Designers and publishers love isolated images with copy space where they can add text or background images, or just add a simple color to suit their product needs. For manufacturers, an image on white can be easily adapted to a variety of product shapes – different sizes of notepads, bookmarks, etc. If one wants color, any color, and any pattern, it can be popped right in the background if the image has been isolated properly, with little or no work. This makes for a very attractive purchase with an image that has so much versatility.
Though it seems like it would be an easy task, creating a blown out white background is trickier than one might think. It’s all about the lighting. You must learn how to avoid the drab grays that you can get without enough light, shadows are difficult to isolate out if they blend in with the subject. There are countless tutorials online that shows proper high key lighting set-up. I use a light table that lights the subject from underneath to achieve a perfectly white background all around with approximately 5+ studio lights.
Of course, there is Photoshop. With CS6, one can use the refine edge tool and drop out a background very efficiently. But consider, it is always easier and less time consuming if the subject is properly lit to begin with. Dropping out a background taken on a colored background is much more difficult and time consuming. The color tends to attach itself to the subject – there is always a reflection of color that can never really be dropped out. It is much easier to simply shoot on white if those are your intentions for the image.
Isolated images have endless possibilities –if you can imagine it, you can create it!