How to create a perfectly white background – The Lighting Series #4

Dec 23, 2018

Stefan Kohler

Stefan Kohler is a full-time retoucher. He’s from Germany and likes bacon. In the last years, he built up a broad community around his retouching classes at the Infinite tool’s website. You can follow his work oninstagram.

How to create a perfectly white background – The Lighting Series #4

Dec 23, 2018

Stefan Kohler

Stefan Kohler is a full-time retoucher. He’s from Germany and likes bacon. In the last years, he built up a broad community around his retouching classes at the Infinite tool’s website. You can follow his work oninstagram.

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Sometimes, all you want are super-clean pictures against a white background. To achieve this, you can use a softbox for your background, and that’s exactly what we’ve done here.

Nikon D800, 85mm f1.8 @f9, ISO 200, 1/125s

The lighting series is a comprehensive lighting guide. We talk about flash photography, lighting, posing, color, and walk you through a series of lighting setups. Some will be simple, some complex, but in the end, they are all tools to add to your photography toolbox. Here is a complete list of the lighting tutorials.

In this picture, the main source of light was a suspended and “boom-armed” octabox. (You can read more about these in Chapter 2 of the Light series.) The slightly larger softbox softens the light, but also means that it does not reach that far down towards your model’s feet. However, that’s not a problem here.

The background is (also) a softbox (150cm diameter) placed so that the visible, dark corners can be painted over easily in Photoshop.

When properly exposed, this setup creates a clean portrait in front of a completely white wall: and it always works. Shadows can’t be cast onto the softbox because it is self-luminous.

It’s simple and effective, even if your space is limited

Lighting equipment

The individual light sources

Octabox as background

The distance between the softbox background and the camera and model won’t have an impact on brightness here. However, it will have an influence on the “wrap”, or how the edges of the model are framed by the light

Short Distance

Medium Distance

Longest Distance

Downloads

For the pictures in the article, we used the light simulation Set.A.Light 3D. You can download the lighting setup and try everything for yourself. You can also download this series as a free ebook.

If you’ve never worked with Set.a.Light before, you should give it a try! There is also a free demo version on the website, which you can use to open these setups.

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Stefan Kohler

Stefan Kohler

Stefan Kohler is a full-time retoucher. He’s from Germany and likes bacon. In the last years, he built up a broad community around his retouching classes at the Infinite tool’s website. You can follow his work oninstagram.

Join the Discussion

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2 responses to “How to create a perfectly white background – The Lighting Series #4”

  1. bergstrom Avatar
    bergstrom

    what about full length though?

    1. jeffmcc Avatar
      jeffmcc

      You would have to use like translum.