I’m the proud new owner of set of four Profoto lights, and spent the day today getting used to them. A very basic (but not as easy as you might think) challenge is lighting a white seamless perfectly, so that’s what I’ve spent some time today doing—making a white seamless evenly lit and perfectly white. Monitoring levels on the camera and getting it to 255 (the top of the levels scale) in-camera was the first step; taking that into Aperture and looking at it larger was second. To see how even it really is, all you have to do is crank the gamma way up, and your white seamless will show hot-spots pretty quickly. Here’s an early sample:
So that tells me I have some work to do on positioning the lights. Of course unless I build a wall of light or shoot straight into a heavily diffused softbox, it’s unlikely I’d ever get it perfect when pushing levels to that extreme, but it’s a great way to get used to the tools and understand what’s really happening. Getting the background edge-to-edge clean within half a stop from center to edge seems a fair goal.
But I digress… that’s not the real reason I started this post. The real reason I am writing is to share an absolutely amazing set of blog-posts I stumbled on today (written last year). Atlanta-based photographer Zack Arias www.zarias.com has written a fantastic series of posts on working with a white seamless. Tomorrow morning I’m heading to Lowes Hardware to buy some white tileboard—you’ll have to read his blog to see why. These tutorials are educational, interesting, and damn funny. It’s a five part series, starting here: White Seamless Tutorial :: Part 1 :: Gear & Space