blackened out background?

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by Terri Walsh, Jul 29, 2008.

  1. Terri Walsh

    Terri Walsh TPF Noob!

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    I am wondering how people get those beautiful newborn shots (especially) with the blacked out background?

    Do I NEED a black background?

    What is a likely ISO range for indoor newborn shots with natural light? (obviously depends on the amount of light but I was surprised to hear people going up to like 1600 ISO, would that not be too noisy?)

    Would my 50mm 1.4 be a good lens to use? (but at f/4 or something for clarity of the face?)

    Thanks in advance! :)
     
  2. K_Pugh

    K_Pugh No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Never tried newborn photography myself. I think your 50mm lens would be perfect and yep a stop or two down from wide open should give you the sharpest results, might need a little more DOF though? depends what you're going for.

    I'd keep the ISO as low as you can. If you're using natural light, try being as close to a window as you can i would say.. this could/should? also help with keeping a darker/black background, plus keeping the background as far away as possible.. a reflector might come in handy as well.

    Don't know how easy it would be but you could use make shift Gobo's to block out light going to your background as well, if possible.

    You may even be able to under-expose a bit and bring the detail back out in PP?.

    Just some thoughts.
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2008
  3. Sw1tchFX

    Sw1tchFX TPF Noob!

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    black backgrounds are easy, just need to overpower the ambient with strobe.

    OR, you could get away with doing it with window light if you put curtains over the window to diffuse the sun, and use black velvet behind the subjects at a distance.
     
  4. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    The key to a black background, is having more light on the subject than on the background. You can often do this by having the background farther away from the light, than the subject. Might be a little harder with window light.

    Using a light absorbing material will help, black velvet is ideal.

    Finishing it off in Photoshop (or similar) might also be required.

    As for the ISO and aperture to use...that all depends on the light. The key is to watch your shutter speed. You will probably need at least 1/60 to avoid camera shake blur...and if the subject is moving, you may need a higher speed. To get that speed, you might well have to use ISO 1600. Noise is better than blur. As long as you expose the image well, the noise shouldn't be too much of a problem, but if you underexpose the image, the noise will really stand out when you adjust it.
     
  5. Bifurcator

    Bifurcator TPF Noob!

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  6. PattiS

    PattiS TPF Noob!

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    I have some velvety black blankets (I think they are from JC Penney) that I use when I want a black background for newborns. I also highly recommend a macro lens for newborns- my most recent newborn session was shot almost entirely with my 60mm macro.
     

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