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Photography Question 
Traci Bender
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/10/2005
 

White Balance and Studio Shots


I have two studio strobe lights and a Canon 20D camera. I also have white and black seamless paper. I am having a horrible time with the white balance (I guess) because even though the paper is stark white, I always end up having to go dodge the color in Photoshop because it doesn't look white at all, it looks gray. How do I fix that? I want that studio look without having to do extensive work in PS. Thank you so much!


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1/4/2007 11:27:20 AM

 
W.    Increase the amount of light on the background (the background needs its own illumination), so that the difference between the lighting on the subject and the lighting of the background becomes (considerably) greater. Expose for the subject. So you may have to get more and/or more powerful strobes.


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1/4/2007 11:34:47 AM

 
John H. Siskin
BetterPhoto Member
John-Siskin.com
John's Photo Courses:
4-Week Short Course: An Introduction to Photographic Lighting
4-Week Short Course: Getting Started in Commercial Photography
4-Week Short Course: Portrait Photography Lighting on Location and in the Studio
  Hi Traci,
White paper doesn’t photograph as white; it is normally a light grey. This is because the camera is trying to record as much information about the whole shot as possible. If you want to fix this in-camera, you will need to add more light to the background, without adding more light to the subject. There is a problem with this: Too much light and you burn out the edges of your subject. So you need to check the amount of light on the background when you set up a shot. You can do this with a meter, but you will make fewer mistakes if you check on a computer. You may want to use the eyedropper tool and magnify the edges of the subject. Sometimes fixing the image in Photoshop after the shoot is actually easier. Thanks,
John


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1/4/2007 11:51:51 AM

 
Traci Bender
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/10/2005
  Thank you sooo much! I do have a third light. I guess that's for the background maybe? It doesn't have an umbrella with it. I'll try putting it on the paper! Thank you again. Traci


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1/4/2007 12:27:08 PM

 
John H. Siskin
BetterPhoto Member
John-Siskin.com
John's Photo Courses:
4-Week Short Course: An Introduction to Photographic Lighting
4-Week Short Course: Getting Started in Commercial Photography
4-Week Short Course: Portrait Photography Lighting on Location and in the Studio
  That would be the reason for the third light. If it does not spread evenly, Rosco makes various diffusing materials that will help. Good Luck!
John


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1/4/2007 12:30:36 PM

 
Roy Blinston
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/4/2005
  I too have the Canon 20D and also 2 x Strobe Flash Lights. I light the background separately, which means I only have one light left over, and a silver/gold reflector for fill-in.
My lights have bright/dimmer switches so I just increase the background light to about 2 f-stops of the foreground setting, and Voila! Perfect white backgrounds (with very little work to do in PS except for the drop off effect of the lights at the edges).
It is my belief that 4 lights (minimum) would be much easier to do the job with (ie: 2 for even illumination of the background - and at least 2 lights to control my main subject).


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1/11/2007 7:13:58 PM

 
Jessica  A. Eiss
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/6/2006
  Traci, you used the word white balance in your title, and although I believe your main concern was background lighting, I'll just add to set your camera to daylight WB, when using strobes.

Jess


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1/11/2007 7:26:43 PM

 
Traci Bender
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/10/2005
  Thank you all so much for taking the time to help me out! I appreciate you all very much!! :) I can't wait to give all of your suggestions a whirl.


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1/11/2007 9:34:07 PM

 
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