40 |  #13

bobbyz wrote in post #14896334 (external link)
Not full length but these with subject next to light colored wall.

QUOTED IMAGE

Two Handsome Guys! Hi Bobby!


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bobbyz
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Aug 23, 2012 11:27 |  #14

Thanks Kevin. Wifey took the shot.


5dmk3, 35L, 85L II, 300mm f2.8 IS I, 400mm f5.6
Fuji XT-1, 14mm f2.8, 23mm f1.4, 35mm f1.4, 56mm f1.2, 90mm f2, 50-140mm f2.8

  
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Hopelessdfilms
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Aug 24, 2012 13:46 |  #15

I would recommend immediately purchasing a roll of white paper. Make sure your floor is a solid floor and NOT carpet. If it is carpet, pick up some cheap vinyl or something hard and sturdy that you can roll your background over creating a solid floor.

Once you're shooting on a paper sweep you'll see an immediate difference in the smoothness and overall uniformity of your background.

You say you're working with a 1604 speedo pack? How many heads do you have available? If you're only using 1-2 heads right now, pick up a couple used heads and maybe a 2nd pack (nothing super powerful needed here) If you run the second pack as just the background illumination pack you'll be able to easily control light output for your BG separate from your lights for your subject. This is ideal.

It is possible to light your subject and the background from 1 pack, as I've done this many many times. What will happen though is not a 100% perfectly uniform background and you'll be spending some time in photoshop to clean it up.

If your ps skills aren't up to the level to do this, my best recommendation is to pick up a 2nd speedo pack and 2 more heads. Use that strictly for your background and keep the other pack strictly for your subject. This is all of course, after picking up paper.

If you take an image shot on muslin or another material into photohop it will be much harder to clean up compared to paper since there are so many creases and wrinkles creating vast shifts in exposure. With paper the gradients will be much smoother, no wrinkles, etc. Post is far easier and faster.

just my .02c




  
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Recommend a light set for a white muslin backdrop
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