How To Get Bright White Background In Photography

by -112 views

Is information technology possible to create a pure white photography background ‘in photographic camera’?
Common exercise for white background photography is to use post processing. But I’m here to tell you it’s not all nearly Photoshop.
You tin do it in camera.
In this article, I’ll testify you lot ii methods to create a white photography background. There’s trivial to no post-production involved.

© Kevin Landwer-Johan

Best Settings for White Background Photography

Having more light on a white background than on your subject is the fundamental to creating a pure white groundwork. The groundwork must be at to the lowest degree 3 stops brighter than your subject.
It is also important to take your exposure meter reading only from your bailiwick. Avoid including the background.
Apply the spot meter setting on your camera to ensure you are only making a reading from your subject field.
Photographing a portrait y’all volition want the person’s confront to be well exposed.
Accept a spot meter reading from your subject’s face. Check if yous have your setting correct for your subject to be well exposed. Then check the light on the white background.
Is information technology shut to the amount of low-cal on your subject? If at that place is non 3 stops or more of difference, you volition demand to add more light to your background.

portrait of a female model holding a guitar against a white photography background
© Kevin Landwer-Johan

Most Mutual Problems With White Groundwork Photography

Placing your subject as well shut to the background during a photo shoot is the chief trouble.
This can cause the subject to bandage shadows onto the background. It tin also mean spill light from the background affects your subject.
You might be working in a small photo studio or room. This means you won’t accept enough space between your discipline and background.
Placing lights in forepart of your discipline will cause shadow to be bandage on the background.
Y’all tin add lights from the front to aid reduce or go rid of the shadow. This may result in low-cal from them spilling onto your subject.
If the light is uneven the whole of the background may announced to be pure white. At this point, yous should bank check your camera’s histogram.
If the fasten on the right is not hard up against the right paw edge, you do not have a pure white background. Even if the histogram shows a spike hard against the right side, you may not take a clean white groundwork.
The histogram is showing a representation of the tone range in all the pixels. It doesn’t show yous where the tones are in the prototype.
Checking your image on a figurer is the nigh accurate way to observe out if your background is pure white.

Humorous portrait of a female model against a white photography background
© Kevin Landwer-Johan

In this studio photo the background calorie-free was not even. The light drops off around the edges of the frame.
So I opened the image in Photoshop and added a Levels Aligning Layer. The problem became more obvious.
The black, red and yellow areas show where the background is not a clean white.
Screenshot of how to make background white in photoshop

How to Set up This Problem

Ane technique is to light your background from behind. This volition become rid of shadows. And it will reduce the corporeality of low-cal spilling onto your subject.
Even when your subject is close to the background, you will have more control of shadows and spill low-cal.
Backlighting the background tin go far bright plenty and evenly lit. This hateful you won’t need to mail process or a photo editing software.
I have used this technique to make super white background portrait photography both in the studio and outdoors.

portrait of a female model against a white photography background
© Kevin Landwer-Johan

White Groundwork Photography in the Studio

Using enough strobes and the right groundwork fabric is cardinal in studio photography. If you practise not have plenty lights you will not be able to make plenty of the groundwork surface pure white or like a white seamless paper.
Having the correct background textile is also important. I use plastic sheeting for outdoor signs. Information technology comes as wide equally three meters and has a textured side.
The texturing helps diffuse the light. The plastic is semi-translucent, so low-cal can pass through it. You tin experiment with other background semi-translucent materials.
I always use manual manner and spot metering when I am making portrait photography like this. If you are using an automobile or semi-auto mode you volition demand to apply exposure lock for best results.

A humourous portrait of a man holding a test tube against a white photo background
© Kevin Landwer-Johan

The Stride past Step Process

Ready your background about one meter from a white wall or other white surface in your photography studio.
Place two or more high powered strobes backside the background. And add wide dish reflectors on them. Point them at the wall, away from the background. Set them to max output.
The size of the groundwork y’all are using volition determine how many strobes you will demand.
It’south important to prepare the lights facing away from the groundwork. They volition bounciness off the wall and calorie-free the background evenly.
If the two light stands were set up upwards facing the background, there’d be ii hot spots on information technology.
Stand in front end of the background and take a photo of it with your exposure fix so you can meet some tone in it. If you are using a textured background you should come across some of it. Accept note of your exposure settings.
If the light is non even, move your strobes and keep testing.
You lot need to cheque the position of your lights. They should spread even lite beyond as much of the background surface as possible.
Your exposure settings for the groundwork might be 1/250th of a 2d, f22 and ISO 100.
Gear up one or more lights and reflectors for the way of portrait yous desire to make.
Control the output of the lights so there is at least three stops less low-cal on your subject.
Your camera settings will be ane/250th of a second at f8 and ISO 100 or the equivalent.
Have some test photos and check them over. Is your bailiwick well exposed? Is the groundwork pure white everywhere you can see it? Or is in that location too much lite spilling from the background onto the subject area?
Y’all volition have to cheque the photos on a computer to ensure the background is pure white. To practise this suit the brightness levels or curves from the left side (nighttime pixels) to the right side.
If some of the background darkens or turns black your background is not pure white. You lot need to adjust the low-cal levels and exposure and/or make the spread of the light more than even.
Move your subject farther away from the groundwork if there is besides much light on them.
I made the photo below using this method. The small areas of background visible through her chapeau and hair complicated things.
They would have been very hard to clean up in Photoshop if the background had not been pure white.
Instead, all I had to practice was balance the colour and tweak the white levels in Lightroom.

portrait of a female model in a straw hat posing against a white photography background
© Kevin Landwer-Johan

White Background Photography for Studio Product Shoots

Product catalogs and websites like Amazon need a pure white groundwork for products. You can do this by backlighting your subject field.
Photographing product on an opaque white background often results in shadows.
Information technology’s common for studio photographers who practise work for catalogs to have a light table. This consists of a canvas of white acetate. You lot can bend this to provide a horizontal surface and a vertical groundwork. Lights placed nether and backside this tabular array get rid of the shadows from pinnacle lighting.
Conscientious residuum of the front and back lights is essential. Calorie-free spill from the tabletop can cause problems if your product is on the acetate.
Information technology is easier to post procedure white products to clean the groundwork. A make clean white backlit background with white products is not unremarkably possible. You won’t exist able to go the correct light balance and avert light spill.
Often it is quicker and easier to photo white products on an opaque background.
This production serial was easier to make on an opaque background because of their light color. With the backlighting method, I couldn’t get enough definition in the edges.
A amend result was possible by cleaning the background with Photoshop.
The photograph beneath is before post-processing.

A product photography shoot against a white photography background
© Kevin Landwer-Johan

White Background Photography Outdoors

Creating white background photographs outdoors requires the right setup. But it is less reliant on equipment than the studio method I accept described.
In fact, yous can accomplish information technology without using any electric light sources. The lord’s day, reflector and the right kind of white photography background is all you need.
I oftentimes work outdoors with my natural low-cal studio. Whenever I’m taking portraits, I accept a black and white background.
The white background allows me to get that make clean white look in-camera.
For my outdoor studio I use a piece of white stretch material. I attach the fabric to backdrop stands so there are no wrinkles or creases in information technology. Creased fabric will result in an uneven lite on the groundwork. It volition also not render pure white.
I always set the studio upwardly and so the sun lights the background fabric evenly from behind. In full sunshine, the white background fabric is always at least three stops brighter than my field of study.
The result of all this is a pure white groundwork.
I use the same technique I do in the studio to measure the light and brand my exposure setting. Again, being most conscientious not to read any low-cal from the groundwork.
Usually, I accept a good deal of space to work in when I’m outdoors. This allows me to move the subject field closer or further from the background equally needed.

Setting up an outdoor photo studio with a white photography background
© Kevin Landwer-Johan

For front lighting setup, I rely on lite reflecting from the ground. To ensure I get a make clean white light. I will lay downward some white plastic sheeting. I also use one or two fold out reflectors to bounce some light back into my subject’s face.
You can besides use white card, polystyrene board or any white or light surface every bit a reflector.
Backlighting the background with the sun is the aforementioned as doing information technology in the studio. At that place must be more low-cal on the groundwork than there is reflecting off your subject. You lot must also have your camera exposure settings right.
1 advantage is that the sun provides aplenty lite to cover even a huge background. The biggest disadvantage is that you have no control over it.
You can read more than virtually this technique and how I too attain a pure black background in this article.

Close up portrait of a young girl in traditional face paint against a white portrait photo background
© Kevin Landwer-Johan

I took this photo with my outdoor studio and information technology has a pure white background.
I did make some pocket-sized mail service processing tweaks to it in Lightroom. Simply these were to ensure the colours were balanced well and the groundwork was clean.
Hither is the epitome in Photoshop afterwards adjusting the Levels. You tin see that the groundwork is pure white.
Screenshot of how to make background white in photoshop

Mail-Processing White Background Photos

Minor postal service-processing can fix a backlit background that is non pure white.

portrait of a female model holding chillis against a white photography background
© Kevin Landwer-Johan

In Lightroom I apply the White and Highlight sliders in the Basic Console. Sliding these towards the correct will lighten the background.
Pay attention to your subject while y’all are making these changes. If your field of study is beingness affected too much, edit the image in Photoshop.
Screenshot of how to make a white photography background in photoshop

Once I’ve switched to Photoshop, I will add a Levels Adjustment Layer and move the sliders most of the way to the right. This will let me to see where whatsoever dark areas are.
Next I utilize the Dodge tool fix to affect the highlight range. With the Range set to impact only highlights, at that place is trivial risk of your main subject being afflicted. I set the exposure for this tool at 100%.
I then dodge over the areas of the background that are not pure white withal. The upshot the Dodge Tool has is to further lighten the background.
If y’all are not seeing any change, check that you have the image layer selected, not the Aligning Layer.
Y’all may have to work over the same area many times if it is quite dark.
If a lot of your background is not make clean white, dodge around the edges of your subject field. Once the edges are clean, use the Brush Tool and paint in the rest of the background with white.
This will be quicker and easier than using the Dodge Tool.
Screenshot of how to make background white in photoshop


These methods involve using the balance of low-cal to achieve a pure white background. If you are trying this out yous may need to experiment until yous have the right weather.
It was more difficult for me to make this piece of work in the studio than outdoors. Working indoors means more than space and lights than usual. Try working with a smaller background and cropping tighter to your subject.
Working outdoors with this method and merely using daylight is a lot of fun. Information technology’s too cheap. Y’all do not even need to ready a very large white backdrop.
With the right fabric for the background, you can place your subject quite close to it. There will non be much spill light and they will cast no shadow on the background.
Information technology is even possible to do production photography outdoors using this method.


Posted by: