Even grey background in Studio

Discussion in 'Portraits and Fashion' started by bjorn_chong, Sep 13, 2017.

  1. Hi all
    I would like to create shots that looks something like this.
    The grey background looks so evenly lit.

    However, in the studio, I can't seem to be able to get this even tone of grey throughout. Instead,
    I get a background with a gradient of grey.

    To get that even background, is photoshop required? (Cut and paste the image onto a pure grey background?)
  2. Two options:
    1. Get a spacy studio permitting to light your background evenly and independent of the model, because it is far behind them.
    2. if you are converting a color camera's file to BW, try using a chromagreen backdrop to do miracles to it with your green adjustment slider during PP.
  3. Hey

    Thanks for your input. I think will stick with option 1. I have not much experience with chromagreen.
    I have heard someone say parabolic softbox? What do you think?
  4. That is not a background that was made in photoshop. The subject was cut out and a bad job of doing so.
  5. how can u tell?
  6. Parabolic softbox: Seems like a bright idea in general. Huge lightsource = less defined subject shadows on your background. With reduced difusors (just the inner one?) it can make a nice lightsource outdoors too, if you have an assistant to weigh down your light stand.
    Anyhow your problem is different: You want to light your background evenly. - Look at old copy stands and similar to get an idea of achieving such. - It might take 4 lights? 2 are a starter. You need softboxes for them, just get them balanced out, maybe crank them up a stop to be sure to burn any shadow from your subject away.
    You also need
    1. space between subject and backdrop and
    2. Your (fancy) main lights close to the subject to not cast subject shadows on backdrop.
    If you aren't including feet as in the attached shot, you haven't many problems since backdrop and subject are entirely independent subjects to deal with. If you want a shadowless person with feet post processing is the only way out since the "Product shot on a glass table" routine seems too expensive to set up for people.
    I assume the visible seam around the subject's borders in the attached shot betrays the photoshopping? - Below the fingers for example and maybe around upper arms & shoulders? - Hard to believe in rim lit body hair to look as shown.
  7. You are probably getting spill from your lights in studio. With the modeling lights on, walk along the background and see if you are throwing a shadow, You can turn one light on at a time til you eliminate it with a grid, egg crate, flag, feathering away from bg or a combination thereof. Then address the other lights. If your main is approximately 45 degrees from the 3/4 subject, it is facing the side wall and not the bg. Can even feather that further away from the bg as well. Also, move your subject as far from the bg as possible helps. In a small white room, your main may be bouncing back from ceiling and walls. I like to roll over a 6x6 black scrim opposite the main to prevent some of the stray light. Tim Ludwig taught me to have the fill on the subject nose axis which gives nice falloff and modeling but also if subject head is turned to 3/4, then the fill isn't aimed at the bg as it would if on camera axis. We often find ourselves in tight quarters on location and these approaches come in handy even if you have a larger studio. The tone of the bg can be measured by the difference in brightness between incident subject lighting and bg. reflective reading. Once you know that difference, you can just take a reflective of your bg and power your lights to subject incident for the correct delta. Or, if you are lighting your bg, determine your desired subject aperture and dial in your background reflective for the desired difference. You can also get that gray background in a white room narrowing the curtains and moving the subject closer to the window, thereby increasing exposure compared to the bg wall that remains constant making it darker, or moving subject further from the window to lighten the bg wall. You can make a white wall bg go pure black doing this. You can fill subject shadows with a reflector or white cardboard.
    No magic, just controlling spill and ratio.
    Hope this helps.
  8. How do I know its photoshopped. Its called experience. You can see digital artifacts around the hair and edges of the the body as well as in parts of the background as well. In any case the way to make an even background as explained above is have enough room to light it evenly keeping the subject at least 10 feet away from the background.
  9. I don't think the figure has been cut out of the background. The image is of very poor quality, full of jpeg artifacts, which doesn't allow close scrutiny, but I've cut out hundreds of figures from backgrounds, and can tell you, the hairs on his legs would not have "made the cut". This is most likely the actual studio background.
    michaelmowery likes this.
  10. If you don't photoshop the background even then you need to light it evenly.
    Wilmarco Imaging likes this.

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