Here are a few tips which I have learned:
- Arrange your lighting in zones so you have separate lighting for the subject and background. Use some depth in your setup so the background lighting does not get on your subject. Black foamcore is a useful gobo to block the background treatment from getting on the subject.
- Light your background with matching lights and equal power from both sides. Use umbrellas or softbox to ensure an even illumination from the top to the bottom.
- Light your subject with your choice of main light. You can successfully light a HK with the full range of lighting devices from a grid spot to a large softbox, the choice is yours. When we light a white background to a hot white it will bounce alot of light around the room, acting like a fill light for our setup. Often we can make satisfying results with out using a fill light or a reflector.
- Take an incident light reading at the subject a make note of that reading. One must then adjust the power on the background by measuring with an incident meter reading of plus 1 stop over the f-stop indicated for correct exposure of the subject. For example if the incident light meter suggests that the optimal subject reading is f/8 then the background f-stop should read f/11.
- The ratio of subject to background is very important …. if the background is under lit it will be dull and gray …… if the background is over lit it will cause flare and degrade your image.
- High Key lighting is a high flare situation so make sure your lens is clean and use a lens shade. Use Flags/Gobos on the background lights in order to prevent flare.
- Insure that the meter readings along the background are consistent and that the background lights cress-cross each other, rather than meeting at the background center point.