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Yesterday I was shooting some shots for a project I’m working on (see top image–click on it for a larger view), and I got to use Lastolite’s Hilite background, which gives you, about as simply as I can imagine it could ever be, a perfectly lit, shadowless white background for high-key shots. I got a live demo of the HiLite background at the Imaging USA expo in Tampa back in January, and I bought one right on the spot, but this is the first chance I’ve had to shoot with it. It was so easy to set up, so easy to use, and just so darn clever, that I knew about 5-minutes into the shoot that it was going to get my “Scott Thinks It’s Hot!” Award.

This background is incredibly portable—basically, it just pops-up (when it’s collapsed it looks like a large collapsible reflector), and it’s free standing, so you don’t have to carry any stands or supports for it. You just stick a strobe in one end (as seen in the bottom photo above; (photo courtesy of Lastolite), or both ends (I only used one strobe on one end) and that’s pretty much it. You pop-it open, pop a strobe in the side, and that’s it—you’re ready to shoot high-key, even in a very small space, or on location.

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I took the top photo at the top of this post, featuring model Stevie Lynn, on the HiLite background (there are no other lights on the background). My Main Light was a Elinchrom RX-600 strobe with a 53″ Elinchrom mini Octa softbox, mounted on an Avenger rolling C-Stand, and I fired the strobes using Elinchrom’s Skyports (more on them later this week). It was shot with a Nikon D300, at 1/60 of a second, at f/7.1 at 200 ISO. The lens was a 70-200mm f/2.8 VR lens at 102mm. So, the set-up was one main light, and the light inside the HiLite background—that’s it. (click the photo right above for a larger view of the shoot; that’s me on the far left–photo by RC).

The HiLite Background comes in two sizes; a 5′x7′ and 6′x7′ (by the way; get the 6′x7′ model—you’ll thank me later), and B&H Photo has the 5′x7′ for $376 (link), and the 6′x7′ for $428.95 (link). For more info on the Lastolite HiLites, click here.