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#1 Jason_Streff

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Posted 28 February 2006 - 10:37 PM

Sorry to ask this guys, and I did some quick searches in the forum but couldn't find it, so I thought I'd have to ask. It's such a newb question, and I hope it's so stupidly simple to you guys that you can explain it to someone like me.

I've never really had to light something for a studio look before, but I'm a doing a DV shoot (XL2) using a plain white paper backdrop. I have an Arri light kit with 2 normal size cans and 2 smaller ones. I also have some cheaper lights from Walmart that I've used in the past because they're light portable and have gotten the job done for real life location type things. However, as I said before, I've never done lighting for a "studio" look before.

I tried a 3 point setup that I've used before. 45 degree angle from left and right and a fill in the back. However, when I do this with this white background, so much light reflects off of the back and drowns out the subject, plus the lighting just doesn't look even on the background - working with normal locations is sooo much easier. I'm also having some problems with dimples in the paper backdrop that seem to catch shadows.

Please someone explain the perfect way to get nice, even, soft lighting for this type of thing. I'm thinking I might have the turn the lights 180 degrees and put a bounce card behind them or something. I don't know really.
Please, someone, help!
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#2 Gordon Highland

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Posted 28 February 2006 - 10:56 PM

You can move the paper further back or back up the camera and zoom in to throw the bkgd out of focus to reduce the imperfections. These are also exaggerated with side lighting, so moving lights closer in line with the camera can help. If your subject doesn't have much white in it, you can smooth out the background whites in post by selecting only the whites and then blowing them out, leaving the other colors and luma ranges intact. I do this all the time. I don't normally use backlight when working in white studios. Does the background need to be pure white? Backing off your lights or irising down will give you a greyer tone that can be more appealing sometimes (especially if it's uneven or with a little pattern), and then light your subject with more punch to pull it away from the background. If it does need to be pure white, use the zebra function on your camera set at 100% and add light/iris until zebras show up evenly across your background in the viewfinder. Then set the zebra back to around 75%, don't touch the iris, and light your subject until just a little zebra appears in its highlights. Most product shots look best with harder, directional light from one side to "model" the surface textures with shadow.

Edited by Gordon Highland, 28 February 2006 - 10:58 PM.

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#3 Tom Bays

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Posted 01 March 2006 - 01:37 PM

Try a grey background
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