Looking for a white laboratory-style background to photograph components
November 1, 2017 6:00 AM   Subscribe

I need to photo some electronic components. I would like to do this using a solid white background laboratory-style background, how do I go about this?
posted by jacobean to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Like a light tent? That would give you a stark white background.

Or do you literally mean a laboratory setting with like, bunsen burners bokeh'd in the distance?
posted by Drosera at 6:03 AM on November 1, 2017

No, not a light tent as somtimes you can see the cloth in background. This is exactly what I want to avoid!

Shots are going to be taken mainly vertically but looking for a hard white surface. No bunsen burners required!
posted by jacobean at 6:10 AM on November 1, 2017

I built a little photography "table" using 1/8" masonite that comes with one side already painted white. I cut it into three squares and made a "point" of a cube with the white sides facing "inwards". Then I caulked the internal edges to make it all white; it is slightly shiny which I think adds some depth. If you just need a flat surface, not rear walls, just get one of these and put it on a low table or the floor.
posted by AzraelBrown at 6:13 AM on November 1, 2017

You want a white acrylic sheet. It has that fantastic reflective quality that gives that upscale lab look you're after. Places like Lowe's or Home Depot have the sheets if you're in the US. Places like ACMoore, Staples, Target, Michael's etc sell foam core, a board that has shiny bright white paper on the outside. The board props up well, and the surface is less reflective but also fantastic for photography. You could also try an infinity board. Read the reflective surface photog techniques halfway down this page for a few more background suggestions. Also good tips here.
posted by the webmistress at 6:26 AM on November 1, 2017 [3 favorites]

Do you want a piece of white seamless paper?
posted by jindc at 6:29 AM on November 1, 2017

Any white wall, cloth, whatever will work, really. But no matter what you use as the background, the key is lighting. It's even possible to use a gray or other color of wall, and still get a bright white background, if lit properly.

You have to light the white background separately, and over-expose it compared to the object. This isn't the place to give a detailed lesson in photographic lighting, but here's a link that might be a good place to start.

Just keep in mind that no matter the white background you use, it will very likely look gray unless you light it separately.
posted by The Deej at 6:32 AM on November 1, 2017 [1 favorite]

Webmistress. Spot-on. Acrylic sheet is exactly what I'm looking for. Reflective-ness is excellent for the laboratory look! Thanks.

Thanks to all other posters and to Deej for the lighting tip!
posted by jacobean at 6:35 AM on November 1, 2017

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