Tuesday, October 21st, 2014.
Commercial photography by Bill Pogue
Producing photographs for corporate, business, and industrial
publications for over 20 years
- Photography for corporate brochures and newsletters
- Product photography
- Business portraits on location
- General photography on location
- Small product studio photography
- Photography for homebuilders (interior and exterior)
- Also: product animations, ie, rotating objects
Please use the contact form on the web page to reach me.
This will ensure your message does not get flagged as spam.
Houston photographer Bill Pogue:
I have been producing photographs for businesses and
magazines for over 20 years. I have extensive experience
photographing products and people in a studio setting
and on location. I have also photographed many homes,
inside and out, for a home building magazine and for
home builders' advertising and promotional materials.
Over the years I've
photographed petroleum products, trucks, warehouses,
signs, furniture, executives, cowboys, gymnasts,
cops, models, buildings, skylines, ships, seafood,
cows, bottles, cans, tools, valves, sludge plants,
refineries, oil traders, office staff, buildings,
homes, and just about anything else you can
think of that a business would need photographed.
About top and bottom graphics:
All but two of the photos that comprise the
collages were shot on location.
The objects in the photograph at the top of the page
include electric motors,
medical instruments, and things used in the petro-chemical
industry (valves, flanges, and blowers).
The portraits were also made on location using normal
studio photography techniques. All the client neeeds to provide
is a suitable space and electrical power; I bring everything else.
About the photography portfolios:
The brochure covers and tearsheets provide an overview
of the photography assignments I've done. Although they
represent a small sample of my work the range is fairly
The table top photographs were made using standard studio
techniques but many were produced at a clients' location.
Most studio techniques can be replicated on location if a
suitable space is available. I have done several catalogs
on location saving the client the expense of shipping the
products to me.
The business portraits were all made on location, usually in
a conference room, but sometimes in an office.
The people photographs repesent a range of situations like
testamonials, brochures, articles, and ads. Basically,
people doing stuff or examples of "happy campers". As
much as possible I try to catch natural expressions and
have the people seem relaxed and real.
The photographs of buildings include images of residential
and commercial properties. The residential properties include
single and multi family units, interiors and exteriors. The
commercial properties include churches, retail spaces, hospitals,
schools, restaurants, and a rodeo arena. This is Texas, after all.
The case studies of full and half day photo shoots are provided
as examples of what can be done in those time frames with
a little planning. The half day shoot was for an industrial
supplier; in many of the shots you can see in the frame
a note with an item number to help the designer identify items
as the catalog is layed out. The full day shoot was for a
hospital that initially intended to create a staff directory
but they also displayed framed photographs in common areas to
project a friendly image.
The photographs of industrial products arranged in groups
are pretty mundane but a staple of brochures and trade show
displays. All of them were shot on location and the objects
range in size from small electronic components to valves
several feet tall. In addition to valves and electronics
the objects depicted include flanges, gears, air handlers,
pneumatic tools, linear motors, sensors, and monitors.
The bridge lift photos are a sequence of images that show
the installation of a railroad bridge spanning interstate
highway 10 in Houston. Two cranes had to act in unison to
make the lift.
The rotating motor sequence was shot in a factory using
an overhead crane to rotate the motor. This motor weighed
about 1500 pounds and I've since devised a method of rotating
objects up to 5000 pounds and up to 4 feet across on a custom
carousel. This allows for a smoother rotation effect and is
also quicker than using a crane. But objects more than 5000
pounds in weight would have to be handled by crane.
Many stock photography portfolios can be viewed and these
are mostly arranged by location. These images may be licensed
for publication, print or www, for a fee.
Photographs may also be ordered as decorative
prints, when I figure out a method to deliver prints that
is resonably priced for the buyer and proftable for me.
I will likely waive the fee
for public school students that would like to
use an image in an assignment or public school teachers that
would like to use an image in their course materials.
But I would like to be notified by email of such uses and
properly credited in the footnotes.
Below is a list of
stock subjects with rather cursory descriptions. However,
further down are lists of the image captions. On a Mac you
can use Firefox or Safari's
print preview capability to peruse the list and/or select
a page to print.
Stock Photography Subjects
- The four North American deserts within the United
States are represented.
- Big Bend National Park and vicinity; Chihuahua desert.
- Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument; Sonoran desert.
- Death Valley; Mojave desert.
- Mono Lake; Great Basin.
- The skyline of Houston, Texas.
- Budapest, Hungary, including the chain bridge, cafe Gerbeaud,
central market, Vaci Ulica shopping district, Danube river.
- Portugal, including Lisbon, Porto, port wine vinyards,
and a bridge designed by Eiffel.
- Mass non-violent demonstration in Mexico city by Zapatistas,
EZLN, and indigenous activists.
- Lake Patzcuaro region of Mexico.
Descriptions of Big Bend Photographs
Descriptions Patzcuaro area Photos
- Tree covered hill in the Chisos Basin with granite walls in the background.
- Mule deer in the Chisos basin below Casa Grande.
- Mule deer standing next to the Laguna Meadow trail in the Chisos Mountains basin.
- Chisos Mountains. The cleft in the mountains is "the window" pouroff seen from the west, outside the basin.
- Afternoon thunderstorm building, hiding peaks of the Chisos Mountains.
- The sun setting behind the Christmas mountains.
- Sunset over the Christmas Mountains
- Two yucca cactus among the boulders in the Grapevine Hills.
- Morning on the boulder strewn Grapevine Hills.
- The Grapevine Hills lanscape was formed as a laccolith was exposed by the erosion of overlying material.
- Grapevine Hills. The reddish igneous boulders contrast with the blue desert sky.
- Grapevine Hills. A boulder that came to rest on two others frames Nugent Mountain to the south.
- Grapevine Hills in the foreground are lush with vegetation compared to the drier habitats just downslope.
- Colorful dawn sky and silhouette or the Sierra del Carmen mountains.
- The rock formations are locally known as Los Caballos (the horses) and are made up of the highly deformed Ouachita fold.
- Oyster shells preserved in cretaceous Pen Formation.
- Entrance sign on Texas 118 south of Marathon.
- Rest area near Lajitas with grills picnic tables covered with faux tee pees.
- What looks like a quaint village on the Rio Grande between Big Bend National Park and Big Bend Ranch State Park is actually a movie set. Although it's fake, it's still an interesting place to walk through and it is right on the river.
- Hoodoos along Texas 170 west of Lajitas. This an ash deposit from of Big Bend's volcanic episodes that has eroded into these odd forms.
- west of Lajitas. The disjointed dark band of rock on this mountain off of Texas 170 marks where part of the mountain has slumped down.
- Graves in ghost town cemetary.
- East end of Santa Elena Canyon where Rio Grande exits the canyon. The wall to the right is the Mesa Anguila in Texas. The wall to the left is the Sierra Ponce in Mexico.
- The vertical rock is the end of one of the many volcanic dikes on the western flank of the Chisos Mountains.
- A volcanic neck rises from an ash bed with hill made of volcanic ash flow in background.
- Chisos mountain scene.
- Cactus on a rock ledge in Santa Elena canyon.
- Tornillo Creek.
- West entrance to Boquillas Canyon and the Rio Grande
- "The Window" pour-off of the Chisos basin at sunset.
- Precipitation that falls in the Chisos basin drains through this gap, or pour-off, called "the Window".
- Colors in the sky after the sun has set.
- Chisos Mountains from the west. the deep cleft left of center is the window pour-off.
- A view from Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive near sotol vista.
- Mules and other livestock range freely west of Lajitas. Texas 170 in background.
- Cactus blooms and desert hills west of the Chisos Mountains.
- A narrow passge in Closed Canyon.
- Sunset from scenic overlook on Texas 170 west of Lajitas with Rio Grande reflecting an orange sky.
- A hill covered with lechuguilla overlooking the confluence of two arroyos. Maverick Mountain is in the distance.
- Magenta cactus pads.
- Evening thunderstorm over the Sierra del Santa Elena.
- Looking east from the south rim of the Chisos mountains. Agave cactus.
- An Arizona pine and agave cactus share a hill on the south rim of the Chisos mountains.
- Texas 170 pull-out, west of Lajitas. A rainbow appears above the Sierra Santa Elena between late afternoon thunderstorms.
- Flowers of the strawberry pitaya (Echinocereus enneacanthus).
- evening sky with silhouettes of trees in the basin, site of the Chisos Mountain Lodge.
- Chihuahua desert. Multi colored clays of the Javelina formation.
- Monolith of erosion resistant yellow rock stands in stark contrast to the blue desert sky.
- Texas 385 approach to Persimmon Gap park entrance.
- Motorhomes pass a calf by the side of the road.
- The Santa Elena Canyon and Rio Grande river with Texas to right, Mexico to left.
- Trail into Santa Elena canyon.
- Texas 170 and the Rio Grande south of Lajitas.
- Large hoodoo formation at the head of Tornillo Creek. Size is often hard to gauge in the desert- the block of stone on edge in the foreground is about 12 feet high.
- Hoodoo on tornillo flat. Chihuahua desert.
- Spanish Dagger, a yucca, in the foothills of the Sierra del Carmen. Old Ore road. Chihuahua desert.
- Patch of candelilla acts as a nurse plant for a rainbow cactus. The candelilla was the basis for a small industry producing candle wax. Chihuahua desert.
- Remains of the McKinney ranch house off the Old Ore Road.
- These hoodoos in Tornillo Flat stand about 100 feet above the desert floor. The distant mountains are the Chisos. Chihuahua desert.
- The road to the Chisos Mountains basin rises through Green Gulch. Here the slopes of the Chisos Mountains are lush with creosote, sotol, ocotillo and other plants of the Chihuahua desert.
- Green Gulch and a granite peak of the Chisos Mountains as seen from the Road to the Basin.
- A sotol plant in Green Gulch. Chisos Mountains.
- Sign on the road to the Chisos Mountains basin warning that the area is bear and mountain lion habit.
- The ruins of the Matthews ranch house in the Paint gap hills is being reclaimed by the plants of the Chihuahua desert. Most prominant in this photo are prickly pear and creosote.
- A volcanic dike above an eroded cliff face on the west flank of the Chisos Mountains. Chihuahua desert.
- A bird nest in a cholla cactus.
- Yellow flower on prickly pear cactus. Chihuahua desert.
- Cholla cactus flowers. Chihuahua desert.
- Yellow flower on prickly pear cactus in chihuahua desert.
- Flowers on a cholla cactus. Chihuahua desert.
- Texas, Shafter, Big Bend Region. Cemetary with plain white crosses as markers.
- Mule Ears Peaks, elevation 3,881 feet, at sunset as seen from the Mule Ears viewpoint off of the Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive.
- Sotol stalks stand tall in silhouette on this desert hillside after sunset.
- The profile of a desert mesa silhouetted against the deep blue and burnt orange of a twilight desert sky.
- Shale and limestone layers in the canyon around Ernst Tinaja range in color from pink to yellow.
- Tinaja is a Spanish word for a large earthenware jar. In the southwest deserts it also refers to rock water holes. This tinaja is named for Bill Ernst, a Big Bend settler murdered in the early 1900's.
- Section of mural in the Patzcuaro public library that depicts scenes of the Spanish conquest.
- A scene from a village fiesta in Lake Patzcuaro region, Michoacan
- Activity around market stalls at village fiesta in Lake Patzcuaro region, Michoacan.
- Intricately carved wooden doors of a church in a village near Lake Patzcuaro.
- Parishoners at mass in cathedral.
- Villagers wait out a rain shower in church doorway during a fiesta.
- Woman shopkeeper by doorway in shop selling locally produced copper vessels, Sant Clara del Cobre, Michoacan.
- Metalsmith using hammer and chisel to add decoration to copper platter in workshop, Santa Clara del Cobre, Michoacan.
- Market vendors beginning to set up for the day, Patzcuaro, Michoacan.
- Students in marching band practicing for independence day events on a Patzcuaro street.
- Women making tortillas by hand for sale in local market, Pazcuaro, Michoacan, Mexico.
- Cabinet being delivered to finisher in Quiroga, a village that specializes in wood furniture.
- Copper worker in Santa Clara del Cobre heating pot in open fire.
- Copper worker forming neck of copper pot, Santa Clara del Cobre, Michoacan.
- Interior of shop selling copperware in Santa Clara del Cobre.
- Copper housewares in shop in Santa Clara del Cobre.
- Girl in copper workshop with finished products.
- Boys working on copper vase.
- Interior of shop specializing in carved wood, particularly religious icons.
- Wood carver at work in his Patzcuaro shop.
- Wall in window near central plaza that shows the colors mandated for use on buildings in the city center.
- Peppers in market, Patzcuaro, Michoacan.
Descriptions Zapatista Photos
- Demonstrators with balloons representing a masked guerilla, an icon of the EZLN, at September 1997 march in Mexico City. Also in this image, a banner with the likeness of Zapata.
- Zapatista and supporters begin march to Zocaloat September 1997 Mexico City demonstration in support of the EZLN (Zapatistas) and the National Indiginous Congress.
- Marchers link arms atSeptember 1997 Mexico City demonstration in support of the EZLN (Zapatistas) and the National Indiginous Congress.
- Beginning of march, September 1997 Mexico City demonstration in support of the EZLN (Zapatistas) and the National Indiginous Congress.
- EZLN supporter with Mexican flag leads as march to Zocalo begins at September 1997 Mexico City demonstration in support of the EZLN (Zapatistas) and the National Indiginous Congress.
- March organizers waving back th crowd so the march can begin atSeptember 1997 Mexico City demonstration in support of the EZLN (Zapatistas) and the National Indiginous Congress.
- March to Zocalo gets underway atSeptember 1997 Mexico City demonstration in support of the EZLN (Zapatistas) and the National Indiginous Congress.
- Demonstrator waves Mexican flag at 1997 Mexico City march in support of Zapatistas.
- September 1997 Mexico City demonstration in support of the EZLN (Zapatistas) and the National Indiginous Congress. Demonstrator with beret and hood confers with gentleman from Chiapas.
- September 1997 Mexico City demonstration in support of the EZLN (Zapatistas) and the National Indiginous Congress. Crowd scene at beginning of march.
- Crowd marching to the Zocalo atSeptember 1997 Mexico City demonstration in support of the EZLN (Zapatistas) and the National Indiginous Congress.
- Zapatista supporters march arm in arm in September 1997 Mexico City demonstration of support for EZLN and National the Indiginous Congress.
- A young woman carrying the Mexican flag ahead of a group from Chilpancingo marching to the Zocalo September 1997 Mexico City demonstration of support for EZLN and the National Indiginous Congress.
- Group of Indian EZLN supporters near the Zocalo duringSeptember 1997 Mexico City demonstration in support of the EZLN (Zapatistas) and the National Indiginous Congress.
- Supporters march to Zocaloduring September 1997 Mexico City demonstration in support of the EZLN (Zapatistas) and the National Indiginous Congress.
- Indian marchers at night duringSeptember 1997 Mexico City demonstration in support of the EZLN (Zapatistas) and the National Indiginous Congress.
- Indian women waiting to enter the Zocalo atSeptember 1997 Mexico City demonstration in support of the EZLN (Zapatistas) and the National Indiginous Congress.
- Women from an indigenous group in traditional dress participating in a September 1997 Mexico City demonstration in support of the EZLN (Zapatistas) and the National Indiginous Congress.
- Marchers with banners by Fedex office duringSeptember 1997 Mexico City demonstration in support of the EZLN (Zapatistas) and the National Indiginous Congress.
- A crowd wearing the masks associated with Zapatistas listen to speeches in the Zocalo during September 1997 demonstration.
- In the Zocalo at night a masked crowd is bathed in the red light of holiday decorations during September 1997 Mexico City demonstration in support of the EZLN (Zapatistas) and the National Indiginous Congress.
- Little girl above the crowd next to a salute at September 1997 Mexico City demonstration in support of the EZLN (Zapatistas) and the National Indiginous Congress.
- Crowd of masked Zapatistas in the Zocalo with Independence Day decorations in the background atSeptember 1997 Mexico City demonstration in support of the EZLN (Zapatistas) and the National Indiginous Congress.
- Zapatista with mask and cowboy hat in the Zocalo with cathedral in background atSeptember 1997 Mexico City demonstration in support of the EZLN (Zapatistas) and the National Indiginous Congress.
- Zapatistas at a night time rally in Mexico City's Zocalo with the cathedral in the background during September 1997 Mexico City demonstration in support of the EZLN (Zapatistas) and the National Indiginous Congress.
- Zapatistas holding banners demanding liberty and justice for indigenous peoples at September 1997 Mexico City demonstration in support of the EZLN (Zapatistas) and the National Indiginous Congress.
- Demonstrators carry banner demading liberty and justice with an image of Commandante Marcos during September 1997 Mexico City demonstration in support of the EZLN (Zapatistas) and the National Indiginous Congress.
- Crowd in the Zocalo with cathedral during September 1997 Mexico City demonstration in support of the EZLN (Zapatistas) and the National Indiginous Congress.
- Demonstrator's salute and lights in the Zocalo duringSeptember 1997 Mexico City demonstration in support of the EZLN (Zapatistas) and the National Indiginous Congress.
- Young men at night rally in the Zocaloduring September 1997 Mexico City demonstration in support of the EZLN (Zapatistas) and the National Indiginous Congress.
- A young woman at night rally with Independence Day decorations in background duringSeptember 1997 Mexico City demonstration in support of the EZLN (Zapatistas) and the National Indiginous Congress.
- A saluting Zapatista with mask is lifted above the crowd in Mexico City's Zocalo during a night time demonstration by the EZLN and National Indiginous Congress in September 1997.
Descriptions of photos of Sedona, Arizona and Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument
- Sedona, late afternoon. Bell rock and courthouse butte seen from hwy 79.
- Courthouse butte, one of the red rock formations in Sedona, Arizona.
- Sedona, view from Airport Mesa of hills east of hwy 79 at sunset.
- Red rock cliffs and clouds catch the last rays of light as the sunsets as seen from Airport Mesa in Sedona, Arizona.
- Crimson clouds above Sedona, Arizona's rock skyline at sunset as seen from Airport Mesa.
- Saguaro cactus and evening sky near Tuscon, Arizona. Sonora desert.
- Saguaro cactus silhouette at sunset. near Tuscon, Arizona. Sonora desert.
- A pair of saguaro cacti in the sonora desert of southern Arizona.
- Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument. Organ Pipe Cactus in sonora desert near the border between Arizona and Mexico.
- Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument. Low angle view of organ pipe cactus. Sonora desert.
- Saguaro, cholla, and organ pipe cacti in the sonorandesert, one of the four great deserts in North America.
- Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument. Organ Pipe Cactus (Stenocereus thurberi) in the sonora desert.
- The branching arms of a saguaro begin as a small bud on the trunk, one of which can be seen forming on the left side of the trunk of this saguaro.
- Close view of chain-fruit cholla showing how its flowers and fruit grow on top of the fruit of the previous year leading to the "chain-fruit" name.
- A century plant, a type of agave, with flower stalk in the sonora desert of southern Arizona.
- A saguaro cactus that has grown up under a nurse plant in the sonora desert of southern Arizona. Saguaros have a greater chance of survival if they take root under a nurse plant, in this case a palo verde tree.
Desciptions of photographs of Bodie, Death Valley, and Mono Lake, California
- Brick and wood storefront facades next to each other at Bodie ghost town, a California state park.
- Sage brush surrounds a jumble of wood shacks at Bodie ghost town, a California state park.
- California, Bodie State Historical Park. Located in the hills north of Mono Lake, Bodie was a mining town. It is being preserved by government and private funds and as part of the state park system is one of the west's best known ghost towns.
- California, Bodie State Historical Park. House and junk cars.
- Furnace Creek formation badlands topography seen from Zabriskie Point looking south late in the afternoon. Mojave desert.
- Vertical framing of the Furnace Creek formation badlands topography seen from Zabriskie Point looking south late in the afternoon. Mojave desert.
- View to north from Zabriskie Point, late afternoon. Mojave Desert.
- A late afternoon view of Death Valley Buttes just south of the Hell's Gate Information Center.
- View of Death Valley to the south from the Funeral Mountains in late afternoon. Mojave Desert.
- A dry lake bed in the Silurian Valley of the Mojave desert north of Baker, California.
- Salt Creek Hills in the Mojave Desert. Salt Creek desert riparian and wetland area. Riparian areas are the green, vegetated areas on each side of streams and rivers.
- Tufa towers on the shore of Mono Lake in the Owens Valley of California with purple mountains in distance. Vertical frame.
- Tufa towers on the shore of Mono Lake in the Owens Valley of Calofornia and thunderstorm in distant mountains.
- Grass and tufa catch late afternoon light at Mono Lake in the Owens Valley of Calofornia.
- California, Mono Lake. Tufa towers that rise from the lake bed are the result of a chemical reaction between alkaline lake water and freshwater springs.
- Clouds reflect sunset colors above tufa and Mono Lake in the Owens Valley of California.
- Tufa on the Mono Lake shoreline at sunset.
- Tufa towers frame a tufa island. Mono Lake tufa formations formed where carbonate-rich spring water entered the lake.
- Mono Lake tufa formations formed where carbonate-rich spring water entered the lake. The tufa towers formed under the lake surface but are now visible due to the fall of the lake level as a result of the diversion of Owens Valley water to Los Angeles.
Descriptions of photographs of Crater Lake, Oregon
- Forest and mountain stream south east of Sun Notch.
- Wizard Island, an extinct cinder cone volcano in Crater Lake, the deepest lake in the U.S. The lake itself was formed by the cataclysmic eruption of Mt Mazama 7,000 years ago.Crater Lake National Park, Oregon
- View of Hillman Peak and Crater Lake from firetower on The Watchman summit.
- Fog rolling into the mountains at sunset.
- View from Crater Lake's Rim Drive to west to Rogue River National Forest.
- Sunset view from Crater Lake's Rim Drive to Rogue River National Forest.
- Mountain hemlock in silhouette with Llao Rock to the right, in background.
- View from Sun Notch shows the steep slope of the crater walls.
- Wizard Island and the west wall of the crater seen from Sun Notch.
- Morning view of Phantom Ship from Sun Notch trail. Phantom Ship is a remnant of a volcanic dike and rises as tall as a 16-story building above the lake.
- Phantom Ship is an island in Crater Lake that is the remnant of a volcanic dike and rises about 160 feet above the water. It gets it's name from the fact that it is often difficult to see, lost in the reflection of the crater walls.
- View of crater walls and Phantom Ship from Cloudcap overlook.
- View of "Phantom Ship" island from Sun Notch.
- Pinnacles formation, eroded ash flow. The vertcal forms mark where staem vents existed in the ash flow, hardening the ash and making it more resistent to erosion.
- The Pinnacles, formed by differential erosion of volcanic ash flows.
- View of sunrise from Mount Scott, highest peak in the park, to Williamson River basin and Klamath Forest NWR.
- Early morning view of Crater Lake and Wizard Island from Mount Scott.
- Morning view of Crater Lake from Mt Scott, the highest point in the park.
- Hikers on Mount Scott highest peak in the park.
- Crater Lake National Park. Looking past a hemlock to phantom ship which can be difficult to see even in full sun in the reflection of the crater wall.
- A tour boat on the lake seen from Cloudcap overlook.
- Sunset over Rougue River National Forest enhanced by haze from area forest fires seen from Crater Lake's Rim Drive.
- View of sunset from Crater Lake's Rim Drive across lake to Wizard Island silhouetted below peak named "The Watchman".
- Sunrise colors reflected in Crater Lake. The highest point int the park, Mt Scott is at frame right.
- Hemlock trees silhouetted at sunrise at Crater Lake National Park. Mt Scott visible in the distance, left of center.
White backgrounds in photography
It seems like such a simple thing.
Put a subject on clean white paper and
take the picture. But the result is disappointing.
Why doesn't this work?
Partly, it has to do with human perception.
White paper isn't as white as we think it is. White is a
pretty subjective thing and most of what we think of as
"whiteness" is going on in our heads. Unfortunately, cameras
don't do that; they
record "white" in the scene faithfully as brighter than other
objects but still a light shade of gray. Also,
cameras and light meters don't know white from gray from black.
The light sensors in the camera detect how much light is coming
through the lens but then it has to decide what to do with that
information. There can be some pretty sophisticated algorithms
at work but it boils down to averaging out the light values.
This usually works. But if the scene is mostly light it will come
out too dark in the photo and if the scene is mostly dark it
will come out to light in the photo. That's just an inevitable
result of averaging the values. But even if you take this into
account and use the cameras' EV adjustment there's another problem.
Even if the paper reflects all wavelengths equally, making
it neutral in color, it still would have to reflect about
16 times as much light as the subject to appear white in the
final photograph. Paper just doesn't reflect back that much
light. Few things do. Anything that does has the unfortunate
side effect of including the photographers self-portrait
in the background. So, how are perfect white backgrounds
If the backgound can be set up so that there is some distance
between the background and subject then it is possible to light
the background separately from the subject. White background
paper reflects about 4 times as much light as average subjects
so it needs to receive about 4 times as much light as the
subject to read as white in the photo.
still retain some tonality but adding more light than that
tends to cause flare around the subjects' edges.
This approach will work, but if the frame includes
the area where the subject sits on the paper that area of white
will still retain tonality. This can be avoided by photographing
the subject on a light table. There are a couple of ways to do this.
White plexiglass or a similar product can be backlit and balanced
with the subject lighting so that it reproduces as white in the end
photo. This works pretty well but with some subjects it is tedious
to get enough light to drop out the background without polluting
A variant of this approach is to place the subject
on glass or clear plex with white paper as the background, placed
far enough away that it can be lit separately. This method is the
most flexible, provides the most control, yields excellent results,
is the most complicated, and requires a lot of grip and lighting
equipment. And you have to understand what you are doing or it
will take forever. Still, this is not how it is usually done. So,
how do all those great white backgrounds we see all the time
Mostly in post processing, and that has always been the case. Now
it is done with computers but before that it was done photo-
mechanically or by hand. White seamless paper, ubiquitous in
photography studios, is mostly used because it makes it a lot
easier to remove the background in post production. And that
really is what you want: the subject with the background removed,
not the subject with a white rectangle surrounding it.