Hi Key with hard light?

Discussion in 'Portraits and Fashion' started by radicalgel, Dec 2, 2014.

  1. I'm just trying to figure out how to get a hi key, pure white background shot, but also have hard, defined shadows. I have attached a reference image and would love to get some suggestions on the lighting setup to achieve these results. My guess is, have the subject fairly close to the white seamless, have one hard light (Large reflector no diffusion) a fair distance away, above and pointing down at the subject. This will give me the defined shadows. I can then use 2 symmetrically placed, large diffused lights to fill in the shadows to taste and blow out the background. What would you guys do?
  2. you have described exactly what to do except for the last part using the 2 additional lights to blow out the background. Just do it and see what happens. One light is all you need and yes the subject is right against the background. You first need to make sure you are using a super white seamless background. You don't want to automatically assume that you need to overexpose your white background to get white. That is a misconception. Having a person floating in white space is not my first choice but if it is yours then that part will be done in post.
  3. If you do want to avoid having to do it in post then what you describe is exactly correct however. Whenever possible I like to do as much in camera as possible, but Michael is correct that you can work on it in post as well if that's your preferred way to go.

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