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02-28-2011, 08:29 PM   #1
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Auto Portrait with Infinite White!
Lens: DA 18-55 L Camera: K-x Photo Location: Basement ISO: 400 Shutter Speed: 1/180s Aperture: F8 

Okay. Here I'm trying out my new DIY infinite white. It's a painting drop cloth from a local hardware store. I had to do an auto-portrait because the family is getting a little irked with me trying 'new camera things' of late. Forget about the pose... I technically need help. I'm trying to over expose the white background to get rid of the wrinkles... but didn't have the flashes balanced properly, and had to push it in post, which then clipped the highlights on the right side of my face. Also, I was standing on carpet, and the cloth kind of 'sunk in' and created shadows around my feet. So I had to erase the shadows around one knee and my feet... definitely a lighting setup problem.

Is there anyway to setup the flashes (I have three) such that the white is pretty well 'white' on the sensor without me having to push the white and overexpose everything else in post? I know this is technical but I don't know where else to ask...

I really like the infinite white idea and it will offer me such creative possibilities for portraiture... just need some help getting it sorted.



02-28-2011, 11:17 PM   #2
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How are you pushing the white in Post? If you are using photoshop you should look into masking the areas you dont want to overexpose.

That said, I like this photo..
03-01-2011, 06:23 AM   #3
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I don't have professional software, only use the free stuff. So... I'm using the picasa editor and pushing the highlight slider. I'm using two flashes at waist height with diffusers that are aimed at the background, on flash on me at camera right set to 1 stop less than the backlights. This is the best I could do on my own... and still required some shadows to be 'boosted' up to white in post processing. I really want to get this working, as I mentionned. Thanks for taking the time to have a look at it.
03-01-2011, 05:35 PM   #4
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got a link to the diy infinite white?

03-02-2011, 05:54 AM   #5
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DIY Link

The idea came from here. Now, the only problem is that it's just a page detailing this guy's great find at a hardware store and as such it contains no details on getting this setup.

I have only a very basic idea of how to blow out the backdrop without overexposing myself, but need some guidance on how to fine tune this so the shadows aren't visible. I've since used plywood under the sheet to stand on, and that keeps my feet from sinking in and eliminates those shadows, but I'm getting some shadows behind the knees still. Anyone have a solution?
03-02-2011, 07:37 AM   #6
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I can't help you, but I'm subscribing to this thread to learn from your right-takes and your mis-takes.

:-)

I like the photo a lot.

- Sam
03-02-2011, 08:05 AM   #7
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Very nice! You got some skills..
03-02-2011, 10:15 AM - 1 Like   #8
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Hahaha @right-takes and mis-takes

Well, I believe the easiest, cheapest way to go is to use paper....it will take the wrinkles out. But..thats still 40 dollars or something. Hahah.....
That, or iron the material you are using maybe?

Now, in terms of the flashes aimed at the background, fire the modelling light of the one flash and have another person fire the modelling light of the other flash, and keep moving until you get even coverage.

For proper exposure, the background should probably be a couple stop higher than the light aimed at you. Its a little tricky if you dont have a meter.

I would set the background flashes manually (hopefully they are of the same power?), take a test shot that gives you proper exposure at say F11, note it, then turn them off, and then turn the front light on, set it manually and take a test shot that gives you proper exposure at say f8.

Also you will have to play with the distance between yourself and the background. good luck

03-02-2011, 11:41 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by D4rknezz Quote
Hahaha @right-takes and mis-takes

Well, I believe the easiest, cheapest way to go is to use paper....it will take the wrinkles out. But..thats still 40 dollars or something. Hahah.....
That, or iron the material you are using maybe?

Now, in terms of the flashes aimed at the background, fire the modelling light of the one flash and have another person fire the modelling light of the other flash, and keep moving until you get even coverage.

For proper exposure, the background should probably be a couple stop higher than the light aimed at you. Its a little tricky if you dont have a meter.

I would set the background flashes manually (hopefully they are of the same power?), take a test shot that gives you proper exposure at say F11, note it, then turn them off, and then turn the front light on, set it manually and take a test shot that gives you proper exposure at say f8.

Also you will have to play with the distance between yourself and the background. good luck
Right on! Thanks very much. I'll try this at my first opportunity and post the results. Any idea where to get a wide roll of thick paper (aka another hardware store item)? Or is that usually a specialty item that needs to be delivered in?
03-02-2011, 11:43 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by boone Quote
Very nice! You got some skills..
QuoteOriginally posted by sameagle Quote
I can't help you, but I'm subscribing to this thread to learn from your right-takes and your mis-takes.

:-)

I like the photo a lot.

- Sam
Thanks very much... I'm working on it. As I get this under control, I'll post some more detail of the 'proper' setup.
03-02-2011, 01:07 PM   #11
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Err, well, its a specialty i believe. Most photographers uses paper instead of vinyl or something else.

Paper Backgrounds - Henry's best camera store in Canada

The longer, usable one is 9 ft wide, I believe. The advantages of paper is that when it crinkles , you just tear it and unroll further. It does get dirty as you step on it. And then you tear it again. You need to get a good way of hanging it so that it doesnt crinkle and just let it flow.

Before you plunk down the money, i would try get the exposure and flashes right with the setup you have. It'd be a shame if after buying paper it turns out you just dont have the light coverage required to light it up evenly.
03-02-2011, 03:31 PM   #12
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I'm no expert but......The background should be 1.5 stops above the subject. The subject should be lit independent of the background and should be far enough away (10 feet) from the BG so their is no wrap around. The seemless paper should remove the wrinkles. Try firing 2 speed lights into the wall so they evenly distribute the BG. Use a third to light the subject.....this should allow you to get 2 different exposures.
Shoot the subject first without the backgorund light. Once you get the exposure for that....then you can figure out the BG exposure and distances.
03-02-2011, 06:49 PM   #13
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I don't know if you've seen it yet, but this video might give you some pointers


03-03-2011, 05:42 AM   #14
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Thank you all very much... very helpful.
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