Green Screen Lighting

When photographing volume work with a green screen background for knockouts, it’s imperative to set up your background and lighting correctly, as well as having proper camera settings. This will ensure that the images are accurately exposed and that the knockouts can be efficiently done.

Whether you are using a 1 or 2 light setup, here are some helpful reminders to ensure properly exposed green screen images for easy knockout.

  • The key is not to overexpose the backdrop; the light on the backdrop should be 1 or 2 stops darker than the light on your subject.
  • Keep the placement of the subject, the lighting and the exposure consistent throughout the shoot to ensure the best final product.
  • Keep your backdrop clean and wrinkle free.
  • Always test your setup. See below for info on submitting test images.

Two Light Setup

Two Light Green Screen Setup

One Light Setup

One Light Green Screen Setup

Using proper camera settings allow you to control variables for consistent exposure throughout the entire photo shoot. The settings below can be used as a starting point for testing; always use a light meter with your lights for consistent results.

  • ISO: 100 (preferred)
  • Shutter Speed: 1/160
  • F/stop: 11 (preferred)
  • Picture Control: Portrait
  • White Balance: Flash or Custom White Balance
    • Always avoid using auto white balance
  • Color Space: sRGB
  • Auto Rotate: Off
  • File Numbering: Sequential/Continuous

When capturing RAW using custom white balance, use a neutral gray target and capture as the first image, then use the image to set an accurate white balance when converting images from RAW to JPG. When capturing RAW format, we recommend using the following settings.

Recommended Camera Settings

Temperature Set the temperature value depending on the light source.  Increasing the value will make images warmer, lowing the value will make images cooler.

Contrast We recommend keeping contrast below +10.

Blacks We recommend keeping a value of less than +5.

Clarity We recommend keeping a value of less than +5.

Note It is important to keep in mind that monitors have much wider color gamut than photographic paper, and that colors on your monitor may not always reproduce on photo prints.

To prepare for the upcoming season, we recommend that you shoot tests with your green screen setup and proper camera settings and then submit the unedited files to Full Color for analyzing and test printing. If you will be ordering green screen knockout services through Full Color, this testing is required prior to ordering.

Submit Test Images