What does pure white background photography mean? Let’s take a look! For e-commerce websites such as Amazon or eBay a product photograph taken on pure white is often required. This type of photograph is referred to as a ‘packshot’ or ‘product photograph’. However, it should be noted that the majority of the time a product is not photographed on a pure white background. The reason for this is that getting your background to be pure white without over exposing the product itself is very difficult. The reason for the backgroung being white is because white is a very neutral colour that works well with any product.
What is a pure white background in Product Photography?
A pure white background is a background that has a an RGB value (that’s Red, Green and Blue) of 255 which is the maximum brightness for each colour channel resulting in white. See the below screenshot for a pure white background. Highlighted in yellow you can see the RGB values of 255 for each channel.
Is it possible to photograph a product on a pure white background?
Yes it is possible to photograph a product on a pure white background. The way to do this is to isolate the background from the product and light them independently of each other. For example, if you can hang the product or suspend it in some way a good two or three meters from the background you can use one light or set of lights to light the product and a separate set of lights to light the background. When doing this you must be careful not to put too much light on the background and inadvertently over-expose the product. See the diagram below.
White Product on a Pure White Background
If you have a white product and you are going to photograph it with the intent of putting it on a pure white background then you will need to be very careful. You may even find that you are not able to light white product much as it will be too white and will not stand out from the background. The best option here is to light the product less while maintaining the background as white. The product will look grey but will stand out much more. You can see the below example.
How to get a Pure White Background Product Photograph
The easier way to obtain a pure white background in product photography is to photograph a product on a close to or grey background and extract it. Depending on what size the image will be used this may take some time. If you require an image for selling products on Amazon or eBay and you need a pure white background it’s going to be most cost effective to do a ‘cutout’. This is when the product is very accurately drawn around and the existing (non pure white) background is remove and replaced with pure white.