Lighting a white cube on a white background, or Technically speaking…

Schools back in and I am back in studio lighting which means its time for technical review. The object of this project is to light a white cube on a white horizonless background simulating natural light.  So simulating natural lights easy, we live on a planet with one light source, the sun. The horizonless backgrounds achieved with a 30X40 mat board bent up and held in place with a spring clamp on a light stand. The light is at about a 45 degree angle behind the cube directly in line with the left face of the cube. We wanted sharp shadows so the light was pulled back form the subject because the closer you get to an object the softer the light gets. We metered off the top of the cube because we wanted that to have the correct exposure for the photo. The two forward faces of the cube needed to be one stop different not only from each other but from the top of the cube. Getting the light positioned just right and sometimes rotating the cube a bit was how we got the end result. Here is what we learned:

1. Showing volume in a white on white situation is tough. focus on the top of the cube and get that exposure dialed in then make SMALL movements with the light to get the front faces dialed in.

2. Lighting a sphere with one light is sooo much easier than lighting a cube with one light…more on that next time.