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Backgrounds to Make Subject Stand Out

Blog: #9 of 91 by Douglas Wilks

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February 7th, 2013 - 12:31 PM

Backgrounds are either natural or man made and help your subject stand out. Most common man made backgrounds for the photographer include the following; muslin, canvas, paper, poster board, a white wall, a piece of foamcore. One solid color often works better to reduce the distraction of the background upstaging the subject. The most common color choices for man made backgrounds are; white, black, blue, green, red, grey. Solid green backgrounds can be used when you have software to add a new object or background behind your subject (as is done on the evening news with the weather, they use a "green screen"). Natural backgrounds are those found in nature. Those can include trees, grass, waterfalls, and other items. Be careful that your subject doesn't have a tree limb behind it sticking up from the head or other body areas, as this will be unflattering to the subject...not to mention the potential loss of this sale and others in the future. Walk around and see what the background looks like before you set up your camera and subject. Some backgrounds will look better in specific lighting; subdued, strong, redirected, or filtered. The background is what helps your subject stand out, be sure you choose your background wisely. Think of the background as something that can be changed and try a variety of them to find the one that compliments the subject. It will take some trial and error to change background, though you will discover it to be time well spent. What man made backgrounds are your main ones? Why? Have you ever used a different background? How often do you notice the backgrounds of photos? Are you comfortable walking around to check out the background before making the photo? Have you ever found the stick or other odd background protruding from your main subject? Did you clone it out using software, or retake the photograph?

Backgrounds to Make Subject Stand Out

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