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Old 8th of December 2008 (Mon)   #1
GreenEyedLady
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Default How to black out the background

Hey people.
I am a newbie. I see a lot of pictures taken where the background of maybe the inside of the home is very dark so the person stands out.
I remember a photographer doing this in a shot with all of us in our own home.




I have lightroom. Is this something you do when you shoot or in lightroom?


Thanks
GEL
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Old 8th of December 2008 (Mon)   #2
DanteCaspian
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Default Re: How to black out the background

What editing software do you have?
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Old 8th of December 2008 (Mon)   #3
GreenEyedLady
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Default Re: How to black out the background

I have Lightroom and CS2.
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Old 8th of December 2008 (Mon)   #4
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Default Re: How to black out the background

You can control the desired effect with lighting, background and proper exposure. You may also do so in Photoshop & there are a number of ways to do this.
Here are simple examples, http://www.sitepoint.com/print/maski...ues-photoshop/
Obviously, ignore the shadow additions in the tutorials.
I use a couple of techniques that are similar to the links explanation, and others, but I think it best to start there to learn some of the basics.
Others may have better suggestions if those do not work for you, or if you need more specific help.

Last edited by DanteCaspian : 8th of December 2008 (Mon) at 22:07.
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Old 8th of December 2008 (Mon)   #5
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Default Re: How to black out the background

The easiest way is to get a black background.
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Old 9th of December 2008 (Tue)   #6
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Default Re: How to black out the background

A black background is a good place to start. Make sure there is some distance between the subject and the background and that there is no light spilling onto the background. Lightroom will help you to darken the background further but try to get it as close as you can in camera first.

There are some more links below (at the bottom of this page) that you should explore as this is a regular topic of discussion.
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Old 9th of December 2008 (Tue)   #7
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Default Re: How to black out the background

Hang a black background as far behind subjects as possible.

Light subjects with modified flash, one on each side with about 1.5 stops different. Keep flash close enough to light subjects at small aperture.

Set shutter speed to max synch and stop down to f/8 - f/11
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Old 9th of December 2008 (Tue)   #8
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Default Re: How to black out the background

Quote:
Originally Posted by michaelgreen78 View Post
A black background is a good place to start. Make sure there is some distance between the subject and the background and that there is no light spilling onto the background. Lightroom will help you to darken the background further but try to get it as close as you can in camera first.

There are some more links below (at the bottom of this page) that you should explore as this is a regular topic of discussion.
I don't see any links.
Can you post them up?

There was no black background in the photos that this woman took and I also don't believe she used a separate flash. I know she had an external one, but she had us sitting by the window and somehow darkened the background. It looks almost like we are in a studio but we were right in our family room.
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Old 9th of December 2008 (Tue)   #9
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Default Re: How to black out the background

If you have the room and enough light, it is not hard. You just need the subject to be considerably brighter than the background. How much brighter depends on what is behind the subject. But 3 stops and a fast shutter should do it.

Again, it is simply lighting the subject more. Try to get as little light on the background as you can, while keeping the subject bright. expose for the subject and you should have it.
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Old 9th of December 2008 (Tue)   #10
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Default Re: How to black out the background

Quote:
Originally Posted by GreenEyedLady View Post
I don't see any links.
Can you post them up?

There was no black background in the photos that this woman took and I also don't believe she used a separate flash. I know she had an external one, but she had us sitting by the window and somehow darkened the background. It looks almost like we are in a studio but we were right in our family room.
A black backdrop makes this easier, but it is possible to do without. The key is to set the camera with a small aperture, low ISO and fast enough shutter speed that it will take a <black> exposure without the flash.

Then you light the subjects with flash, and if no light spills onto a close background the background appears black.
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Old 28th of February 2009 (Sat)   #11
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Default Re: How to black out the background

If you're doing portraits, using a black background should be the easiest. But when I do macro photography, I use something like these settings: "M" for manual focus, ISO 200, speed about 1/160, F stop at F16. I also use a full flash where my flash is set at the same exposure as my camera. I especially like this type of setting for flowers. If I want a colored blurred out background, as you probably know, a wide open aperature and my flash is usually set as a step down from my camera exposure.

I have a Rebel XTi.
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Old 28th of February 2009 (Sat)   #12
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Default Re: How to black out the background

Aah...the links are at the bottom of this page...similar threads.
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Old 28th of February 2009 (Sat)   #13
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Default Re: How to black out the background

There was a great article on exactly this topic on the digitalphotographyschool blog/site.....

Basically what other people have recommended, small aperture, fast shutter speed. The key element in the article I mentioned was the positioning of the flash, off camera of course...
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