Flash Parker's Beat Lab, Sheridan, Wyoming, USA.
Project 366. Day 4.
People talk often of how difficult it is to photograph white objects on white backgrounds, so I thought I'd see what I could come up with on a cold and stormy evening cooped up in the beat lab.
Shooting an egg on a white background is one of those classic photography school assignments (so I've heard) that can be a mighty struggle for many. If you try and shoot with natural light, you have a tough time getting an even exposure on the egg and the background. If you shoot with flash, you can create hot spots that distract from your subject. I'm offering you a quick, easy solution, one that you can use whenever you need to shoot something against a light background.
First you need a seamless backdrop. All I used was a piece of white foam core - about $1 at the store. I also added two pieces of foam core on either side of the egg that would help bounce clean light back at it. Finally, I covered the top of my "box" with a white sheet - this is really important as soon as I start adding light into the scene.
And add light I did. I could have got away with natural light in this situation, as I had set up near a big window, but it was getting late in the day and there wasn't enough light to help me out. Instead I tossed a flash on a stand, put it behind my softbox, and aimed it up at the ceiling. I bounced the light from the ceiling back down into the sofxbox so that the light would diffuse and spread through the top sheet and bounce around on the foam core, lighting my scene evenly while retaining a bit of a shadow under the halves of the egg - so that I could ground the image and not have my subject look like it was floating in space.
And that is that. 3 pieces of cheap foam core, a white sheet, a flash, and 10 minutes to spare. An incredibly simple solution to shooting small objects against a white backdrop.
- SB-80DX, bare, bounced into ceiling
- Flashwaves Triggers
Back in February I started work on a project. The genesis of that project was to craft a workbook of my favorite lighting designs, and to push myself to try new techniques. I wanted to do something that would keep me busy in the dead of winter and while I wasn't on assignment, but it grew and grew and grew... and left me with this mess.
And thus this Project 366 was born. The goal is to use, shape, mod and mold light 366 different ways. It's an ambitious goal, and I can tell you from time to time I stumble. Sometimes I fall flat on my face. Not every one of the images included are world-beaters, but then some of them never were designed to be. I've held back from posting this for quite some time because I wanted to make sure that I could see it through - if I'm out shooting all day on assignment, sometimes the last thing I want to do is come home and shoot some more. But I did it, all for the sake of light. And now I'm going to share it.
Flash Parker Photography: