Single Umbrella Headshot and White Background.

Shooting with one umbrella and getting a white background
Asked to shoot 40 non-models at an upscale salon was quite a challenge. I needed a light that would serve many different faces and body types. I would literally have only a few minutes with each and they would be nervous so working the light in many different ways was out of the question. I had to make the light work with each with minimum alteration.

The single umbrella has always done well for me in these situations. I use a big 54″ white umbrella with black backing to mitigate spill. In this one umbrella I used a 200 WS strobe so I could get a very large aperture. Limited depth-of-field is the look I was going for, so the images would have a more ‘immediate” or casual look.

The seamless was angled toward the light to make sure I got as much as I could without fall-off. The boom held a bright shiny card angled to bounce light down on the models and there was a small, white reflector angled slightly up at the model on her left. It and the umbrella were very, very close for maximum softness. Look into her eyes and you will see both.

I also placed a 4×8 sheet of white board on the ground to work on. This kept the dark carpet from adding unwanted shadows under the chin, nose and eyes. See the diagram below.
Shooting with one umbrella and getting a white background

Post-processing included a bit of lightening of the white background, some careful skin retouching and Skin FX plug in for Photoshop which gave the women a glamour look without destroying the sharpness of the hair styles. Sorry, no setup shot on this one.

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About 

This is a place for photographers.

Hi, I'm wizwow - also known as Don Giannatti. Photography has been the focus of my life for most of my adult years. I have written three books for Amhearst Media (available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble: keyword 'don giannatti'. Lighting Essentials is my flagship blog and e-zine with a slightly different slant than most photography related sites. If you are interested in becoming a better photographer, check out Project 52 Pros.

Thanks for visiting.

1 Comment

  1. Thank you for taking the time to explain your setups. Looking forward to ordering your CD.

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