BetterPhoto Q&A
Category: New Questions

Photography Question 
Trudy Wilkerson

How make white backdrops look whiter

I have assorted backdrops and seem to have no problems with how they turn out, however, my white backdrop is 10 x20 and is pretty much like a white sheet even though it is a real backdrop.Regardless of how many hot lights I use and soft boxes for a shoot, the pictures show the backdrop a bit on the gray side, not crisp white...
When I'm taking the picture it looks great with all the lighting around it...but the pictures are light... I tried overexposes by a stop which helps, but still it is not white...I'm not talking Key lighting where even the subjects are wearing white clothing...but like the photo shoot I just took where everyone was wearing reds and turned out nice, but the backdrop is not all that white... Could it be that this white sheet type material I have as a backdrop is not good for photography and that perhaps a heavy white canvas or a good white vinyl would reflect the light more... Here's what I used...
a light on each side facing the backdrop, an overhead soft box on the subjects, one soft box to the front side
facing the subjects....a fill in light beside me...and also a hair light....
the subjects look great even with one stop over exposed.... but the background still is not that white... any suggestions... could it be the backdrop or is it's only this white backdrop I have problems with and if I lighten in adobe then the subjects are faded out.... I would welcome any suggestions. Thank YOu, Trudy

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12/22/2007 9:04:46 AM

Sharon  Day
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/27/2004
  I know nothing about studio lighting, but I saw this in another forum discussion and thought it looked great. I would have to have it if I shot people and wanted a white background.

Lastolite HiLite Background

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12/22/2007 9:20:10 AM

You need more light on that background, Trudy. The difference between the subject and the background needs to be 3 stops to get the background really white.

Have fun!

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12/22/2007 9:59:37 AM

Mark Feldstein
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/17/2005
  The trick is, Trudy, when you wash them to use a spot further up stream. .

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12/22/2007 2:23:11 PM

Samuel Smith
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/21/2004
  oh yeah.or as someone mentioned a while back maybe it was a muslim background.

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12/24/2007 9:49:31 PM

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