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Old Nov 16, 2007, 8:49 PM   #1
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Quick question. I have some dark gray and almost black sheets that I want to use as a background for an impromptu home "studio".Since i'll be using flashes for the subject i want to make sure that the background comes out as dark as possible. Do you think that if i use a fast shutter speed (sync at 1/180th) that it'll be fast enough to have the background black?

i'm going on the logic that if slow sync can allow you to get more of the background lights, subjects... etc into your shots, then the opposite should hold true. This time i'm actually COUNTING on a digital camera's latitude to be narrow.

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Old Nov 16, 2007, 9:22 PM   #2
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Could work, if your flash will allow HSS with your camera. In addition, or alternatively, depending on your camera/flash capabilities, you could use a +EV on the flash, and a -EV on the camera. If not, then post-processing can give you the tone curve you need.

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Old Nov 16, 2007, 10:12 PM   #3
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Hi JB,

I don't have any experience in a studio, so I'm just guessing, but I'd think that there are a number of possible variables here, so shutter speed isn't the only one that might effect your studio setup. If the material isn't too reflective, and if you have some significant distance (feet as opposed to inches) between the subject and background, it should work. I'd try it out on a smaller scale first, and experiment with light angles and subject to background distance before I committed to the full setup. If you'll need a number of sheets for the background, I'd also make sure I preshot some of the seams to make sure they don't show up under the lighting setup that you settle on (unless you want them to).

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Old Nov 17, 2007, 2:40 AM   #4
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My advice: shoot in RAW and use the level adjustment in PP. If the subject is well lit it's easy to darken thebackground without loosing details in the subject.


Sample. In real life the background is a yellow wallpaper:
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Old Nov 17, 2007, 9:11 AM   #5
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Try shooting with a very small aperture. I find on macro or close up shots, it makes the background black.

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Old Nov 17, 2007, 9:44 AM   #6
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why not just setup something that's similar to what you'll be shooting and shoot 100-200 shots??? comparison us what it's about and film is really cheap nowadays.
here's a couple of shots that i think you're trying to do. these were shot with a handheld off camera flash.

remember also that it's real easy to burn in the background..

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