HELP! I need ideas with a white muslin

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by FourAcesPhotography, Sep 24, 2009.

  1. FourAcesPhotography

    FourAcesPhotography TPF Noob!

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    I have a 10'x20' White Muslin Background. I have an Omnilite and a Speedlite. I need ideas for creating different effects with my background. I have a couple ideas, but I'm OPEN EARS...
     
  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    When you want your white background to appear white in a photo, you need to put more light on it that just what is falling on your subject. I like to use two background lights, one from either side, to give me a nice clean white background.

    You can easily add color by using color gels over your flash.
     
  3. kkamin

    kkamin TPF Noob!

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    I haven't experimented with colored gels yet.

    So question.

    For instance, if I placed a dark red gel over my strobe and screwed on a softbox, what kind of red would it produce. I know this question is intensely subjective. But, I imagine I would get an almost pink color in the brightest areas, and in the darkest areas it wouldn't be red, because not much red it being projected, it would be grey. So there would be this weird gradient from pink to grey.

    Is this true?
     
  4. musicaleCA

    musicaleCA TPF Noob!

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    The softbox should be white. It won't give the colour from the gel a cast, and so you'll basically get the same effect as with the bare flash and a gel, just softer. You hit it on the nose with the saturation bit though. If you want more saturated colour from a gelled flash, the key is to actually turn-down the flash output; fire enough light through any gel, and it'll turn pure white. (This can be used to your advantage for creative lighting of a background, say, by putting the hot spot directly behind the subject out of the camera's view, and creating a halo around the subject of colour slowly increasing in saturation outwards; tricksy, but doable.)
     
  5. FourAcesPhotography

    FourAcesPhotography TPF Noob!

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    That's what I was trying to do but I couldn't get it! I did have the flash power high as that's what I was thinking I needed it to be at, but your expalnation of a lower flash power makes perfect sense. And since it's a white muslin, wouldn't you need a three strobe set up? One behind, two in front?

    I tried lighting the front with continuous lights as I only have one strobe, that didn't work as it would drown at the background color. Hmmm.. I want to get this shot, any ideas?
     
  6. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    White canvas or muslin will easily look pink with even a moderate amount of light fired through a red gel. White will make a beautiful electric to cobalt blue with a purple-colored gel fitted over a flash head; yup, gels that look purple when held up to daylight often render as blue when shot on digital sensors from both Canon and Nikon. Yellow gels fired onto white look, well,pastel yellow--kind of a nice color for springtime looks, Easter photos, ladies in sun dresses,etc.

    One danger when using white and gels though is how much light is blows back as "blowback", which is also called "wrap" or "kickback".

    If you want to have deep,saturated background colors and no chance of blowback contaminating the sides of necks and heads and faces, shoot your gels onto a dark gray or black background. Less reflected light, and a deeper, richer gel color.

    As to what you can do on the white muslin, to make it whiter, use LESS light on your subject. Instead of blasting the background with more and more light, using less light on the foreground will make the background appear whiter; this is called "key shifting", and is an easy way to make a gray background appear white by applying a modest amount of light to the background, and a relatively small amount of light to your subjects.
     
  7. redpalmphoto

    redpalmphoto TPF Noob!

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    get your bg 1-2 stops brighter than your subject. Be careful not to ever-expose, or you'll get a kickback effect on your subject and lose the outline of their body.

    Also Lasolite makes the "HiLite Illuminated Background" that has hole on both ends to stick your strobes into, giving a nice even white. (great location solution as well, as it folds up into a pouch)
     
  8. kkamin

    kkamin TPF Noob!

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    Unless your strobe is able to be dialed down to an incredibly small output amount or your continuous light is a 2K you probably need to get more continuous lights or more strobes. I suppose if your subject can hold really still, you could shoot at 1/2 a second or something, that would give you more effective light from the continuous source.
     
  9. kkamin

    kkamin TPF Noob!

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    [​IMG]

    For the OP, here is an example of what Redpalmphoto is talking about. I just shot this today, I lit the background 2 stops brighter than the subject. I really dig bright white backgrounds with certain subjects.
     
  10. yourartnow

    yourartnow TPF Noob!

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    so u can use different backgrounds. i also like backgrounds
     

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