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23

To get a pure black background you need space, not material. The easiest way to get a black background is to shoot outdoors at night. It doesn't matter what your background is like, provided it's not too close and doesn't have it's own lightsources. This was shot in my garden: Distance is always key. If you are working indoors, even with a specialist ...


19

The more space you have the easier this is - firstly you can throw more light at the background to even our creases is your material of choice without it bouncing back onto your subject, and secondly the longer lens you use, the smaller your background can be, to the point where if you're using a telephoto your background only has to be just bigger than your ...


14

"Background compression" is part of how we perceive perspective in a photograph. Images taken with a narrow field of view (longer focal lengths) will appear to have a shorter back-to-front distance than those with a wide field of view (shorter focal lengths). It's important to remember that perspective, technically speaking, does not depend on the lens, ...


13

What you encountered is the dynamic-range limit of your camera. All cameras and films have a limit to the dynamic-range they capture and scenes where the contrast is too high will always cause exactly this kind of problem. For cases with moving subjects, like a wedding, they are two avenues to diminish the issue: Reframe so that your subject is surrounded ...


13

I'll show how you can do this in GIMP, it should be similar in photoshop. We start with our object on paper. Curves dialog basically shows us histogram of the image. When I click into the image, I can see where in the histogram given area is. This way I can find out where approximately my future white point is going to be. Then I modify the curve in way ...


12

I'm sure someone will chime in with a 2 page rundown on how to do this. But the basic idea is to get a lightbox, light tent, or a pop-up light tent. You can read a tutorial on how to make one yourself here at digital photography school. Once you have a lightbox and properly setup lighting, Photoshopping out the remaining few shadows is quite easy for anyone ...


11

Also on Digital Photography School, Alex Koloskov walks through creating attractive product photos. And in his blog he shows how to achieve almost the same results with $55 light setup. His blog in general is very educative, as he's professional product photographer who regularly shares the setups used to get the results he got.


10

To make the inverse square law work for you, you need to get the light as close to the subject as possible, and move the subject away from the background as much as possible. It will also help if you can "flag" the light so it doesn't strike the background, at least not in the angle of view of the camera.


10

Any of them are going to work fine for a home studio, presuming you have the space to set things up. Some things to consider, however, are: Stands to hold the backdrop. It may seem a little obvious, but if you want to have flexibility in your use of backdrops, at least a basic stand is going to be something to get. Reuse of the backdrop(s). Fancier ones, ...


9

Metering from the background as rfusca suggests may not give you the results you desire - the background will likely be very overexposed spoiling the beautiful location. One solution to that problem is to shoot two exposures and merge them. One exposure is optimal for your subject and one optimal for the background. If your subject remains relatively still ...


8

There are many improvements that could be made here. Firstly, you need to use a much longer exposure, and a lower ISO setting. Get a tripod, even a cheap one, and use mirror lockup. Could do with stopping down a bit further for depth of field. Post processing You might be able to get away with your current shots, with some post processing. Here I've taken ...


8

The building did not become darker in the second picture, the colors are different but the brightness is about the same. There are two differences between the photos: White balance. The building is lit with somewhat yellow lights, in the 1st picture the camera compensates and makes the light white. For the second picture the flash's light is blue, the ...


8

If as you say the background has been setup before the shoot then best practice would be to shoot in manual mode and take a few test exposures to confirm your settings. Using the camera histogram is far more accurate than any of the metering modes.


7

I'm no expert in studio photography, but this look you are trying to achieve is all about lighting. I recomend "Light: Science and Magic: An Introduction to Photographic Lighting". It will teach you the fundamentals to achieve this and much more. I learned quite a bit with that book. Additionally, some post work can't harm to improve results :)


7

The white background effect is usually done by lighting the background and the subject separately, you can't do this with such a small box. There are no camera settings that will help you because your problem is that the difference in brightness between the background and subject is too small - and everything that makes the picture darker or brighter ...


6

I have two suggestions: The first, and easiest suggestions is to use fill flash. Flash isn't just for outdoor photos and can work very well to bring out some detail, particularly if the background is brighter than the subject. As Itai mentioned though, flash can lead to some unnatural results, so it's not always the best option, particularly if you don't ...


6

I'm no expert on this, but my basic understanding is that you generally want two lights, on either side of the background (not at 90 degrees to it), aimed towards the center, far enough back to illuminate evenly, and angled downwards to reduce spill. Continuous lighting is probably better for this, or at least makes it easier to ensure that you're correctly ...


6

You can light the subject without a flash by using a board reflector. There's a guide about it at about.com, but basically it's about sticking a white (or silver or gold) surface to the path of the light and reflecting it to light your subject. If the conditions are favorable, you can replace external flash with umbrella or softbox with a reflector.


6

If you want to take a portrait like this without blacking out the background in Photoshop, then there are a couple things to keep in mind. The big idea is that you need to make minimize the amount of light that hits your background. You mentioned the inverse square law, and the distance between the subject and the background helps. But the camera settings ...


6

I've done a lot of this work in the past and tried enough different methods to be sure that there is no quick way to do it that gives good results. You can have either quick or good, but not both together. I'd love to be proven wrong on this as I imagine I'll have to do a lot more of this work in future. Here are the three main methods I use: Manually ...


6

Perspective and settings - like Darkcat Studio said. Direction of the light - in the second background, the side of the tree branches facing the camera near the couple are in shadow while the couple is lit from the front - you have to choose a background that has the same light direction has the foreground picture. Quality of the light - hard light vs. soft ...


6

If you want just one background I'm going to suggest white seamless paper because it's the most versatile, some examples: Point a flash at the background directly behind you subject and it becomes pure white (and easy to mask in Photoshop) Put a soft light source very close the the subject and the background becomes black (or play with the subject-light ...


6

You have several opportunities to improve your results! The first thing I would do is increase the light enough to get the ISO down to native resolution for your camera. Probably ISO 100 or 200. You can get the same depth of field (DoF) by increasing the focal length and the focus distance by the same proportion. This will improve the perspective and your ...


6

Set your Nikon D7000 to auto focus using AF-S and select one of the 9 cross-type focus points as the only active point. Set your aperture to the widest (lowest number) your lens will allow. Place the point you have selected over the part of the scene you want to selectively focus. Half-press the shutter button to lock focus on your subject and continue to ...


6

First - when you take a picture of a large dynamic range scene, not just portraits, and your camera cannot cover this dynamic range you'll either get overexposure of the bright parts or underexposed of the dark parts. There are some ways to workaround this: Shoot the portrait on a different background. Shoot HDR: I don't like this method for portraits, ...


5

I use a white sheet and a set of clamp lights with daylight cfl bulbs. (see http://photo.stackexchange.com/questions/1902/lighting-equipment/1903#1903) It works best if you can put a little distance between the subject and background, and the key is for the background to be well lit. Basically, you're just trying to expose for the subject and totally ...


5

It looks to me like you were exposing properly if you wanted the windows and the room to be the main subject, where as in this case you probably wanted the bride or person walking down the isle to be the subject. The scene has too wide of a range of light and dark areas for you to properly expose for all of them at the same time in its current state. You do ...


5

Using the inverse square law is only part of the solution. If your background is white, for example, you'll likely find that it's still not quite pitch black. Using a dark background helps (such as a black bed sheet), but the real key is to get some black velvet (check local fabric/crafts stores) which does a great job of absorbing light and making things ...


5

I know your question specifies "in photoshop", but it really does bear repeating that if you can get this right in-camera you can save a load of work in post. (Obviously, you know this!) I have found this out the hard way :( I'll have a stab at a few suggestions to help get this right in-camera: make sure the background is clean easier with muslins ...


5

As @Elendi commented, this sort of thing isn't that common. What we do see a lot where someone wants to place a portrait photo in a landscape frame is associating it with a comment, a piece of poetry, some background etc. The most common seems to be having text to one side of the photo, either left or right, but I have on occasion seen text placed on both ...



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