Black out background?

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by Fred Kim, Aug 24, 2008.

  1. Fred Kim
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    Fred Kim New Member

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    I know this is probably a "dumb question", but how do you go about making the background of an image completely pitch black? How do you make it so no light touches behind the subject?

    This just completely stumps me. I hope this doesn't involve any black walls.

    For example:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/toma01/2697834739/

    this photo. (i can't copy it, supposedly)

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/bangyougotme/2794576767/
    Another fine example


    I'm really into dark lighting photography. Knowing how to pull this off would be an extreme joy to me.





    Also, another problem. When my Nikon D80 is around 1/250 shutter with off camera flash, my camera only picks up about 3/4th's of the photo. The other 1/4th is completely black as if something was in front of the lens. It's really weird, and when I point it out the window, it works fine.
  2. Bifurcator
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    Bifurcator New Member

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  3. Tolyk
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    Tolyk New Member

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    Strobist has a great tutorial for this effect as well, using off-camera flash (or studio lights)
  4. zandman
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    zandman New Member

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    maybe hood lens??
  5. Fred Kim
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    Fred Kim New Member

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  6. Fred Kim
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    Fred Kim New Member

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    [​IMG]

    Here, I managed to black the background, but I can only achieve this by going outside at night time standing 20 ft away from my garage. I have a DIY ringlight, but the lighting shows that it's obviously taken at night.

    How do I make it look more natural like in the first 2 photos I posted?
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2008
  7. Samriel
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    Samriel New Member

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    Good use of gobos and black background maybe? I used a gobo on a off-camera flash and black cloth as background (not even a meter behind the model - the room was very small) for the shots in the thread below.

    http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=131778

    Also, you seem to blast the subject away with the flash. Lowering the flash power makes it easier to black out the background, if any light should spill (in case the gobos were not / could not be placed properly).

    And it doesn't really show that the picture was taken by night, just that the light is too direct - use something to diffuse it, or soften is as they say.
  8. Fred Kim
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    Fred Kim New Member

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    How do I go about making a black wall or mounting a cloth?

    Haha I have this old Metz flash from like 30 years ago that has only 4 settings (low, medium, high, blindness) and since it's so old, It randomly picks which power setting to flash. My eyes hurt a lot haha.

    And I'm using a diy ringlight and forgot to make a diffuser for it =/
  9. Samriel
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    Samriel New Member

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    You can mount a black piece of cloth on anything... I'm no pro, but in studios they have special contraptions just for holding the backgrounds (or huge pieces of diffusion cloth...). I'll eventually build one of these things, but until then I'll improvise - I have hanged my black cloth from curtain holders (i.E. in the shots you saw), taped it to the ceiling, layed it on the floor/bed/couch if the model was laying down and so on. You'll figure something out. ;)
  10. nanny32
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    nanny32 New Member

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    what i do now is

    Note Down ^_^
  11. Bifurcator
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    Bifurcator New Member

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    If you want the black BG without the harsh lighting use a diffuser. B4 or larger in size.
    Click these links:
    http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/showpost.php?p=1296455&postcount=5
    http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/showthread.php?p=1292354
  12. JerryPH
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    JerryPH New Member

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  13. William Petruzzo
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    William Petruzzo New Member

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  14. kellylindseyphotography
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    kellylindseyphotography New Member

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    If you have a garage, garage light is AWESOME for getting a dark background. Position your subject in the open shade. Meter correctly, note their eyes for catchlights and position accordingly. SEt a wide open aperature, spot meter on them, and the background should be significantly dark. Thats one way of using natural light to achieve the results.

    As for studio setups with dark backgrounds, well thats a lot of learning, technical knowledge, experience and equiptment you will have to achieve that goes beyond "how can i get this affect?"
  15. Samriel
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    Samriel New Member

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    Is this an actual technical term for it? I mean, is there a term for "Depth of Field" of light? Or is it just your way of saying that you can control the "actual DoF" by controling light falloff?
    I understand what you're saying, just wondering if there actually is an actual technical term for DoF of light (only heard falloff until now).
  16. reg
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    reg New Member

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    ^ That would be the Guide Number.

    Sadly, most don't even know how to use it now.

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