Black backgrounds

A question came up recently about how to shoot a photo with a black background, so I thought I’d show you one way to do it.

Obviously you can hold up a piece of black cloth or black paper. However, you can often do it with just the settings on your camera!

Consider this shot of a leaf with a black background. (Rather dramatic looking isn’t it?)

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Well, this is what the scene REALLY looked like:

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So, what did I do to make the background black?

First, I looked for a subject that was well lit but had a shadow next to it. (See how the leaf is in the sun, but the fence behind it is in a shadow?)

Once you find your subject, make sure your camera is in Manual mode then lower the exposure until you get the dark background you want.

Here’s another example:

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It started out as this:

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How about a nice pink geranium:

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This is what it would have looked like if I’d shot it with a ‘normal’ exposure:

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It’s fun to hunt around for the perfect subject….

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So get your camera, head out to your backyard and give it a try!

Let me know how it works!

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“Everything that we see is a shadow cast by that which we do not see.” Martin Luther King Jr.

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