shooting and lighting technique : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

I have some questions about shooting and lighting technique. I want to create the image of white blocks floating in the air. What I'm doing is that I shoot ,from a top (6feet high), white blocks which are placed on a clear box(12 inch tall) on white background paper (8x10feet). I want real bright pure white for the background and also I need bright white for the blocks. Thus, I want to create really white image. I am using 2 lights (tungsten, 1000watts each) for background and 1 light for the blocks. But, the problem is that I cannot get even white for the background since I am using 165mm for 8x10 format. (Wide angle) I don't want to change the lens and distance between camera and the blocks. Does anybody have any suggetion for the lighting, or is there any other way which I could get pure white background?

Also, for the film development, should I under-expose a film and over-develop it to obtain contrast because of really white image? What is the tip to produce beautiful white for a fianl print? I'm using T-max 100. Any input will be very appreciated !! Thanks in advance. Ric Yama

-- Ric Yama (, August 15, 2000


Ric: I am not as versed in this type of photography as some of the commercial shooters are, but I may be able to help a little. First, you need to get the background lighting level up two or three stops above the lighting on the blocks. You will probably needs light screens to keep the light off the block. An easier method is to use a white plastic background and back light it. You can also use a white cloth or white nylon background with back lights close behind it. You might want to get the block further away from the background than allowed by the clear plastic box. That way, it is easier to get light on the background. If you are shooting B&W, you can get the shot and then block out the background on the neg with opaque dyes. Then make a print and copy that to get a neg. I would consider a better support than the plastic block. Seems it would cast a shadow, even though slight. Hope this helps.


-- Doug Paramore (, August 16, 2000.

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