Help Shadows with White Backdrop?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by rprimeau95, Apr 15, 2008.

  1. rprimeau95

    rprimeau95 TPF Noob!

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    Ok I am new to using a studio and all the lighting I took some nice shots of my son with white backdrop but almost all of them had a shadow? I tried moving the lights all different ways but still they seemed to remain? what is the best way to eliminate these shadows when in studio using white backdrops? My pics were to big to post here so I uploaded them to photobucket I don't have privileges to post in the gallery here. Let me say I am shooting in RAW-JPEG and I am not used to shooting in Raw I notice that they are all graining a lot of noise I have to remove when editing which I don't know if that is suppose to be that way?

    All have Shodows

    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v724/primeau/6960.jpg

    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v724/primeau/6960b.jpg

    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v724/primeau/6989.jpg

    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v724/primeau/7017.jpg

    Edited
    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v724/primeau/7011.jpg
    Before Editing very dark in spite of using all the studio flash I must have my camera in the wrong setting.

    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v724/primeau/IMG_7011.jpg

    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v724/primeau/7007.jpg

    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v724/primeau/6996.jpg

    Same day and backdrop no shadow
    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v724/primeau/6973.jpg


    A few days before did my daughter same backdrop white but I used more lighting on her and did not get those shadows
    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v724/primeau/6704b.jpg

    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v724/primeau/6896g.jpg

    I have a maternity shoot on Saturday and one more practice day at the studio and need to figure out how to not get these shadows unless I only use black background
     
  2. Dubious Drewski

    Dubious Drewski TPF Noob!

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    Well I think it's pretty clear that these shadows are showing up because your lights are in front of your subjects. There's not much more to it than that. A good way to counter this (beyond moving your lights) is to get some distance between your subject and your backdrop.

    But if you are willing to move your lights, as a basic setup, I would recommend shooting from both sides of the subject with softboxes or umbrellas.

    Oh and by the way, I like that one shot of the girl, so I touched up the photo a bit. What do you think?
     
  3. KhronoS

    KhronoS TPF Noob!

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    Dubious Drewski is right. The shadows appear because the flash is in front of the model. Some tips would be to move the model a few feet away from the backdrop, or try putting the lights in different positions. I could give you some exact positions but i don't know what lights/flashes you're using.

    I would strongly recommend to read http://www.strobist.blogspot.com/
     
  4. Battou

    Battou No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    As has been mentioned, move away from the backdrop a bit.

    Also, try to get the strongest of your lights up above the subject and cast the shadows downward and out of frame, if possible.
     
  5. SallyE

    SallyE TPF Noob!

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    As the others have said, the light is in front of the subject who is too close to the backdrop as well which is making it worse. Can you remember how you set your lights up with the girl? You certainly will get better results with soft lights to each side, resonably high up and at about 45 degree angle to subject. You are only going to lose the shadow if you get some light falling between the subject and the backdrop.
     
  6. asfixiate

    asfixiate TPF Noob!

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    Looks like you're having fun with the studio. Are your kids into having their pictures taken or are you bribing them?

    They seem into it.
     
  7. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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  8. rprimeau95

    rprimeau95 TPF Noob!

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    Well when you say lights are right in front of my subject I didn't have the m directly in front of subject I had them off to the sides at a 45 degree angle first then I moved them as far back as on the sides next to the backdrop like facing behind him and still got the shadows. I didn't use the soft box on him this time maybe I should have. I used the umbrella and a small one not sure what kind and I had a reflector to bounce the light
     
  9. rprimeau95

    rprimeau95 TPF Noob!

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    I did go here when you recommended this site before about the flashes I will check it out more on lights

    Here is my studio

    [​IMG]

    and below is the room we were in

    [​IMG]
    see how far the board is set up on the floor away from the backdrop is that far enough away from the backdrop a few of you mentioned move subject away from wall. Look on the right hand side near the opening to the reception area I even put one of the lights over there behind him at a 45 degree angle then facing towards the wall behind him not on the back ground but straight behind him hitting the wall I did that last all seemed to give me that darn shadow.

    view of me facing the background

    [​IMG]

    side view of same area

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    view walking in from reception area behind the backdrop area

    [​IMG]

    I had the white backdrop down and here are the lights they have another white box available in the back room but it isn't set up and i am not sure how to set it up yet.


    here are the other rooms

    Reception area
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    when you go through the double tan doors in the room above this is the room on the other side

    [​IMG]
    this room is pretty dark

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    this is the blue backdrop in this room and the lighting set up.

    [​IMG]
    I don't remember the name of the brand of lights but it has a honey bee on it ?

    [​IMG]

    go through this door to back room

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  10. rprimeau95

    rprimeau95 TPF Noob!

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    I forgot to mention your touch up lightening up the pic of my daughter was nice thanks

    question when using the umbrellas is there a time to use them facing open towards a subject and then other times to turn around from the subject facing the wall? thanks
     
  11. rprimeau95

    rprimeau95 TPF Noob!

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    nope no bribing LOL my son is a ham and loves to pose always has that is also him last summer in my avatar. He has changed so much in 10 months time.
     
  12. SallyE

    SallyE TPF Noob!

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    That looks like a great studio set-up you have there with the different rooms etc. Great potential to take some wonderful studio shots.

    What you could do is set up your lights again - using the softbox you mentioned - and see if you are still getting shadows. If you are then simply turn off each light in turn and see if you can eliminate which light or lights is actually causing the problem.

    Once you have worked out which of your lights (it may be more than one) is causing this then you can set about rectifying the problem - soften the light further, move the light further back from your subject (still maintain the 45 degree angle though), or turn the power down.

    Once you are happy with the set-up, draw a sketch of your background, where the subject is distance-wise from background, and where each of the lights are making sure you jot down the light's settings. File it for later reference - each time you make a new lighting set-up you could do the same and then you will have a file for easy reference of what you did previously and worked to achieve a particular effect. In time you will have a good referencing system for your lighting set-ups which your or an assistant can look at and save time - and you will soon remember the ones you use most frequently.

    But certainly have a go with the process of elimination with your lights and see what effect each one has just by itself, and then how it works in conjunction with the other lights. You'll soon get it sorted out, dont worry, just keep practising and experimenting.
     

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