backdrop question

13 posts
15 April 2014
SDuell
Photographer
SDuell
so ive recently purchased a white backdrop with its stand etc

ive been told during the editing process i can photoshop other images onto the backdrop ie a xmas tree instead of leaving it white

how do i do this for furture reference do i have to buy a better photoshop programme

many thanks

Posted 15 April 2014
Pict
Photographer
Pict
You'll need to get some photoshop training under your belt

Posted 15 April 2014
HowardJ
Photographer
HowardJ
using layers with the different images in and then using a masking layer to expose the parts you want then flatten the layers before exporting.

Posted 15 April 2014
HowardJ
Photographer
HowardJ
check YouTube for vids explaining it.

Posted 15 April 2014
Its not overly complicated to do - however it can look extremely cheesy especially if its not done overly well.

If I were you I would focus on the photography and getting the basics right before I experiment with cheesy backdrops and crap like that.

Posted 15 April 2014
w4pictures
Photographer
w4pictures
Chrissie_Red

Its not overly complicated to do - however it can look extremely cheesy especially if its not done overly well. If I were you I would focus on the photography and getting the basics right before I experiment with cheesy backdrops and crap like that.


Exactly this.

It can look convincing but that's the exception rather than the rule.
Posted 15 April 2014
HowardJ
Photographer
HowardJ
this is true.

Backdrops generally look very cheesy and you'll be embarrassed by how the shots look once you've got 2 years more experience.

Posted 15 April 2014
Edited by HowardJ 15 April 2014
redbaron
Photographer
redbaron
Personally I would not have chosen white if I planned doing cut-outs, which is what I assume you are on about. Either a grey or one of the chroma-key colours is generally easier, though IF you have the space white can be made to look grey or even black with proper control of the light.

If you are thinking this is a quick route to fancy images though think again. Cut outs can be a real pain, particularly if you have fine light hair on a similar coloured background.It is not just about doing the cut out either. Tonality, contrast, colour balance lighting direction and type all need to be matched between the images to get it realistic.

If you are going to try it stick to a simple generic background pattern that will not show if the cut out is not perfect.

Oh Howard is talking tosh btw. Yes they can look cheap and tacky if not lit correctly but then so do many of the hotel room sets I see. Its experience and understanding how to use your gear, or lack of, that makes the difference

To answer your last question take a look at the OnOne suite. It is not 'better' than photoshop, which can do a brilliant job of this task with its background eraser but is probably easier to play around in. Provided you have a beast of a machine to run it

Posted 16 April 2014
HowardJ
Photographer
HowardJ
redbaron
Personally I would not have chosen white if I planned doing cut-outs, which is what I assume you are on about. Either a grey or one of the chroma-key colours is generally easier, though IF you have the space white can be made to look grey or even black with proper control of the light. If you are thinking this is a quick route to fancy images though think again. Cut outs can be a real pain, particularly if you have fine light hair on a similar coloured background.It is not just about doing the cut out either. Tonality, contrast, colour balance lighting direction and type all need to be matched between the images to get it realistic. If you are going to try it stick to a simple generic background pattern that will not show if the cut out is not perfect. Oh Howard is talking tosh btw. Yes they can look cheap and tacky if not lit correctly but then so do many of the hotel room sets I see. Its experience and understanding how to use your gear, or lack of, that makes the difference To answer your last question take a look at the OnOne suite. It is not 'better' than photoshop, which can do a brilliant job of this task with its background eraser but is probably easier to play around in. Provided you have a beast of a machine to run it
No, they really do look tacky regardless of how you light them. Random backdrops of brick walls, trees, winter scenes, libraries, etc. all look a bit naff as the first thing you think is "oh, it's one of those random backdrops.". They might be alright for Christmas family or kids portraits but not much use for anything else. Personally I wouldn't waste my money on them. Coloured paper rolls is different and can have their uses.
Posted 16 April 2014
HowardJ

No, they really do look tacky regardless of how you light them. Random backdrops of brick walls, trees, winter scenes, libraries, etc. all look a bit naff as the first thing you think is "oh, it's one of those random backdrops.". They might be alright for Christmas family or kids portraits but not much use for anything else. Personally I wouldn't waste my money on them. Coloured paper rolls is different and can have their uses.



Completely agree - if you want an interesting background I always think its actually easier just going out and finding one, that way the lighitng etc will all work with it. I think there is an exception to the "general rule" but thats a very very small exception and I'm guessing that those who do it well you wouldn't even notice it has been done.

Can't remember the photographers name but there was one on this site who had the cringiest backdrops I think I have ever seen in my life, to put it bluntly no matter how good/bad his basic photography level was his portfolio just made me laugh my head off. The faux beach backdrops are probably my favourite to laugh at, especially if they are teamed with a girl wearing a bikini and playing with a beachball.

Forget fake christmas tree settings - just get a christmas tree and build a set.. Make it interactive and really there, it will probably give people you take pictures of something to actually interact with.


Posted 16 April 2014
anthonyh
Photographer
anthonyh
Focus on the model...if you get that right the rest is incidental...

Posted 16 April 2014
redbaron
Photographer
redbaron
HowardJ

No, they really do look tacky regardless of how you light them. Random backdrops of brick walls, trees, winter scenes, libraries, etc. all look a bit naff as the first thing you think is "oh, it's one of those random backdrops.". They might be alright for Christmas family or kids portraits but not much use for anything else. Personally I wouldn't waste my money on them. Coloured paper rolls is different and can have their uses.


Ah right we are at crossed purposes. The way I read your post I took it you were taking a pop at plain paper/cloth backgrounds. (Which can still look naff if you do not know what you are up to of course. ) Tend to agree about the ones you mention. There are a few better quality ones I have used which can work but even then not generally for the glamour style shoots on here.
Posted 17 April 2014
Socialdisaster
Photographer
Socialdisast..
Chrissie_Red
Its not overly complicated to do - however it NEARLY ALWAYS looks extremely cheesy.
Posted 17 April 2014
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