Background lighting - What kind of bulb?

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by denawayne, May 12, 2010.

  1. denawayne

    denawayne TPF Noob!

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    I finally got my second flash the other day and have been practicing on my 5 month old. I've noticed that the background of my white muslin is not quite the way it should be. I want to include a background light. I have the housing and just need to know what kind of bulb I should put in it. Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Vinny

    Vinny TPF Noob!

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    If you're looking for a "white" background then you have to match the flash color with the correct color bulb. Color is measured in Kelvins and somewhere it should probably say what the Kelvin is of the falsh unit.

    If it's not matched correctly then the color could be whatever color depending on the bulb put into the housing.
     
  3. flea77

    flea77 TPF Noob!

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    As above but I will add that you need a "daylight balanced" bulb for most flash uses, finding an exact kelvin match for your flash may prove difficult. Why not just use another flash for the background light and not worry about it?

    Allan
     
  4. Flash Harry

    Flash Harry TPF Noob!

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    you need to overexpose the background with another flash to make it white, mixing light sources will produce odd results, or your flash will just overpower the hotlight. Flash is 5500k = daylight. H
     
  5. kevinw0430

    kevinw0430 TPF Noob!

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    What about a dark background, what color should be visible if the image is light blue? So I trying to layering the colors from the background, black, blue, ?..
     
  6. Vinny

    Vinny TPF Noob!

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    The basic principles of light are the same. Color balance is color balance. Mixing a flash and an incandecent bulb will give mixed color results; same is true with any type of bulb.

    Dark colors impose another problem - can the sensor really pick up the color. My suggestion is to run test images on the background you want to use using a flash unit and see at what distance, power and/or other factors (direct, diffused, bounced) give you the best results. As was mentioned in an earlier post, a second flash unit is probably the easiest way to get the color you're looking for once you figured it all out.

    Or you can shoot with 1 background color and then photoshop another in ... probably the easiest but may not be great. Don't know since I never tried it.

     
  7. ghache

    ghache TPF Noob!

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    i use my sb-600s for backgrounds,
     
  8. Enem178

    Enem178 TPF Noob!

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    Learned something new today! I didn't know all flashes were 5500k. Cool :thumbup:
     
  9. funnykoozies

    funnykoozies TPF Noob!

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    You are right. Thanks
     
  10. Johnboy2978

    Johnboy2978 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    It sounds like you have all you need already. If you have a white background and 2 strobes or speed lights, you should be able to use one for the BG and one as your main light. In order to have your background white and not muddy gray, you'll need to make sure that the BG light is 2 stops brighter than the key light. This will insure that your BG is white and the wrinkles are removed by the lighting. If you introduce a 3rd light, make sure it is the same type of light or you will get a wonky white balance issue.
     
  11. Selina

    Selina TPF Noob!

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    I have got something similar to your photo tent and the backgrounds are made of velvet like material which is a terror to keep dust free and wrinkle free. I have thrown them all out since day one and have resorted to using stiff colored cardboard that has worked really well. Since the background should really be blurred, there is no issue with the card boards at all.
     
  12. Araxx

    Araxx TPF Noob!

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    You can use every bulb you find. For warm lights use 40W bulbs, for flash-like light you can use a energy saving lamp. It has a bright white light, and professional photographers use it in their studios, too ;)
     

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