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Old 3rd of November 2008 (Mon)   #1
g3ck0
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Default How to create a black background?

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?
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Old 3rd of November 2008 (Mon)   #2
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Default Re: How to create a black background?

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.
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Old 3rd of November 2008 (Mon)   #3
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Default Re: How to create a black background?

Underexpose the background big way and use flash for the subject one of many ways.
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Old 3rd of November 2008 (Mon)   #4
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Default Re: How to create a black background?

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Originally Posted by luigis View Post
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?
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Old 3rd of November 2008 (Mon)   #5
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Default Re: How to create a black background?

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Originally Posted by g3ck0 View Post
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.
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Old 3rd of November 2008 (Mon)   #6
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Default Re: How to create a black background?

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Gotta control your flash.
I just have the standard on-camera flash that comes on my XSI.
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Old 3rd of November 2008 (Mon)   #7
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Default Re: How to create a black background?

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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.
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Old 3rd of November 2008 (Mon)   #8
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Default Re: How to create a black background?

ok, I'll try it out thanks!
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Old 3rd of November 2008 (Mon)   #9
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Default Re: How to create a black background?

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.
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Old 3rd of November 2008 (Mon)   #10
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Default Re: How to create a black background?

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...
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Old 3rd of November 2008 (Mon)   #11
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Default Re: How to create a black background?

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.
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Old 3rd of November 2008 (Mon)   #12
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Default Re: How to create a black background?

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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.
That was deep.
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Old 3rd of November 2008 (Mon)   #13
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Default Re: How to create a black background?

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That was deep.
Wilt doesn't wade near the shore!
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Old 3rd of November 2008 (Mon)   #14
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Default Re: How to create a black background?

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Wilt doesn't wade near the shore!
I guess not.
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Old 3rd of November 2008 (Mon)   #15
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Default Re: How to create a black background?

I was going to say something but I dozed off!
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