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Friday, September 18, 2009

Shooting On White Using Natural Light

Today's little tutorial will get you started shooting isolated objects on a white background using nothing more than natural light coming in a window and a sheet of white posterboard. The trick with this is to shoot using a high ISO and fairly exact camera settings. Adjustments in photoshop later on can cause excessive noise, so you need to experiment a little with your lighting and your settings. And one little tip - make sure your windows are clean, inside and out, and remove the screen if you can. Spots on the window can sometimes result in shadow spots on your background.

sterling silver and amethyst necklace on white backgroundOther important factors for shooting objects on white in natural light are a camera whose sensor produces little noise - this may not work for most point and shoot cameras because they tend to generate more noise than dslr's. That doesn't mean itcollectible toy cars on white background won't work, just that you might have more noise issues and that you'll really have to spend some time finding the optimal settings for your camera - and, you'll need to find your optimal shooting times. If your camera is a "point and shoot" type, it will need to have manual control settings in order for you to use this method, and it should be able to shoot in raw. It's possible to do this in .jpg, but you'll have to ensure your photo requires no adjustments to the lighting later.

My optimal shooting times are early afternoon. The light coming in my window is more evenly distributed, softer and brighter than any other time of day.

If you are a beginner at this type of photography, I think you'll find this exercise useful in learning how to make appropriate adjustments for different lighting.

The full tutorial along with sample images and their settings can be downloaded HERE.

As always, the pdf REQUIRES A PASSWORD TO OPEN. The password is notheft.

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