How to Use Your White Seamless as a Light Source

Nathan Elson is back with another installment of his "How I Got the Shot" short-form tutorials. This time, Elson is sharing his process for creating an image using light reflected from his seamless as his key. 


Keeping with his helpful format, Elson starts his behind-the-scenes tutorial by sharing his camera and flash settings. He also frames the video wide enough so you can get a good enough idea of the distances at play to be able to adopt this technique for yourself.

Controlling Spill and Transitions

Elson takes time to explain the pros and cons of this type of light and how to control spill from the lights that are reflecting into the backdrop. He also provides some great observations on how to get the reflected light to transition from bright to gray by positioning your model at various distances from the backdrop.


As has become typical, Elson shares his Capture One and Photoshop processes. Getting a chance to watch Elson work to reformat the image to black and white provides some great insight on how to help images pop without pushing the contrast too far.

As an added bonus, check out Elson's dodge and burn action he shares for free

All images provided by Nathan Elson.

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