How can you get background pitch black like this?

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by TonyUSA, Oct 11, 2017.

  1. JonA_CT

    JonA_CT TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    This has to be two flashes, right? One on either side?


     
  2. Designer

    Designer Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Yes.
     
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  3. TCampbell

    TCampbell Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    This is two flashes - left & right (like kicker / rim lights). Notice the front of the swim cap is black - but sides of the same cap are well-lit. Also check the shadows in the shoulders... which wouldn't be there if the light was back at the camera. This shot was set up - not a candid taken during a swim meet, etc.

    It was also almost certainly post-processed as well (nobody goes through all the bother to set up the lighting for a modeled shot and then doesn't adjust it to make sure their image is on-point). As I mouse over the background I am getting RGB values of 0,0,0. Natural blacks are seldom actually "0,0,0" ... which suggests the black point was adjusted to make sure the background was jet black.

    It's a great shot ... well-executed.
     
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  4. dennybeall

    dennybeall No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Doesn't say it's a meet. Could just be set-up with most lights off in the building and shoot with the flashes.
     
  5. Bubba2

    Bubba2 TPF Noob!

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    That is an interesting photograph. I was a school newspaper/yearbook photographer while I was in high school and took many pictures of swimmers, divers, and water polo games. I am wondering how the photographer got the relatively still water in the foreground to not be a distracting mess. The strobe is going to illuminate the water in the foreground, plus any overhead lights will reflect from the water. I didn't have an underwater case for my camera or strobe, and shooting at that low of an angle, below the pool deck, would have put my pucker factor up to around 12. Of course, I was shooting with equipment possibly 45 to 50 years older than the equipment used for this photograph. My strobe would have been a half-dead Honeywell Strobanar "club" and the camera would have been a TLR filled with Tri-X that would have been pushed to about ASA 1600 or more. Yes, it was a grainy, but the bigger medium format negatives helped. In those days, people were used to seeing grainy Tri-X pictures from 35mm negatives. My other camera was a 4x5 Crown Graphic and the negatives were enlarged using a cold cathode back on the camera, hence there was not much visible grain, even when pushing Tri-X to ASA 3200. The Crown Graphic with Plus X was great, every eyelash hair and every pore was visible in the print.
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2017
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  6. photo1x1.com

    photo1x1.com TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    Great advice here. To add another thought: grids help direct the light even more. They are available for almost every light shaper.
    Shooting this scene outdoor at night in a 50m pool (with a light to help focussing) would probably be the easiest way to darken the background as much as possible before going into photoshop.
     
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