In the previous post I talked about how the general lack of space in my studio (or as some like to call it, our living room) has been made more apparent by shooting with a wider lens than I’m used to. The main problem that this presents has to do with the background and how to make it look decent. Well, I think I’ve found a solution for some situations.
If there isn’t enough space then the background needs to come closer to the subject. However, if my regular bed sheets gets too close then it looks like…a bed sheet up close…which isn’t very appealing. You have wrinkles, dust and colour cast to sort out in post, not fun. Unless you’re really lucky with the walls you have at home, those aren’t really an option either.
I don’t know why it has taken me this long but I finally found a place nearby where I can get foamcore. I got the biggest ones they had, which meant 100×70 (cm of course, the whole world surely uses the metric system by now, right?) for the black and 140×100 for the white. Let me tell you, this is probably one of the best investments you can make if you’re at all into studio type photography. Seriously, it looks good without even trying, just check out the straight from camera jpeg below.
You can see the edge of the foamcore to the left but other than that this is good enough to use as is. Of course I still want to add my own touch to the image but just knowing that these kind of results are possible without any work is pretty awesome. If I ever find a place that sells these things in bigger sizes I’ll be all over it.
This was a very quick shoot; dad was over for a visit and was basically already on the way out when I reeled him in to pose for me first. Since I knew he was coming I already had two LP160s set up in a octabox (fired from camera left here). So it was just a matter of finding an assistant to hold my background and start firing away.
I’m happy with these shots, especially the fact that the background worked out just as good as I had hoped. I really like the way the light falls off the background, it’s so much more natural than if you add your own vignette. I’m working with the edge of the light, so the edge of the octabox is more or less parallel with the background, that’s why the whole thing isn’t lit evenly. The trickiest part was the framing. First I had to make sure I didn’t stray too far from the background and then I also had to be careful with the angles in order not to distort the face too much with the wide lens. In the end I think it works.
Until next time.