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Seamless V-flat and flash

Submitted by keithloh on Tue, 2006-10-17 06:02.

When I got home I finished off a project I began on the weekend: building a V-flat seamless background that will become part of my setup and breakdown studio at home.

A V-flat is any number of pieces of white material (foamcore if you are building it budget-style) that you can build up into a white background that can be used to also form light. In the basic construction you tape it all together in a U shape around your model so that any light blasted into it pools around their body. I got the idea from this Strobist thread on Flickr.

The effect is what you can see on any number of R&B album covers: the artist(s) and white background (or solid color) and nothing else. Or you can imagine any number of films or TV shows where characters are "in heaven" talking to angels or other dead people.

It took a couple hours to finish strapping and taping it together (I used velcro to hold its shape and then tape the seams to make it hold tighter). Then I had to tape white inkjet paper to soften the corners and hide seams between the sections. Without a flash, it looks like crap but with my two flashes I can use one to blast the background and still have one left to fill the model.

This is the result. And another with Sarah.

Yes, you can do somewhat the same in Photoshop with intelligent use of masks but this is much more fun.


Posted in Submitted by keithloh on Tue, 2006-10-17 06:02.
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