How to Light a White Backdrop?

Most of us prefer to use a white backdrop when it comes to taking portraits, but surprisingly at times the white backdrop turns to look a dull grey in the pictures. The reason for this is in sufficient lighting.

Set the lights to make the backdrop look solid white in the portraits.

A white backdrop if correctly exposed will produce a white backdrop. If you over-expose it, it reflects too much light and would over-expose the edge of the subject and the image becomes de-saturated. It is not necessary to use a high-powered light or expensive strobes to make the picture look good. Small inexpensive continuous lights can be used to make the backdrop look bright. There in no need for too many lights, just one or two lights will do to get the trick.


Focusing the Light on Backdrop.

To make sure you get the nice solid white, it is necessary to focus the background light on the backdrop itself. However care should be taken not to overexpose the background so much that the edge of the subject becomes washed out and the image becomes saturated. The best way to overcome this difficulty is to use a light meter.


To use the Light Meter Against the Backdrop

Just hold the meter against the backdrop, with the white dome aimed towards camera and take a reading. The white background should be one stop brighter than the light on your subject. If the meter shows F/11 for your subject, you want the background to read one stop brighter (Like F/8). You get that background brighter by increasing the power of the strobe itself. Keep adjusting the power of the background light until it reads that one stop or more than your subjects.

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