Olympus UK E-System User Group
Olympus UK E-System User Group

Join our unique resource for Olympus Four Thirds E-System DSLR and Pen and OM-D Micro Four Thirds photographers. Show your images via our free e-group photo gallery. Please read the e-group.uk.net forum terms and conditions before posting for the first time. Above all, welcome!


Go Back   Olympus UK E-System User Group > Cameras, lenses and system accessories > Accessory talk > Flash

Flash FL-related discussions can be found here.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 24th September 2010
David Gethin's Avatar
David Gethin David Gethin is offline
Full member
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Kent, England
Posts: 376
Thanks: 33
Thanked 28 Times in 14 Posts
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
How to achieve 'perfect' whites in Hi Key?

First of all I should say thanks to Radar for letting me use his image and play around with it.

I was browsing Radar's flickr account when I stumbled across the following image taken of some cigars and Radar's question how do you achieve a perfectly white (blown out background) in a product shot like this:


Radar's Cigars

This led me to have a play around with some approaches in Lightroom 2.7 that could be used, including my preferred approach when submitting images for eBay. The reason I asked Radar if it was alright to use his image as an example rather than one of my own is because the tones and texture of the cigars lend themselves to illustrating the pitfalls of the various approaches I tried.

First up was a general increase in exposure of +0.5 - although this is moving toward the desired whitening effect of the background, the dark tones of the cigar are lost and the gold on the band risks becoming overblown. Further overexposure left insufficient contrast in the picture and it looked flat:


Next I tried an increase in Fill Light of +30 - this only exacerbated the problems associated with overexposure leaving the cigars looking bleached and lacking in contrast, and consequently the increase was limited to only +30 leaving the white background looking anything but. A very mild improvement over the original but far less than the general exposure achieved:


My preferred approach and the last shown here is an increase of +80 in Highlights - this produced the whitest background whilst remaining most (but not completely) faithful to the original colour and tones of the cigars. However, the gold band is now bordering on blown:


So how would you approach this problem? Is it down to changing the lighting or metering in the original shot? Or is it addressed by post processing and, if so, how?

Thanks again to Radar for letting me take his photo and play with it.

__________________
David

Olympus E-30 | Falcon 8mm fisheye | 8mm fisheye | 12-60mm | 25mm f/2.8 pancake | 40-150mm | 50-200mm | 70-300mm | Tamron 135mm f/2.5 | EX-25 | FL-36R | YN460 & YN460-II | B&W ND110 | Lightroom 2.7 | Photoshop CS3
flickr - Photo52 2011
My Photo52 2011 Thread on TP
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 24th September 2010
OlyPaul's Avatar
OlyPaul OlyPaul is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: West Midlands
Posts: 5,470
Thanks: 140
Thanked 715 Times in 577 Posts
Likes: 177
Liked 875 Times in 355 Posts
Re: How to achieve 'perfect' whites in Hi Key?

In this example it looks more like a case of slight underexposure.

A white background that is further away from the subject will appear darker than the subject that is exposed correctly if it is lit by artificial light , this is called light fall off or the inverse law. Normally in a studio /controlled light situation lighting the white background 2 stops more than the main subject will ensure a completley shadowless and white background.

In this case simply using levels and the white point eyedropper on the background does the trick.

__________________
Regards Paul.
One day I hope to be the person my dogs think I am.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/paul_silk/
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 24th September 2010
David Gethin's Avatar
David Gethin David Gethin is offline
Full member
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Kent, England
Posts: 376
Thanks: 33
Thanked 28 Times in 14 Posts
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Re: How to achieve 'perfect' whites in Hi Key?

Hi Paul

Thanks for the comments.

In product shots like these, the product is actually sitting on the 'background' so there is no separation between subject and background that allows it to be lit with 2 stops difference. So how would you get around that?

Secondly, although I understand the idea behing what you have done, could you say which program you're using and how you could replicate that in Lightroom 2.xx (I haven't upgraded to LR3).

__________________
David

Olympus E-30 | Falcon 8mm fisheye | 8mm fisheye | 12-60mm | 25mm f/2.8 pancake | 40-150mm | 50-200mm | 70-300mm | Tamron 135mm f/2.5 | EX-25 | FL-36R | YN460 & YN460-II | B&W ND110 | Lightroom 2.7 | Photoshop CS3
flickr - Photo52 2011
My Photo52 2011 Thread on TP
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 24th September 2010
OlyPaul's Avatar
OlyPaul OlyPaul is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: West Midlands
Posts: 5,470
Thanks: 140
Thanked 715 Times in 577 Posts
Likes: 177
Liked 875 Times in 355 Posts
Re: How to achieve 'perfect' whites in Hi Key?

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Gethin View Post
Hi Paul

Thanks for the comments.

In product shots like these, the product is actually sitting on the 'background' so there is no separation between subject and background that allows it to be lit with 2 stops difference. So how would you get around that?
Hi David
By lighting and exposing it correctly(using a incident light reading from a flash meter) as I first mentioned. This would get you in the ball park and perhaps would need a minor tweak in PP. I do not do product photography but have done a lot of studio portrait work and the principles are the same I would imagine

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Gethin View Post
Secondly, although I understand the idea behing what you have done, could you say which program you're using and how you could replicate that in Lightroom 2.xx (I haven't upgraded to LR3).

This was done in Elements 7 using levels, sadly setting a white point is one of those things that cannot be done in LR, you can increase exposure or use curves but both will effect all the other tones as well and is not as effective or as easy.
__________________
Regards Paul.
One day I hope to be the person my dogs think I am.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/paul_silk/
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 24th September 2010
Nick Temple-Fry's Avatar
Nick Temple-Fry Nick Temple-Fry is offline
Full member
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Wiltshire
Posts: 4,395
Thanks: 17
Thanked 190 Times in 142 Posts
Likes: 0
Liked 5 Times in 5 Posts
Re: How to achieve 'perfect' whites in Hi Key?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul_S View Post
Hi David

This was done in Elements 7 using levels, sadly setting a white point is one of those things that cannot be done in LR, you can increase exposure or use curves but both will effect all the other tones as well and is not as effective or as easy.
I haven't got LR - but in The GIMP using curves it is easy enough to get a white background without impacting on the other tones. Looking at the curves will show a peak on the RHS, fix a point just to the left of this and take the remainder of the line straight up to the top, this will give you pure white for everything to the right of the fixed point, but not alter anything to the left. Might well work in LR.

Nick
__________________
Nick Temple-Fry

Medicine as a science ranks somewhere between archaeology and economics.

www.theChurchPhotographer.co.uk 90 Churches -- Fairford St Mary's, exceptionally splendid
www.temple-fry.co.uk
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 24th September 2010
OlyPaul's Avatar
OlyPaul OlyPaul is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: West Midlands
Posts: 5,470
Thanks: 140
Thanked 715 Times in 577 Posts
Likes: 177
Liked 875 Times in 355 Posts
Re: How to achieve 'perfect' whites in Hi Key?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick Temple-Fry View Post
I haven't got LR - but in The GIMP using curves it is easy enough to get a white background without impacting on the other tones. Looking at the curves will show a peak on the RHS, fix a point just to the left of this and take the remainder of the line straight up to the top, this will give you pure white for everything to the right of the fixed point, but not alter anything to the left. Might well work in LR.

Nick
Nope, curves in LR are crippled, hey they still need to sell PS.

For those that want to know ( David) the nearest you can get to that, is to expand the Curve tone box to see the bottom sliders, you can now set the highlight limiter to a narrower section ( third slider on the graph moved as far to the right as possible) so only the very light tones are influenced when you adjust the highlight slider.

See below
__________________
Regards Paul.
One day I hope to be the person my dogs think I am.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/paul_silk/
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 24th September 2010
Alan Clogwyn
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Re: How to achieve 'perfect' whites in Hi Key?

That was easy - PSP X2, promote to layer, new plain white layer underneath, then set blend range of the top layer to make anything nearly white transparent so the new whit background shines through.

Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 3rd October 2010
David Gethin's Avatar
David Gethin David Gethin is offline
Full member
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Kent, England
Posts: 376
Thanks: 33
Thanked 28 Times in 14 Posts
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Re: How to achieve 'perfect' whites in Hi Key?

Thanks for the replies, I started a new job this week so I haven't been able to follow how the thread developed.
__________________
David

Olympus E-30 | Falcon 8mm fisheye | 8mm fisheye | 12-60mm | 25mm f/2.8 pancake | 40-150mm | 50-200mm | 70-300mm | Tamron 135mm f/2.5 | EX-25 | FL-36R | YN460 & YN460-II | B&W ND110 | Lightroom 2.7 | Photoshop CS3
flickr - Photo52 2011
My Photo52 2011 Thread on TP
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 4th October 2010
buggslife
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Re: How to achieve 'perfect' whites in Hi Key?

That response from Alan is handy.

I agree with some of the others - I would have gone for curves in LR. Just move the sliders so you are only affecting a narrow band of highlights (you can find the cut-off by clicking the dropper and hovering over the background).

Pull highlights up severely and, if you don't like the resulting high local contrast in the upper midtones, even them out as well.

It is possible that this response makes no sense at all but LR users (and full Camera Raw users too) should get it.

Of course for inanimate objects, getting the 'studio' lighting right first should be possible.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 4th October 2010
xp1's Avatar
xp1 xp1 is offline
Full member
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: UK
Posts: 413
Thanks: 9
Thanked 43 Times in 29 Posts
Likes: 0
Liked 15 Times in 6 Posts
Re: How to achieve 'perfect' whites in Hi Key?

Can I put my ten pennies worth into the discussion ???
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 25th November 2010
minh0204
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Re: How to achieve 'perfect' whites in Hi Key?

Put a flash behind the background and nuke it. If the back ground is too textured, get another one.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Perfect ?? gregles Foto Fair 2 7th July 2010 09:25 PM
Couple of black and whites DannyH Foto Fair 2 6th April 2010 03:38 AM
Perfect Portraits stevednp3 Looking for improvement 7 9th August 2009 05:17 PM
Whites Nick Temple-Fry Foto Fair 7 23rd April 2009 11:37 PM
Perfect Comma andym Foto Fair 9 14th September 2008 08:41 AM


All times are GMT. The time now is 02:28 AM.


The Write Technology Ltd, 2007-2019, All rights reservedAd Management plugin by RedTyger