I am regularly asked – by annoyed photographers – what materials they should be used to generate a crisp, sparkling, pure white, or black photography background.
It is actually the source of the light! You can also place a custom order of backdrops for having pictures with amazing backgrounds.
Here is the case…you set up a sterile white or black bed sheet or a roll of paper – and you situate your model in front of it.
You set up a light source or two and light your model. All is looking nice. You think you've got a properly lit model and a pleasant black or white background.
Now, you shoot the picture.
Anxiously, you dart to the photo lab if you are shooting film or to a computer if you are shooting digital. You see the finished photo and ta-da!
Seem familiar? If you've been having a hard time with your high key photographs…And you have been creating that dingy gray color (no matter what materials you employ) here is how to fix the situation!
All light has a certain fall-off factor.
By that I mean the further the light is from a subject matter, the less bright it appears. Thus, meaning… if you have a certain quantity of light striking your subject matter, and you're using that same light to light your backdrop, your light is further away from your backdrop than from your model. Therefore, it is going to be a little dimmer when it gets to your background substance.