White seamless issues

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connorsmum's picture
Joined: 11/29/02
Posts: 1160
White seamless issues

Darn ILP and it's fast pace! Posted there but it got bumped a few pages down almost immediately. So this is copied from there:

I admit I am mostly a natural light shooter, but as the winter is practically here and my house is a hole, I figured I should bite the bullet and get some lights. I just got some cheapish continuous light softboxes and have a nissin speedlight (after my sb-600 stopped firing). I agreed some time ago now to do a favour for old friends of my hubby. They have a band and want promo shots on a white background. This shoot was meant to take place last months when the light was better, but got cancelled due to their commitments and now I am supposed to shooting them on Thursday. As I have a white seamless, I decided to practice with my kids. For the life of me I can not work out the best place to position my lights for a group of 4. I tried to place the speedlight behind the kids to light the background, but they were blocking the signal getting through I guess as it wouldn't fire. I ended up trying to light the background from the side, which created an uneven light on the background. I do have a wireless remote which says it can be used to trigger the flash. Would that work better? The only other thing I can think of is that I would need an additional speedlight, one on each side, I won't have time to sort that out before Thursday

Ideally I want to have to do as little PP work on the background as possible, but this was the best I could get with my fed up kids. This is pretty much sooc, slight WB tweak, resize & sharpen.

Should I be happy enough with this and just do some pp to the background? It took ages to get this far.

kris10gal's picture
Joined: 11/02/07
Posts: 1306

For pretty much SOOC I think this looks great! I don't know much about indoor lighting, but I think it looks good. The background doesn't look too hard to do pp on. Smile

Jeffininer's picture
Joined: 11/07/07
Posts: 1796

No PP expert here, but could you just run a soft brush and dodge the background? I think that would even it up better.

I think the lighting looks great, though. Their faces are well lit and there are no harsh shadows.

Joined: 10/26/01
Posts: 3467

I'm afraid I'm no help either. I'm scared of my white bg and have never used it (It came with my backdrop stand). Personally, I would just move on to trying to do something in ps to create the look you want. I love your boys' expressions. This one would make my desktop. Wink

As for your shoot on Thursday ... are you using a reflector opposite your light when you shoot from the side? If not, I would give that a go. That should bounce enough light back to keep things even on both sides. I suspect this would be more noticable in a bigger group.

Any chance you could convince them to use a different color?

Best of luck!

EL2's picture
Joined: 12/05/07
Posts: 1665

I think this looks good. But if you want to brighten up your background or get is whiter, what I typically do is to select selective coloring and chose white and decrease the black in moderation. If I see a hint of yellow or whatever other color cast, then I will decrease the appropriate color level in the white. Does this make sense? lol

AmberBella's picture
Joined: 02/15/07
Posts: 1831

What is your editing software? If you have CS5, the selection process should be really really easy for retouching. ETA: Seriously...I just made the background on your image perfectly white in about 30 seconds. Piece of cake. I LOVE CS5!

I wouldn't do a thing to the background until the band chose the images they wanted. Once the final image/images are chosen...then do your white background work.

coolmama72's picture
Joined: 10/20/01
Posts: 8185

I like Amber's advice. I can't wait to hear how it goes on Thursday!

connorsmum's picture
Joined: 11/29/02
Posts: 1160

Thanks everyone! I experimented a bit more today and managed to work out how to get my wireless remote to trigger the flash, so will be able to have it behind them pointing at the backdrop. It was totally dark by the time we managed to get everyone to cooperate for practice and my settings were ISO 1000, F8, 35mm at 1/40 sec. Eeeek! I hope we have enough ambient light tomorrow to allow a higher shutter speed (I will be using my tripod and cable release)

Will f8 be suitable for a group of 4? Will have no choice but to bump the iso even further if I have to close down more than that. The D300 isn't bad for higher iso's, but the D700 it ain't!