Home / Video / Tips and Features / Techniques / Easy Black Background

Easy Black Background

lightroom-workflow-1

Description

In this free photography tip I’m going to show you where to make an easy black background, in camera ­ without having a black backdrop. It’s a simple trick of exposure. Thanks Ian Rutter for asking and giving me the idea!

The easiest way to create a black background for a portrait (or any other type of photography) is to go and buy some black fabric. Velvet is fantastic because it soaks up light. However what do you do if you want a black background and don't have any?

First you have to begin thinking like a photographer and consider your options. In this scenario light is our best friend because like some best friends I could mention - it behaves in a weird way.

Common sense suggests that if you double the distance from a light source you'll have half the light. But it doesn't work that way. Light enjoys making my brain hurt by subscribing to the Inverse Square law of physics so the level of light is inversely proportional to the square of the distance between subject and source. Where's the paracetamol?

This means if you have a subject 4 meters from a light source the light landing upon it will be 1/16th of what it was at the light source. To 'square' a number you multiply it by itself 4x4=16 the inverse of which is 1/16.

So to make a black background for an image all you need to do is find somewhere where the light fall off will be enough that the camera can't cope with it, like a doorway, entrance to a dark alley etc and place the model in front of it.

BUT - look out for the qualities of the light as well as the quantity. If the qualities of the light landing on your model / subject are not suitable for it the background may be dark but the image won't be great. I really should have used a reflector in this demonstration to push a bit more light back into Abbie's face and make her eyes a bit less dark But hey ho - hopefully you get the point...

Related Videos

arrow Panoramics with a long lens

Latest Videos

Like our free videos? Please help...

You don't have to and it's not expected, but many of you lovely people have asked if you can help keep these videos free

Donate

Help us Grow

Thank you

commasopencommasclose Although I have been working with Lightroom, I was unaware of how to create a straightforward, logical workflow.  7 Steps to Workflow Mastery has been excellent. My work is now catalogued properly, easily searchable, keyworded and into collections.  This is already making my life a lot easier. The value is more than the price and I definitely recommend it.
- Anonymity requested -

Logon

 Create New Account 
 Forgotten Password? 

Comments

No posts yet, please be the first!

Logon

 Create New Account 
 Forgotten Password?