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Thread: How to make the white background evenly white/lighted in PS CS5?

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    How to make the white background evenly white/lighted in PS CS5?

    Hi all,

    I did a search in here but couldn't find it... I am still google-ing at the moment but couldn't find anyway.

    Long story short I have done a few studio type shots for a few friends yesterday, again a white wall.

    2 off camera flash has used, 1 main light project to subject face at about 75* , and a 2nd light project against the white wall in attempt to reduce background shadow. Because I am not using a radio trigger, the 2nd light was put it at the side of subjects.

    Now I got reasonably well exposed shots BUT while the background is NOT evenly white due to how I place the 2nd light.

    I am sure I came across somewhere there a video teach people how to even out the background color in this situation in PS but I cannot find it anymore.

    Would be very grateful if someone can teach me how OR direct me to the video that shows me how to do in

    Thanks in advance

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    Use the 'dodge tool', to whiten a background, it will take some practice, but it works
    Last edited by ricktas; 31-10-2011 at 1:54pm.
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    Depends which parts need lightening...if the background immediately surrounding your subject is pure white (or close enough) then you can just use the dodge tool as Rock suggested (remember to set the brush to a soft edge and start with a low exposure.

    If the background around your subject needs lightening you can try the background eraser tool. Tell it to lighten highlights, and carefully trace around your subject. Once the background is erased, simply create a white layer and place it beneath your subject's layer. This approach is especially useful around hair but you will need to play with the tolerances to ensure your subject isn't erased too!
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    Thanks guys.... I am trying Rick's approach! Maybe I am just simply not familiar with PS and it seems pretty time consuming

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by andylo View Post
    Thanks guys.... I am trying Rick's approach! Maybe I am just simply not familiar with PS and it seems pretty time consuming
    Oh, you wanted instant fix. Levels adjustment and slide the right hand side slider in, but it will affect other lighter areas of the photo, then adjust middel slider to get contrast back.

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    Thanks again Rick Yes I LOVE instant fix! hehehe

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    My recommended alternative to the in-built dodge tool is to use a non-destructive method.

    To do so:

    1. add a new layer;
    2. change the blend mode to soft light; and
    3. using a soft white brush of whatever opacity suits, paint onto the layer.


    This method preserves your original pixels.

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    Hmm... I understand #1.... and I need to to a bit of research from #2 onward.

    Thanks by the way


    Quote Originally Posted by Xenedis View Post
    My recommended alternative to the in-built dodge tool is to use a non-destructive method.

    To do so:

    1. add a new layer;
    2. change the blend mode to soft light; and
    3. using a soft white brush of whatever opacity suits, paint onto the layer.


    This method preserves your original pixels.

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    May we see one of the photos?

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    Yes of course Damo, will upload one of them tonight.

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    Got anything for us, Andy?

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    OOPSS!!! Sooo sorry - completely forgot about it


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    Ausphotography Regular kaiser's Avatar
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    My answer is not really a CS5 solution but an in camera idea - I use two Yn-560 flashes on the ground at a about a 45 degree angle, raking across a white wall and I get good even coverage. You could use umbrellas on them to spread the light out more - but I've never had problems with 3-4 ppl group shots blowing out the background. I find 2/3rds of a stop above the main exposure is enough to render white. A light meter helps here. If you go too far over that you begin to get blooming around the edges of your subjects, particularly if they're closer to the background, plus lens flares and reduced contrast.

    If theres bits I've somehow missed in camera, I just use the exposure brush in LR if it's not near an important edge.

    Woops - just realised you said you're only using two flashes - one background light makes it harder, but still not impossible
    Last edited by kaiser; 05-11-2011 at 5:38pm.
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    Thanks Damos and kaiser

    Will report back on my progress

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