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So many of y'all are pulling off these pitch black backgrounds with strong contrast in your photos, and I can't for the life of me figure out how to manage this.  With black construction paper, felt, an old black t-shirt, I can only ever seem to get BRIGHT shine off the background and washed out mini detail.  What are your secrets?!

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3 minutes ago, Baugi said:

So many of y'all are pulling off these pitch black backgrounds with strong contrast in your photos, and I can't for the life of me figure out how to manage this.  With black construction paper, felt, an old black t-shirt, I can only ever seem to get BRIGHT shine off the background and washed out mini detail.  What are your secrets?!

 

I got these sheets of black foam from an artshop.

About 0,5 cm thick.

30cm x 40 cm.

Got 4 of those and use them a lot.

In fact I also use them to protect my 3D printer from direct sunlightas a second layer ( first layer is a grey plastic bag).

 

They're getting a bit worn,so I'll probably will buy some new ones when the stores open again.

 

OH! AND INDIRECT LIGHT!!!

Edited by Glitterwolf
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1 minute ago, Glitterwolf said:

 

I got these sheets of black foam from an artshop.

...

OH! AND INDIRECT LIGHT!!!

Explain further!  Do you set up an actual light box or anything?

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41 minutes ago, Baugi said:

Explain further!  Do you set up an actual light box or anything?

 

Not sure if my pictures are good enough.

 

I put up two of those sheets.

One in the back and one as a "floor"

 

I have a daylight desklamp, I put it on, but I use it indirect, so not above the model.

My phone is a Galaxy A50 I just use that camera without flash.

 

When I use a Photobackdrop I put the sheets on the sides to create a box.

 

Again, I don't think my pictures are the best, and I'm still struggling to get better ones myself, but I do think these sheets help.

 

First one with the sheets.

Second one with the photobackdrop and the sheets at the sides.

 

 

20201231_163012.jpg

20201231_163229.jpg

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2 hours ago, Baugi said:

So many of y'all are pulling off these pitch black backgrounds with strong contrast in your photos, and I can't for the life of me figure out how to manage this.  With black construction paper, felt, an old black t-shirt, I can only ever seem to get BRIGHT shine off the background and washed out mini detail.  What are your secrets?!


The problem is you get reflections on the background; also you have to low the exposure and to calibrate (and block) the white balance pointing the cam to a white surface in the same light condition you'll gonna take the picture.
Try this setup.

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I'm also an advocate of using a black foam sheet in a well lit area. This supremely high tech set up used a naturally well lit corner and some cheap foam from from my local art store. Make sure you get A3+ size, so that you can sit the mini on the foam and let it go up the wall behind the mini so that you don't get a distracting fold line behind it.

 

Set up (feline assistant is optional)

 

2007477145_DSCN44161.thumb.JPG.0a288bc99eb7bad7c01a636f05cdcde7.jpeg.75dcd95d0ba34d0332f38426a44acf0e.jpeg

 

Result ::D:

 

334218094_1551981007_DSCN43841.thumb.JPG.1918b27afffedf9f1cb8ebaf0526b6bb(1).jpeg.7d08b397a69ecec60dccf5b8614ef088.jpeg

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Two pieces of black foam core is what I use for my setup, or for when I'm feeling lazier I have a thick sheet of cardstock that I've bent the edges in so it stands up by itself. 

 

I'd love a better booth, but for now, basic and temporary does the trick. 

Edited by WhiteWulfe
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There is also some kind of equations for how light works (I forget what the equation is) but basically it has to do with moving your object closer to the light source and camera and leaving distance to the back ground.  Some professional photographers can get the effect without having to use a black background at all.  But for our purposes a black non-reflective background will help a lot.

 

There are a ton of photography videos on the subject on YouTube. 

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if you can acheive some of what is called 'Bokeh' with your camera you're golden here, it really does look sharp.  unfortunately cell phone cameras have rather wide depth of field (the better to capture selfies with) and don't usually capture bokeh very well. Some high end multi camera flagship phones have software that can compensate and 'fake' it, or you can look for a software like dof simulator or procam x to take the pictures with.  Or you can tinker with your setup like I have below.

Now, normally I use a light box but I tried to keep this simple and quite literally threw some stuff together on my desk.

I grabbed two sheets of Artigan Black paper (not having any black construction paper handy this was a close second. it's not quite as matte as construction paper but I like it quite a bit)

 

For shot one, I laid one flat and stood one up.  I placed the model right in front of the backdrop and pointed my desklamp at him, then snapped a pic on my phone.  Kinda meh.IMG_20210105_141342390.thumb.jpg.f3364ec8091f5a6fbc212266e20ca1f8.jpg

 

ok let's see what we can do in post.  I opened the picture up in the windows 10 photo viewer, then clicked on the 'edit and create' button in the corner and chose 'edit'  

in the editor, I switched to the adjustments tab, and slid the light slider down to the left.1476399448_adjustthelightslider.thumb.JPG.d47250a85172647f926021b5159ddbc2.JPG

Then I cropped the picture and got something reasonably ok, but we can do better. 

I set everything up again but this time moved the model about 10" away from the background paper and repeated the process.  I got something like this:

1719500699_editedline.thumb.jpg.78b16ec402c1fc1090ae68b2fb4a4d1c.jpg

Better, but there's still that line in the background.  Ok, let's fix that.  I taped the two pieces of paper together and bent them into a curve behind the model, like so:

IMG_20210105_141816790.thumb.jpg.1bb29fb368a900ccd7fcf1666fa132d0.jpg

I then followed the same process again and got this:

1417447138_editednoline.thumb.jpg.75f56cf9bd1ff611fba618d9c997a63c.jpg

much better, but let's have a little fun and turn up the vignette a little (Also in the photo editor)

253807887_editednolineving.thumb.jpg.087ac9c52a127c5f810c3fc5c2d90fb8.jpg

 

For less than 5 minutes worth of work, I'm really happy with that outcome.  


 

 

 

 

Moving forward, things I'd do differently - 

  • Matter paper. Real construction paper, or even shooting some matte varnish on this artigan paper would knock down the reflections some.
  • Take a little more time. Find something to brace the phone or even better put it on a small tripod
  • More diffuse lighting.  Probably don't use the desk lamp, ambient in my room might have been enough.  I wouldn't get the sharp shadows on the mini that way. Actually I'd go to my light box which gives bright even light all around and no shadows, but I'm trying to avoid suggesting you go buy anything here that you don't have to.  If you really want to go special for this,  this is one situation where a selfie ring light could shine

 


Since I have a light box though I'd use it.  And also since I have one I'd try to use a non-cell-phone-camera.  

Just for kicks, I grabbed my it and repeated the process.  the SLR has a much larger lens and is really good ,when in wide aperture, at putting the background out of focus.  I'm using the stock lens, so no macro focus, so I backed up a little from the mini and zoomed in till it was well framed.  after that I processed the same, and  I got this :

  • dslr.thumb.jpg.08945f7ca9996eecdf8cd034e386a22e.jpg

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