The problem is not that white backgrounds get dirty easily or that it is difficult to determine the correct exposure, although both of these things are true. Instead the problem is U.S. Patent 8,676,045. Yes, that is right, Amazon has successfully patented using a white background when photographing subjects. For more on this controversy see Photographers howl at Amazon patent of decades old idea and Amazon’s ridiculous patent makes Mark Cuban happy.
May 28, 2014: The Professional Photographers of America provides more details on Amazon’s patent at Hear About Amazon’s Patent on Studio (Lighting) Arrangement? Here’s What it Means for You.
About Mark Mizen
I have over twenty years professional experience in all aspects of photography and digital imaging. I am Chair of the ISO WG5 TG2 committee responsible for physical properties and durability of imaging material and am currently with HID Global working on systems for security printing for IDs, licenses, and credit cards. Previously, I was Director of Digital Development at Creative Memories from 2009 to 2012 and was responsible for the Creative Memories digital products and services. I also established and directed the Creative Memories Technology Center, which evaluated new products prior to product introduction, assisted with production difficulties, and provided technical information to support product sales.
Patently ridiculous! – Fawn
I can’t believe they let people patent these types of things! I have a picture I took of my son as a baby using a white background before Amazon existed!