Those Bright Backgrounds

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by ricepudding, Nov 11, 2007.

  1. ricepudding

    ricepudding TPF Noob!

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    Many times when I see a portrait done the background looks just WHITE or BLACK and I don't believe it is just a backdrop sheet. Or maybe I'm wrong about that? But the white is extremely consistent and bright. Is that just done in editing? And if so what kind of background is usually shot with a pose like that that can be edited out later? Like could I shoot the kids in front of the dining table and then knock the entire background white later??

    I'm trying to figure out a way to take shots of the kiddos for our Christmas card and I don't have a studio or lighting. For light I'll probably take the photo on a rare sunny day here in the fall of Michigan where the light comes through my glass doors. But the picture will likely be indoors.

    Thanks,

    Alicia
     
  2. Alpha

    Alpha Troll Extraordinaire

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    You can't really do this effect without strobes. It's done by shooting with the subject against a gray or white background, and then lighting the background several stops higher than the subject. That way, it entirely blows out and appears bright white.

    Conversely, it can be done with a black or dark gray background simply by not lighting it heavily or at all.
     
  3. ricepudding

    ricepudding TPF Noob!

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    What about sun BEHIND the subject instead of the front? Is there a way to capture a clear color balanced face with sun behind? Then lighten up the background in editing?

    Thanks.
     
  4. Alpha

    Alpha Troll Extraordinaire

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    Well you're going to run into big problems with sun behind the subject. You're going to get a lot of shadow around the edges, a sort of dark rim of sorts, as if it were an eclipse. You'll almost always have gradations in brightness in the landscape as well, meaning it won't all blow out to white. The only way to make this effect happen "naturally" would be to shoot them against white sand or snow. Underexpose your subject, hold the detail in PS while raising the exposure of the whole image. This will blow out the background and allow you to preserve detail in the subject.
     

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