2013 Project 365

Project 365/91 – Trying Again

Here is my attempts, part deaux, to work successfully with a light box and lighting to create those perfect white backgrounds.

This time I properly set the camera’s white balance to 5500K which is the temperature of the bulbs I’m using. I realized that the room lighting was throwing a blue cast, so switched those off. Working only with the lighting for the box.

Other settings I used this time were Spot Metering, and + Exposure Compensation up to +2 to help blow out the white background.

Using a matte white poster board, this is the out of camera result.

untitled shoot-3184 untitled shoot-3180

With the Highlight ‘blinkers’ turned on in camera, these two photos showed the background blown out. Most likely because I was shooting in RAW, when bringing the images into Lightroom 4, the highlights were not shown when looking at the histogram.

So back to the brush to dodge (lighten) the background and voila !

untitled shoot-3184-3 untitled shoot-3180-3Now that’s what I’m talking about ! I also worked with this bouquet to see what additional edits could be done through Nik Color Efex Pro. Here is the before image.

untitled shoot-3200

Adding the filters: Detail extraction, foliage (bright), and white neutralizer. I brought the image back into Lightroom 4 and worked on the brushing out the background for a whiter white. I left some areas untouched so you can see the difference.

untitled shoot-3200-Edit

I think I’m heading down the right track, I just need a lot more practice. It’ll be easier now that I have this setup. I did discover though that the sensor of my Canon 60D needs to be professionally cleaned!

Happy Shooting!

42 replies »

    • Thanks AJ. I think I’m getting there. I actually built one from scratch two years ago from a large cardboard box and white muslin fabric. It actually worked pretty well. But that smooth surface of the white poster board is the best trick. The real stock ones just look for a sunny day and set up outside. Bam..instant perfect light.

  1. Very nice! Those are gorgeous! I had the same issue with my sensor after a macro class. I had it cleaned at Penn Camera. I did buy the tools to try it myself next time as I understand it’s something I should learn. Have fun with the cherry blossoms…I’ll be at jury duty 😦

  2. This is how I take almost all of my pictures and I’ve SO much to learn. I did make my own light box, but being a beginner I’m still learning about white balance- my old point and shoot was perfect- but now that I have a DSLR I am really struggling. Taking a class…good thing I love it so much! Really interesting post! Thank you!

    • Are you a stock photographer? I find it fascinating, but boy talk about a saturated and overly competitive market. I have no chance with the big boys. Of course your blog is just too decadent. Can’t wait to explore.

      • I’ve had a lot of people tell me I should be- but I’ve not even attempted it. Maybe someday..? I guess I feel I still have so much to learn!! For now desserts make me happy…

        • You’ve got the photo collection already. Never hurts to try to submit to stock agencies to see if they are accepted. They can sit on your harddrive not making you money or sit on a website and bringing some $$$ home.

        • Thanks for the encouragement…maybe I will…you’re right, it can’t hurt to try. Is it ok to use photos you’ve already used online? I guess I will have to read up on how it works and what sites are the best to submit to….*beginner* lol…

  3. This is really cool, it’s like watching a painting develop! Love your tenacity, because with it will come results that you are just starting to experience. Beautiful floral shots. I’ll bet as you began developing the film and working with the exposure you could feel your excitement building – that was the “endorphin moment!”

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