This is a question that pops up occasionally, and I wanted to ask it a bit differently because this is an issue 1) that lots of people have; and 2) is a bit different from working with clearly defined objects.
- Work within the constraints of a small studio to shoot small objects
- Objects can, and probably will contain white components (see photo below)
- Isolate the subject against a pure white background
- Utilize shallow depth of field to draw viewer's attention to one object more than any other
You'll see why these objects are a bit in conflict in the longer description that follows.
Here's a diagram of the setup (where the person is depicted, assume a group of 3 medicine bottles).
Actually, I ran out of creativity on the diagram. Under the object is a white gatorfoam board and placed diagonally facing the object is another to reflect light up reducing harsh shadows.
An important note: The studio space is constrained so I can't achieve deep separation between the backdrop and the object itself. 4-5' is the most I can get.
Now, one of the keys to this image (below) is the shallow depth of field.
As you can see, the background lights did a pretty nice job of getting a white background but without washing the bottles completely out, it was impossible to light the white gatorfoam any more than where you see it. And the shadows are pretty nice, anyhow.
So here's the question lurking in this whole thing: With white bottle tops that are softly focused and pretty easy to mess up with a mask, what's the best way to get rid of the line where the background and the flat foam join (visible on left) and to bring up the foreground white, which is the flat gatorfoam the bottles are standing on, while leaving the bottle-tops their exact same luminance?
For the sake of discussion, assume I really like this setup and want to shoot scads of images this way, is there some really cool workflow I'm just not aware of to achieve the results of a completely white background other than pushing light up from below (which, in my experience spills all over the subject)?