Go Transparent...

by Pino Pino September. 27, 2020 225 views

Okay - a quickie...

Someone asked me to take a photo of something with white in it on a white background... They asked me because every time they tried the white across the bottom of it kept blending in with the white of whatever they put it on... Somehow their lighting kept making the bottom edge disappear and become one with the white surface...

So... the question became how to CREATIVELY setup a scenario where there was nothing white under it while I photographed it... how to have white behind it but NOTHING under it...

How do you get nothing?

Well, by using something clear... of course.

I also realized as I was doing this that having something clear under it created some great reflection opportunities - but that is for another blog...

Sooooooooooooo...

Amazon...

12 inch by 12 inch 1/4 inch thick plexiglass...

$12...

Prime...

Arrives the next morning...

And...

The Setup...

Details in 'comments' box of each photo...
Plexiglass held up by grip clamp (to hold it steady for safety) on one tripod and second tripod just under the other side with little rubber cap on threads...

Plexiglass held up by grip clamp (to hold it steady for safety) on one tripod and second tripod just under the other side with little rubber cap on threads...

White reflector behind all that by about 8"... Flash under plexiglass aimed at background/reflector... Flash flagged so it doesn't fire up through plexiglass...

White reflector behind all that by about 8"... Flash under plexiglass aimed at background/reflector... Flash flagged so it doesn't fire up through plexiglass...

Better view of underside of the umbrella from the other side...

Better view of underside of the umbrella from the other side...

For all intensive purposes, the plexiglass just ceases to exist... it is clear so light from any direction passes right through it so it effectively reflects no light back - I'm sure the edges reflect some and possibly even the surface reflects a little (I don't know the full reflective properties - I am assume some amount of refraction but with insignificant impact on final outcome in this scenario) but if there was then it was insignificant enough that the solid white background created by the reflector totally overpowered it and made it irrelevant...

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaand...

The photo...

The blown out back is the reflector throwing all that light right at the camera... the subject/block is only lit by the umbrella from above... there is nothing white under the subject/block so no white there to create any incidental reflected light up onto the subject/block...

The blown out back is the reflector throwing all that light right at the camera... the subject/block is only lit by the umbrella from above... there is nothing white under the subject/block so no white there to create any incidental reflected light up onto the subject/block...

It took 4 shots to get the power level of the flash units just right but that was pretty minimal in the grand scheme...

I did have to look back at the original piece because I kept thinking my camera was not focusing... but it turns out the text on the actual block is a bit 'fuzzy'.

White background...

No shadow...

No competing reflected light along bottom edge...

Realistically I should have probably covered that silver on the backside of the flag I put on the flash under the plexiglass but it did not reflect enough light to create any issues.

I am sure I could have done this 6 other ways - for one, the traditional white sheet of paper running from under to behind and up...

But I never pass up a chance to play with my photo-toyz in new and exciting ways... ;)

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Rachele Schneekloth 3 weeks, 3 days ago

Love the narrative! I learned a lot!

3 weeks, 3 days ago Edited
Pino Pino Replied to Rachele Schneekloth 3 weeks, 2 days ago

Thank you! smile

3 weeks, 2 days ago Edited
Camellia Staab 3 weeks, 3 days ago

As always a great post and one that makes me say oh I NEED one of those and NEED one of the other. The detailed explanation and photos really help. Btw you Plexiglas seems a lot thicker than then one I have, was that intentional or just happened?

3 weeks, 3 days ago Edited
Pino Pino Replied to Camellia Staab 3 weeks, 3 days ago

Thanks, Camellia! I intentionally got 1/4" thick just so it would not sag if I put something with a bit of weight on it for a)safety and b)so I would not have to worry about light going in odd directions if it hit a curved surface... if you supported it better and/or only put less weight on it then I think any would work - but if it does bow/sag I don't know if that could cause any issues with light bending around and making flares of something...

3 weeks, 3 days ago Edited
Camellia Staab Replied to Pino Pino 3 weeks, 2 days ago

Thanks Pino, your answers helps me a lot smile

3 weeks, 2 days ago Edited
Pino Pino Replied to Camellia Staab 3 weeks, 2 days ago

smile

3 weeks, 2 days ago Edited
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