Before I begin, let me just explain, that I use this method a lot for stock photography as it makes it possible for art directors and designers to modify my images and makes it very easy for them to separate the product from the background (cut outs) to be used to suit their designs. So it’s a great technique to learn and this is how I do it.

(fig 1) A pair of lighting stands with grips

First of all, we need to set up a purpose built (DIY) table. Now I don’t know of any manufacturer that actually makes one of these but if you do, share it with us. It’s made up of a pair of light stands, and I attach to these, a pair of grips (fig 1) which you can buy very cheaply at B&Q’s.

(fig 2) DIY clear plexiglass shooting table

On top of this, and secured with two more grips, I placed a clear Plexiglass shooting table which was made from a flat sheet (fig 2).The Plexiglass can very easily be bent to the shape of a shooting table by heating it with a hot air gun or even a naked flame. The trick is to do it slowly and gently and when it cools, it maintains its shape.

Another little trick I use for this set up is a reflector holder attached to a small boom which is then attached to a lighting stand. I use a piece of white foam board which attaches to the holder as shown (fig 3).

(fig 3) Background holderThis can be positioned pretty much any way you won’t and is perfect for this kind of set

Now the foam board is positioned behind and below the table (fig 4), slightly facing upward. It’s very adaptable and can be adjusted to get it exactly where it’s needed.

(fig 4) Foam board behind and below shooting tabl




(fig 5) Strobe to light the backgroung













In front of that, I placed a strobe on a small stand with a basic reflector (fig 5) aimed at the white foam board, which creates our pure white background.

In addition to that, I attached a piece of black foam board on top of the strobe (fig 6) to flag it and prevent there being too much light on the bottom of the subject. If you don’t do this, there is a danger that the subject will be blown out at the base.

(fig 6) The strobe is flagged with black foam board

Right, that’s our background sorted now to light the subject.

(fig 7) Lighting to right of subject

First, I placed a diffuser panel to the right of the subject (fig 7) and behind that, a stripbox at an angle as shown. You can see that the stripbox is half behind the diffuser and the top half above and exposed. The top part of the stripbox gives us the highlight in the pupils and the bottom half which is diffused gives a soft light to the side of the eye balls. See finished image above.

(fig 8) Lighting to left of subjecwhich again gave a soft light to the other side of the eye balls.

I then used a second strobe and diffuser panel to the left of subject (fig 8)

That’s the set up, so you just need to experiment with your lighting to get the desired result. Be careful not to go too strong on the background as it will start to impact on your subject. But with careful tweaking, you can achieve the perfectly pure white background which is seamless.

So have a go and above all have some fun with it and you can also take a look at the Video :D.


Terry Croom




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