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Thread: Fancy white background shots

  1. #1
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    Default Fancy white background shots

    I've been really impressed by Scratchs white background shots so thought I'd have a go;



    The white was a bit too grey so photoshop had to do a bit much to get things white. I guess I need to play with exposure compensation to sort that out. The white also has a gradient so only blends in to the page at the bottom, do I need to sort that with the lighting or is it best to use photoshop trickery (layer masks and the like)?

    Any help greatfully received - Cheers Steve

  2. #2
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    Hi Steve, only just noticed this. As you know, with Photoshop, there's always about 10 ways to skin a cat. Best starting point though... as always is to get it as close as you can with the original image from the camera. Easier said than done though - rarely, if ever does the camera reproduce pure white (255 in Photshop's tonal range) when we want it to. Even with a custom white balance set, and serious attention to detail and exposure etc, we're lucky to get as close as 250; even 252/253 is enough to stand out against pure white. As long as we get in that ball-park though, we can then tweak in photoshop without the adjustment compromising the rest of the tones too much.

    I rarely need to use layers to achieve the pure white background for this kind of shot - setting the white balance on the RAW, then a couple of tweaks to the Jpeg or TIFF or whatever in PS usually does the trick.

    Try messing with your white point tool in 'Curves' or 'Levels' for starters. And don't forget to make use of a soft-edge brush, selecting pure white, and a 50/50 opacity/flow.

    Hope this helps mate.
    Last edited by Scratch; 18-01-2011 at 05:02 AM.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scratch View Post
    Try messing with your white point tool in 'Curves'
    That's what I use - quickest fix for most situations. Select white point dropper, select in pic the "darkest" white area, bingo!.

    Last edited by noeyedeer; 18-01-2011 at 09:09 AM.
    `..`. ><((((((>
    `..`..`. ><((((((>

  4. #4
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    Rob,

    Thanks for the reply, I’m a bit embarrassed to be honest because it probably took you more effort to respond than it did for me to take the picture, it really was a quick snap without much thought (I didn’t even use any bracketing).

    I used the white dropper in the levels tool to get the background mainly white because it was decidedly grey to begin with; it’s still very grey around the fly.

    I’ll have another go tonight, this time putting a bit more thought and effort in!

    Incidentally I was looking at a DSLR at the weekend (EOS 500D), but I would struggle to justify the cost, especially when you add in a decent macro lens - I appreciate that it’s technique that makes the biggest difference anyway.

    If I do talk myself (and more importantly the wife) into it I get the impression that a cheaper body + better lens would be a better combo than expensive body and cheap lens – does that make sense?

    Good demo noeyedeer, I shy away from the curves tool a bit because the slightest slip and everything goes a bit Andy Warhol, I’ll give it a whirl, but stick to the droppers not the actual curve.

    Cheers for the help - Steve
    Last edited by weight_forward; 18-01-2011 at 01:03 PM.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by weight_forward View Post
    I get the impression that a cheaper body + better lens would be a better combo than expensive body and cheap lens – does that make sense?
    Perfect sense mate


    Quote Originally Posted by weight_forward View Post
    I shy away from the curves tool a bit because the slightest slip and everything goes a bit Andy Warhol, I’ll give it a whirl, but stick to the droppers not the actual curve.


    Do a 'Photoshop Curves' search on Youtube mate.... loadsa tutorials The trick with curves is to get a thorough understanding of what the 'curve' actually represents, and does.... then go easy - a slight 'S' curve invariably lifts an image. The Black,Grey and White points are very useful too.

  6. #6
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    Default Had another go

    The fly composition isn't great this time, but happy with the background!



    Cheers for the help gents.

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