When I started contributing to iStock, one of the first things I wanted to master the white-background effect. I did some research, and thanks to Strobist I was able to create my own little soft-box out of a cardboard box, see-through white paper and poster board (oh, and sunlight, of course). This is one of my photos I took with that cute little box.
Eventually I wanted to photograph people, so I invested in some background equipment, and also some AlienBees strobes. I honestly had no idea what I was doing! My setup was one light on the backdrop, located directly behind the subject, and two lights (each with soft-boxes) lighting the subject. (This was in a small room … about the size of a small bedroom.) I had some good luck and got some great shots (here’s one of them) but had very limited space in my little house in Hawaii. It’s been well over a year and a half since I last did any white-background images, so I thought I would do some updated ones with my usual models.
Now that I have an entire garage at my disposal, I was able to bring the subject further from the backdrop and light the background with two lights, blocking any spill with a few bi-fold closet doors I got at Home Depot for $34 each. I also used one of my Nikon speedlights as an additional light on the kids … here’s the photo of my complete setup. The above is a time-lapse of setting-up and a few finished images of my “studio” and photographing the kids. Here’s a list of the equipment used in that shoot:
- Camera: Nikon D200
- Lens: Nikon 24-70 f/2.8
- Lights: AlienBees 1600 (x3) – one w/ octagon softbox, two with field reflectors; one Nikon SB-800 w/ shoot-through umbrella
- Trigger: PocketWizards (x3) – one on SB-800, one on AB-1600 (the other two strobes were triggered optically), one on-camera
- Misc: Bi-fold closet doors (x2)
- Backdrop: 2-Sided Flex-out (black/white)
I believe that there is never an end to learning about photography, and so that’s why I put this little video together. It’s because of other wonderful artists out there who share their tidbits of information about photography with the world that has brought me to where I am today, so I want to do what I can to spread the love, too. So, with that said … please enjoy the video!