The Phottix Journal has written a few posts on high key photography. It’s a difficult art to master – getting your whites white can be a frustrating exercise of trial and error.
With a few spare moments at the Beijing P&E Photography Expo we decided to experiment a little. The background of this image is a 180 cm white shoot-through umbrella illuminated by a 800W studio strobe. The key light was a 500W studio strobe modified with a 60 x 100 m softbox. The model held a reflector at waist level (notice the catchlight).
Balancing the background light and key light was a matter of trial and error (aided initially by a Sekonic meter). Zack Arias recommends the background light be two stops higher than the key light. This would have been easier if two identical strobes were used, instead of off-the-cuff math.
The image was converted to greyscale in post production.