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Photography Question 
Lauren R. Yackuboskey
 

black backround


Could anyone please tell me how to create the black backround that I see in so many beautiful flower images? I know how they are created in the studio but some of the images are even taken outside but have a black backround. Is it just created in photoshop?


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4/27/2006 5:08:15 PM

 
Robyn Mackenzie
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/21/2005
  Hi Lauren,
One way of doing it is to use black cloth - something nonreflective. You just hold it behind the flower while you shoot. Another is to use a piece of black foamboard - just angle it so it doesn't reflect the light.
Cheers, and happy shooting!
Robyn


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4/27/2006 5:13:35 PM

 
Robyn Mackenzie
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/21/2005
  PS: There's an image called "Frangipani" in my gallery which is an example of the use of black cloth outside. Also a couple using black foamboard inside.
Robyn


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4/27/2006 5:18:07 PM

 
Christopher Budny
BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/3/2005
chrisbudny.com
  I don't think you'd find too many being created in PS... it can often be quite a challenge to seamlessly "cut out" a flower from an outdoor image, to place on a black background, convincingly. There are so many "inbetween" pixels that make up the edges, that you may not capture, which are needed to make the blending edges look right.
I did a similar step to Robyn's, using a black throw pillow set up several inches behind my orchid, here.
. Because of the shallow depth of field in macro, there's no chance of seeing the weave of the fabric, etc. That may take some experimentation, to see how far back you need to place it, to completely eliminate any surface texture.


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4/27/2006 5:23:07 PM

 
Lauren R. Yackuboskey   Thank you, Robyn and Christopher!
I understand now... the macro and shallow depth of field is what prevents the fabric detail from showing up.. that makes sense.
I can't wait to try it :)


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4/27/2006 5:48:45 PM

 
Bob Cammarata
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/17/2003
  The best attempts at this technique are accomplished outdoors on an overcast day,...when colors are more saturated and there are no shadows to worry about.
Your background material can be any of the ones mentioned.

If you don't have any background material with you, a flash unit can be used to highlight the flower.
As long as there is enough distance behind the subject..(no reflective objects within range of the flash), the background will be black.


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4/27/2006 6:36:10 PM

 
Lauren R. Yackuboskey   Thank you, Bob!
You have all given me some VERY helpful info... I really appreciate it :)


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4/28/2006 7:50:27 AM

 
Deb Holmes-Hatfield
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/20/2004
  Hi Lauren,
I use black velvet for backgrounds because it doesn't reflect light.
Hope this helps you.


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4/28/2006 10:23:10 AM

 
Lauren R. Yackuboskey   Deb, thank you for the great advice!


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4/28/2006 11:24:00 AM

 
Sharon  Day
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/27/2004
  I asked this question once of a member that did those nicely and he told me black velvet and he slide it over a dow rod. That sounded convenient to me.


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4/28/2006 12:15:35 PM

 
Lauren R. Yackuboskey   Sharon,
Thank you for your advice... I'm glad you mentioned that. I was actually wondering how to conveniently place the black velvet and that really helps :)


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4/28/2006 1:21:24 PM

 
Lauren R. Yackuboskey   ... and I have to mention, by the way, that all of you have absolutely stunning galleries. I hope to achieve that level someday :)


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4/28/2006 1:24:01 PM

 
Bob Cammarata
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/17/2003
  I've carried all sorts of background material into the field...like different colored poster-boards (including black ones), and black and red felt material.
The poster-boards are stiff enough to hold in place during exposure or to prop up behind a subject. They can also support a piece of felt material draped over them.
(They can even double as windbreakers.)

I learned a little tip a long time ago from someone who specialized in shooting wildflowers and I am passing it along on his behalf:
To position your flowers or plants for close-ups, try using plastic drinking straws. The stem of the flower or plant slides up into the straw and it can then be stuck into soft soil or a chunk of styrofoam for precise positioning.
Standard sized straws work best with most flowers with thick stems and the thin coffee stirrer types will handle the delicate ones.
It's wise to carry both kinds in your photo gadget bag during flower season (along with a small pair of scissors to cut them to size).

Bob


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4/28/2006 5:59:12 PM

 
Lauren R. Yackuboskey   Bob, thank you so much for the helpful tips!


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4/29/2006 8:16:24 AM

 
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