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Photography Question 
Tonya Cozart
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/22/2003
 

Lighting with White Background


I am working with my lights, and I need to know how you get a white background (muslin) to be good and white without blowing it out? Or is it OK to blow it out to get it white? Can anyone help? Thanks!


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2/27/2006 1:32:16 PM

 
Debby A. Tabb
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/4/2004
  Tonya,
If you are using two lights, then point one toward the background. With your lights, try 1/2 power from the side so you can move them back as needed. Use your other on your subject from close to you camera. If you try this and post, maybe I can see what's up.


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2/27/2006 2:06:02 PM

 
Tonya Cozart
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/22/2003
  Debby,
I have 4 lights, but I am shooting right now with 3: fill, main, backlight. I am going to shoot a few more and then post.


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2/27/2006 2:08:14 PM

 
Justin G.
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/13/2004
  If you are using 4 lights, then I would suggest using 2 on the background, both at 45 degrees so you get an even blanket of light. Incident read this at around +1 to +2 stops above your main light reading. Now set your main light at what you want and your fill accordingly to the ratio you want to use (or use a reflector so you're not using so many lights). Example: you know you want to shoot at f/11. Meter the background anywhere in between f/16 and f/22. Now meter your main at f/11. Meter your fill anywhere in between f/11 and f/4 (depending on the desired effect). Good luck.


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2/27/2006 2:18:18 PM

 
Tonya Cozart
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/22/2003
  Hey Justin,
thanks for helping. Some will probably gripe, but I don't have a light meter. I am trying to do without one because I don't have the $$$ right now. So, if I want to meter with my camera, how exactly do I do that? I get what you are saying, but can I do this without a separate meter?


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2/27/2006 2:28:14 PM

 
Justin G.
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/13/2004
  Well, I won't gripe too much, but you should make that your next purchase! lol!. Anyway, lucky for you you're shooting a D50. Having a digital is nice because you can simply guess what your lights should be at, and then shoot and make adjustments from the LCD. If you can tether to your computer, that'd be even better, because the picture would be so much larger. Anyway... just set up your lights, fire a test shot or two, and make your adjustments from there. I would assume that doing one light at a time would be easier. So get your BG lights good to go, next do your main and get your exposure correct, and then pull in your fill until you get what you want! Hope this helps.
Justin
P.S.: Seriously though, investing in a light meter will save you loads of time!


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2/27/2006 2:37:43 PM

 
Tonya Cozart
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/22/2003
 
 
 
Thanks again justin,
I am working on the meter..lol, glad you did not gripe at me...:)

here are my first shots. They look pretty good on the puter, but on my LCD the white was blown and a-flashing!
there are some shadows in the corner, I had my sub to close to the background I presume...
(don't laugh at my model) I like to compare the whites!


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2/27/2006 2:50:12 PM

 
Tonya Cozart
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/22/2003
 
 
 
on these, I moved the sub out from the bg, moved the bg light out as well, and I was much closer to the sub, you can see the bg is blown here.


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2/27/2006 2:55:33 PM

 
Debby A. Tabb
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/4/2004
  Tonya,
is the main light about a foot above your subject at 45 degrees and fill at
eye level at the left of your camera.
using two backlights on each side at 1/4 or 1/2 power?


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2/27/2006 3:01:07 PM

 
Tonya Cozart
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/22/2003
 
 
 
Debby,
yes on main and fill, best I can tell. The above are all on the same setup as the first entry except for movement of the backlight. These just have one backlight, using a reflector on full power, tried it on half in the second postings.

The next ones, I read another thread and moved my lights around a bit..see pic, and played around with the angle of the backlight, place directly behind sub. still blowing out and bad "spot of light"
here are my last try...


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2/27/2006 3:05:11 PM

 
Tonya Cozart
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/22/2003
  ok, I have to step out to run my daughter to practice...be back later...
and thanks again for the help


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2/27/2006 3:09:22 PM

 
Tonya Cozart
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/22/2003
  so I get my pics loaded and everyone goes away?


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2/27/2006 6:52:08 PM

 
Tonya Cozart
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/22/2003
  one more bump to see who is out today...


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2/28/2006 7:30:57 AM

 
Denyse Clark
BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/2/2002
  I'm here Tonya, but unfortunately I don't have studio lights so I can't help :( I know it's tough to use white backgrounds from what everyone says. Do you really want white, or is that just what you have? Or is it just about mastering the white?


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2/28/2006 9:19:18 AM

 
Tonya Cozart
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/22/2003
  Hey Denyse,
I have a white, black, denim color and tan, but the white is becoming an obsession. I want to master it! I can get it to look really good with my nikon sb600(on camera), bounced of the ceiling with a small slave flash on the background, but I cannot get it with these studio lights, it is making me crazy!


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2/28/2006 9:29:48 AM

 
Bret Tate
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/12/2005
  Tonya:

You will continue to get the "spot of light" unless you:

1) Follow Justin's suggestion & use 2 background lights - one on each side at 45% angles (Copy light set-up)
-OR-
2) Move the background light farther from the background - this doesn't look like an option in your set-up.
-OR-
3) Try to diffuse the background light more - this may or may not work.

Option 1 is the best solution.
You also need to be careful, while trying to get the background white, that the exposure difference between the background & the subject doesn't become so great that the light starts to wrap around the subject from the back.

Hope this helps.


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2/28/2006 9:45:04 AM

 
Sebastian J. Scalora
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/9/2005
  Well I have found most o fthese answers to be helpful but nobody has mentioned distance. I would be sure the backdrop is evenly and well lit but also have it a little further behind your subject than usual.


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2/28/2006 11:12:49 AM

 
Sharon  Day
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/27/2004
Contact Sharon
Sharon 's Gallery
  Justin, how do you tether the camera to the computer? Is there a faster way of doing it rather than the cord that comes with the camera? I have a feeling I'm going to be asked to do that. I always use a card reader. Thanks!


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2/28/2006 11:56:14 AM

 
Tonya Cozart
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/22/2003
  Thanks for all the info everyone. I guess this is just a practice, practice, practice thing! LOL
I don't mind that, it just frustrates me when I can't figure something out.
I will try again soon and let you all know how it turned out.


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2/28/2006 12:17:13 PM

 
Debby A. Tabb
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/4/2004
  Tonya,
sorry I have not been around much-trying to get finished before the weekend to send out this Cd
Looking at you last room set up.
you have to move the back light back it is way to close.
do try one on each side just behind the subject-that way the light will give yuo a wider arch.


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2/28/2006 12:33:10 PM

 
Tonya Cozart
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/22/2003
  no problem debby, and thanks!


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2/28/2006 12:48:08 PM

 
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