Blog: White Blouse and White Wall

 By: Stephen Terlizzi

 

Figure 1 

 

I recently needed to take a simple photograph of my co-worker in the office. As you can imagine, the office has the worst flourescent lighting imaginable. The answer? Simply turn off the lights.

So how to light the scene? Natural light from the window seemed the most logical alternative so it was off to the conference room. Unfortunately, Kimberly's blouse was white and the background wall was also white.  White blouse and white wall...the next conundrum.

To the rescue is the inverse square law! The further the flash is away from your background, the darker the background will be. It’s called fall-off. If the wall is twice the distance from the flash, it will receive a quarter of the light, almost two stops less. Further away, even less stops of light.

Moving Kimberly away from the wall and by having my flash focused on her with the help of Rogue Flashbenders, I was able to get an simple portrait shot with her blouse white and the "white" wall magically turning a darker grey.