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Lighting colored BG paper evenly?
Old 12-23-2006, 11:37 AM   #1 (permalink)
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I'm trying to light a red seamless BG paper, and trying to light it evenly with two lights with umbrellas. I can get the middle to the floor evenly lite, with the light falling off at the top (in a vertical camera position). The floor is darker in front of the transition from wall to floor. The room isn't much wider then the paper, but there is a door on each side where I can gain a couple of inches of width. Light are about 4 to 5 feet away from the wall portion of the paper. I'm affair that if I put the lights further away from the paper, that the umbrellas are going to start edging into the sides of a horizontal shot.

Am I expecting to do too much with two lights to evenly ligh this background? When lighting colored paper, would more lights be the professional way to go?

Thanks
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Re: Lighting colored BG paper evenly?
Old 12-23-2006, 01:02 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Try moving your stands six to seven feet from the back wall and tilting your umbrellas toward the curve (between floor and wall). This may give you a little more, but you are definitely hampered by space, it seems. You might try setting a small flash on a slave and bounce it off the ceiling. That might help a little without adding to the cost. Red is a hard color to light evenly anyway. I usually just go for a hot spot in the middle and let it fall off dark on the edges. But if you are shooting full length, that doesn't work for you.
Before I spent a bunch of money on more lights, I would play with what I had more and (assuming you are digital) look at the results and take notes. When I was trying out new stuff, I would set the camera on a tripod and use a remote trigger (a squeeze bulb in those days) and use myself for the model. No one should practice on a paying customer or someone they are paying. "Arkie"
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Re: Lighting colored BG paper evenly?
Old 12-23-2006, 04:16 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Umbrellas do not throw an even light - they have a hot spot and a slow fade to the outer edges - so you are in trouble from the start. Ideally, something like a large softbox on each light would make your task much easier. If we assume that you don't have softboxes handy, then the next thing to consider is if you can produce the softbox effect. One option might be to use "shoot-through" umbrellas instead of reflective ones - do you have translucent white umbrellas? Another option might be some kind of diffuser between the lights and the paper - perhaps a white sheet, a piece of white nylon scrim, frosted tracing paper - something translucent white is what you need.

HTH
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Re: Lighting colored BG paper evenly?
Old 12-23-2006, 08:48 PM   #4 (permalink)
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You can use something like this:

Click for larger version
Re: Lighting colored BG paper evenly? 


Then you don't need to put the lights into umbrellas, just point them at the background. The gobo (the reflector between background light and model in this case could be black on the model side and white on the background side) will help even the light out over the whole background.

cheers,
rfs
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Re: Lighting colored BG paper evenly?
Old 12-23-2006, 10:12 PM   #5 (permalink)
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aim your lights at the background and adjust the aim till you meter the same at all corners or close to ...say f8 to f8.5... do 1 light on one side first get that f8 top and bottom turn it off...turn on the second light...repeat...then turn on both lights to get the combined reading... then take a preview shot.... the light meter is the key!
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