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Shoot: One-Light White Seamless

While it is easier to create a white seamless shot (one with a pure white background) using multiple flashes, it is possible to do it with a single Speedlite and a large diffuser.

Most Of The Flash Lights The Background

The key to getting a white background is to overexpose a light-colored wall, meaning that it must be flooded with flash. For this shoot, the Speedlite was zoomed moderately tight (105mm), positioned about 45° to the side, and aimed at the wall behind the model.

Then, as you can see in Figure 19.30, a large diffuser panel (in this case, a Lastolite TriGrip Diffuser) was held between Katie and the flash—just outside of the camera’s view. The diffuser captures the outer rays of the flash and creates soft light on the subject. As always, the closer the diffuser is to the subject, the greater its apparent size becomes (relative to the size of the subject) and the softer the light becomes.

Maximize The Separation Between The Wall And The Subject

The distance between the wall and your subject is the key to creating a shot with sharp, contrasty edges. You want a gap of 5′ or more. If your subject is too close to the background, then the bright wall will act like a giant reflector panel and wrap your subject in edge-softening light. If you find this to be an issue, then have your subject step farther from the background.

Lighting Details

Environment: Rustic exhibition hall

Time of Day: Not a factor

Ambient: Not a factor

Speedlite: One 600EX-RT

Mode: Manual

Zoom: Zoomed to 80mm

Modifier: Lastolite TriGrip Diffuser

Distance: About 12′

Height: 6′

Trigger: ST-E3-RT Transmitter

Camera Details

Camera: 5D Mark III

Lens: 24–105mm f/4L IS at 60mm

Distance to Subject: 6′

Exposure Mode: Manual

Exposure: 1by200.jpg″, f/5.6, ISO 800

White Balance: Daylight

Figure 19.29

Figure 19.29 Lighting diagram

Figure 19.30

Figure 19.30 Our location for the shoot

Figure 19.31

Figure 19.31 The key to getting a white background is to flood it with flash. The key to having a sharp contrast between the subject and the wall is to maximize the distance between them.

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