One. Two. Three. White Background

Headshot - White BackgroundHow do you take a lovely portrait like this, on a perfect white background? Of course you’ll need a beautiful model. But how would you handle the lighting? Just throw about 10000 Watts/Seconds on your seamless white and you’re good. 

Or use a single strobe and 5$ worth of white Coroplast. Read on for the full details. 

Going with the theme of doing more with less, Tony Puerzer (Flickr) did it using just one Canon 580EX. (Well, actually there was also an SB26 involved, but the great background was all the 580). And no special backdrop involved, just the walls of his living room.

The two main challenges with creating a perfect white background are to shed a ton of light on the backdrop and to spread the light evenly.

I’ll discuss power in a bit. As for power, speedlites can only go so far, so the flash would have to be set to full power. 

As for even lighting, this is where the genius part comes in. Diffusion is achieved by reflection of the light, while flagging the light source from the camera.

To get that white evenly spread, Tony reflected the strobe off a board of Coroplast. The light then bounces to the wall to create an even area of light. Note that even on full power, the background is not overblown. 

As for power – speedlites can only go so far, so both lights were on full power. The nice thing is that the onmibounce and bounced light from the Coroplast get pretty nice fill coming from all the walls in the room.

Lighting Setup

Speaking of backgrounds, Studio @ Home first assignment, which is all about backgrounds, is up and running.

More Reading:
Full Scale Backdrops & Backgrounds
Metering A White Background
Getting A White Background with Speedlights
White Seamless Tutorial :: Part 1 :: Gear & Space