High Key effect, please help

Discussion in 'Graphics Programs and Photo Gallery' started by Solarize, Apr 27, 2004.

  1. Solarize

    Solarize TPF Noob!

    Feb 13, 2004
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    I've got my final photography project coming up at school. Unfortunatly, I dont have the technical know how to make my idea work, so any help would be greatly appreciated.

    I want a completely whited out background (with no texture) for my shots. I was thinking of using large white bed sheets for this, would it work?

    The project will include a mixture of still lifes and portraits. If I can white out the background (by placing the model a distance from it with directional lighting etc) how would I ensure the white surface which I place still life objects on remains whited out too? With the objects itself remaining well exposed.

    Will I be able to create the effect I want with the equipment I have?
    Canon EOS 30
    Tamron lens - stops down to 3.5
    Off camera flash
    Small reflector
    Unfortunatly I dont have a lightmeter other than the one in the camera (which does seem acurate)

    Sorry if the description is vague but i'm strugling to find a better way of explaining what I want.

    Just imagine an object with everthing around it whited out.

    I will be able to manipulate the images in a darkroom.

    Please keep any technical descriptions VERY simple please - I really dont have a clue when it comes to light readings etc.

    Thanks in advance

  2. voodoocat

    voodoocat ))<>(( Supporting Member

    May 15, 2003
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    Gilbert, AZ
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    There was another thread around here that went over a scenario like this.

    In a nutshell... you want to light your background so that it's overexposed.
  3. Galaxy_Stranger

    Galaxy_Stranger TPF Noob!

    Apr 21, 2004
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    The long and the short of it is you need a large light source to burn-out your background. You expose for the subject, then blow out the background. A white bedsheet MAY work, but you'd have to make sure there are no creases or wrinkles. You may even want to limit your depth of field in case you do get wrinkles. Paper works best.

    This process is usually done with a significant main light source with either a bounce card or a fill head, then you use a kicker or two on the background. For example, you may use 2 400 watt heads for your main and fill, then use a 200 watt hair light, and another 200 watt flash head on the background. The subject would be 3 or 4 feet in front of the background and the kicker would be sitting right behind the subject aimed at the background - the point is to flood the background, so you may need multiple kickers depending on your situation.

    I suppose you could experiment with regular light bulbs and color correct later, but that would be messy.

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