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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre General Photography Talk
Thread started 03 Nov 2008 (Monday) 11:23
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How to create a black background?

 
g3ck0
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Hi guys, I'm prtty new to photography so bear with me here. I always see nice photos of portraits or even simple objects set against a pitch black background. How is this achieved? If I buy black paper or black cloth, under normal light, you see the cloth pattern behind it, it looks a little grey-ish if you know what I mean. How do you guys make it perfectly black so that the audience only concentrates on the main subject in the photo?

Nov 03, 2008 11:23

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gjl711
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A black background is one way but you can do the same with just about any background. Just light the subject and not the background.

Nov 03, 2008 11:25

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luigis
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Underexpose the background big way and use flash for the subject one of many ways.

Nov 03, 2008 11:32

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g3ck0
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luigis wrote in post #6615189external link
Underexpose the background big way and use flash for the subject one of many ways.

So just underexpose in general but use flash to light up the subject? Wouldn't the flash 'sip' on to the blackground though making it look grey?

Nov 03, 2008 11:53

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gjl711
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g3ck0 wrote in post #6615334external link
So just underexpose in general but use flash to light up the subject? Wouldn't the flash 'sip' on to the blackground though making it look grey?

Gotta control your flash.

Nov 03, 2008 11:57

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g3ck0
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gjl711 wrote in post #6615363external link
Gotta control your flash.

I just have the standard on-camera flash that comes on my XSI.

Nov 03, 2008 12:16

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gjl711
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g3ck0 wrote in post #6615487external link
I just have the standard on-camera flash that comes on my XSI.

That makes it tougher. move tha background farther away, you can soften the flash a bit by draping a tissue over the flash or put a diffuser in front of it.

Nov 03, 2008 12:18

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g3ck0
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ok, I'll try it out thanks!

Nov 03, 2008 12:52

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gooble
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Move the background farther away or move the light source closer to the subject. Thanks to light falloff you could for example halve the power needed to keep the same exposure while more than doubling your light reduction on the background. The closer your light source though, the larger it needs to be in relation to the subject.

Nov 03, 2008 14:05



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highbarger
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Black velvet is a good material to use for a pure black background. It 'absorbs' the light rather than reflect it. The price for a large piece, however...

Nov 03, 2008 15:29



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Wilt
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Simply ensure adequate distance between subject and background, so that the Inverse Square Rule of light fall off permits sufficient decrease in intensity that the b/g is -2.5EV in relative intensity. If light to subject is 4', then additional 7' back (light to b/g distance 11') provides -3EV in falloff, for example.

Nov 03, 2008 17:23

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dcsmith40D
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Wilt wrote in post #6617421external link
Simply ensure adequate distance between subject and background, so that the Inverse Square Rule of light fall off permits sufficient decrease in intensity that the b/g is -2.5EV in relative intensity. If light to subject is 4', then additional 7' back (light to b/g distance 11') provides -3EV in falloff, for example.

That was deep.

Nov 03, 2008 20:37

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PhotosGuy
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That was deep.

Wilt doesn't wade near the shore! :D

Nov 03, 2008 20:43

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dcsmith40D
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PhotosGuy wrote in post #6618723external link
Wilt doesn't wade near the shore! :D

I guess not.:)

Nov 03, 2008 21:22

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tonylong
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I was going to say something but I dozed off:)!

Nov 03, 2008 22:57

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How to create a black background?
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