Shooting on Seamless: Technique & Editing

Written by: Glyn Dewis

Published: November 12, 2010

Category: Videos

Hi All.
For today’s post I thought I’d share with you some shots from a recent family shoot I did in the studio…

Now as a rule you won’t see many (if any) family photographs on my main website or here on the blog and that’s because it’s not my main body of work. However that being said it doesn’t necessarily mean I won’t on occasion take on this kind of work because I will, but what I’ll always do is add my slant to it in the way that they’re photographed, posed and/or edited.

Anyway here’s a random selection of images from the time we spent in the studio and at the end of the post I’ve added a little ‘behind the scenes’ information on how the set was lit plus a little bit on the editing side of things…

Lighting Set Up
This ‘White Seamless’ set up was one that I was introduced to by Zack Arias and it incorporates a reflective surface on the floor to add a little more interest to the shots:

The basic workings of setting up this kind of ‘rig’ is to first of all expose the subject of the shot correctly. Once you’ve nailed this exposure then the background which is to go white needs to be roughly 1½ to 2 stops brighter. This ‘lit’ background then reflects light onto the shiny white tile board being used as the floor and turns that pure white also.

The only thing to remember when photographing a subject on this kind of set up is to shoot from low down (kneeling) so that you catch as much of the light reflecting on the floor as possible otherwise it won’t appear to have turned white. It’s quite amazing to see the difference as when you shoot from standing the floor appears ‘off white’ almost grey but then by dropping to you knee the floor turns to pure white; and you’ve done nothing to the lights.

Shooting subjects on a ‘solid’ background
No ‘Rocket Science’ here but just something to consider…

If you’re photographing a person or anything for that matter on a background that is a solid colour e.g. White, Black etc.. and this colour is consistent across the frame i.e. there’s no dark or lighter parts then be sure to fill the frame with your subject. This way the sensor in your camera can do what it’s there for and that’s to capture as much detail as possible. If you want there to be some ‘dead’ space in your picture then this can be added later during the editing stage; this way your not wasting the pixels by photographing ‘nothing’…

Now that we’ve used our camera’s sensor to capture as much detail in our subject as possible we can then extend the background, and here’s a video that I recorded almost a year ago now that shows exactly how to do that:

As always if you have any questions or comment then please feel free to make use of the comments section below.

In the mean time whatever you’re up to have a great weekend,
Enjoy 🙂

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11 Comments

  1. Rick Wenner

    Nice post here Glyn. I like these photos. It’s always good to see the “other side” of your work. It’s actually kind of funny that you posted this “how to” on white seamless as I will be working on a portrait series very soon that will be all on white seamless with the bright white background. I love that look, although I don’t use it much. If lit correctly, you can get some amazing photos from this very simple set up. Good job my man.

    Reply
    • Glyn

      @Rick…Thanks for commenting mate. Yeah I love the white seamless look and having the reflective flooring makes such a difference.
      Really interested to see what your project entails mate so I’ll definitely be looking out for that on your blog.

      Thanks again,
      All the best to you,
      Glyn

      Reply
  2. Neal

    Great shots mate, the black and white really works, nice job 🙂

    Reply
    • Glyn

      @Neal…Cheers Buddy 🙂

      Reply
  3. Alexander

    Nice shoots)
    Tutorial is very obvious), so i could probably make something like this in Windows Paint in 1998).
    It’s good any way that you talk about shooting in studio. Nice tips.
    As for me, i hope to see more fashion, and much more difficult shoots.

    Reply
  4. Brian / p4pictures

    Nice pics Glyn and good tutorial too. The knee level shooting is a great tip.

    I’m intrigued to know where you found the white tile board in the UK, seems to be so common in USA/Home Depot but missing as far as I can see in B&Q/Wickes? Or was it just that the studio you used had a supply of it onsite?

    Reply
    • Glyn

      @Brian…Hi mate, thanks for the comment.
      Regarding the reflective tile board it’s what I ordered and put in the studio. I’m going to post a link to it in Monday’s blog post as quite a few people have asked about it; unfortunately I’m not on commission though 🙂

      Hope all is well,
      Speak soon,
      Glyn

      Reply
  5. Gavin Carter

    Love your work glyn!! Your a different class!!
    What lens or lenses do you enjoy working with for your studio shoots?

    Cheers Gavin

    Reply
  6. David Kelly

    Nice series of shots Glyn.
    This studio set-up you’ve got certainly seems to be going well for you & Neal. Doesn’t seem like you can keep away from it at the moment 🙂
    I presume the Profoto’s are part of the equipment there, rather than another purchase from TFC?

    Reply
    • Glyn

      @David Kelly…It’s like walking into Aladdin’s Cave mate 🙂

      Reply
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