Photo Background Question (Editing Related)

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Cirrus, Feb 4, 2010.

  1. Cirrus

    Cirrus TPF Noob!

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    I'm sure this is a newbie question, but I've looked over the stickies and couldn't find the answer. My question is more related to editing rather than taking the picture myself. I make wood carvings as a hobby and I take pictures of them and post to a website. Right now, I've just been using a clean white foam board as my background. But is it possible to use a background image like you would see on MySpace or Photobucket as the background to the picture I take?

    I'm assuming that it would involve some type of photo editing software or something. But I want to take the subject of my picture and move it onto a different background. I've seen it done on other websites and I would like to figure out how to do it as well. I think given the right background, it will really make my carvings stand out more than just the plan white background I'm using now.

    Any help will be GREATLY appreciated!
     
  2. Cirrus

    Cirrus TPF Noob!

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    I might should have put this in another section, but beginner best describes what I am. I think I might also need some basic photography help too. I sell my stuff, but I always have to tell people that the stuff looks better in person. I'd like to make my presentation a little better and maybe that will boost some sales.
     
  3. frommrstomommy

    frommrstomommy Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Do you have any photo editing software? If not, even a free program like Gimp should do this for you. I use Adobe Photoshop CS2 so unless your'e using one of the CS programs I won't be of much help, but I'm sure you could find tutorials online of how to do "cutouts" in Gimp. The basic idea is to erase the current background (your white foam) to have a transparent background and layer whatever pattern or background you want beneath the wood carvings.

    1. go get Gimp if you don't have anything better than MS Paint lol
    2. google how to do a cutout using Gimp
     
  4. Cirrus

    Cirrus TPF Noob!

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    I don't have any photo editing software, but it wouldn't be a big deal for me to get a basic editing program if it will make things easier. I'll look into Gimp though and see if I can figure it out.
     
  5. frommrstomommy

    frommrstomommy Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I have a ton of friends who use Gimp because they don't want to spend money on software, but PhotoShop Elements is not pricey at all and that does the trick as well. For what you want to do Gimp sounds like it will work just fine, and you can't beat the price! :lol:
     
  6. Cirrus

    Cirrus TPF Noob!

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    I just watched a YouTube video doing what I want to do in Gimp. Looks pretty straightforward and I'll give it try tonight.

    Now I might want to pick everyone's brain about what I need to do better. I've got a pretty decent digital SLR camera, an Olympus E-500. I also have a fairly good point and shoot camera that's 10 or 12mp. So I'm sure the equipment will take decent pictures, but it's the operator that the problem. I'll post a couple pictures that I've done so you can see the subject matter. You will see that the size and shape of the subject matter won't change much. So I need to basically get a setup that is repeatable. Like I said, I don't have any experience at all, so be gentle with me.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    As you can see, the shiny spots from the flash are a recurring problem. And you can see the need for some type of different backdrop. The pieces won't stand up for me to take the picture horizontally. I always have to take the picture looking straight down. So any suggestions on ways to get a different perspective or even to make this perspective look better will be MUCH appreciated.
     
  7. frommrstomommy

    frommrstomommy Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I think it would help if we knew what they were? lol
     
  8. Cirrus

    Cirrus TPF Noob!

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    You mean you can't tell? :(

    They're different kinds of wood made into grips for handguns.
     
  9. frommrstomommy

    frommrstomommy Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Do I look like a guns n knives kinda girl? lol Absolutely not man! But now that you say that, yes I can.. my husbands father collects. Had they been on a gun there would have been no question! Really I don't see why you don't photograph them on guns? If I were going to buy something like that I'd want to know what it would look like against a gun, but maybe thats just me. Also, before you potentially waste your time trying to figure out how to do a cutout and pop a background there, do you want me to show you what it will look like? I think more than anything your angle needs to get figured out when you take the photos and like I said before why not photograph on the guns?
     
  10. Cirrus

    Cirrus TPF Noob!

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    I've tried taking pictures of them on a gun too and that ordeal turned out even worse. The gun I have is polished stainless steel so it very shiny. The flash reeks havoc on me. And other reason is that most people don't have stainless steel guns. The more common is a black frame and I don't own of those. So taking a picture with them on the gun I have only gives a perspective of how they will look on a stainless gun and not on the other kind.

    Anything that you can show me would be awesome. I'll have a better idea of knowing whether it's what I'm looking for.

    The angle is a big problem. If I could stand them up and shoot them horizontally, I would have more options. But they only lay flat like that so I have to shoot them from the top.
     
  11. frommrstomommy

    frommrstomommy Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    What kind of background did you picture? If you leave this up to me you will likely end up with flowers.

    Makes sense about the stainless steel gun business.. but even then the photo could be edited to reduce some of the glare perhaps?
     
  12. frommrstomommy

    frommrstomommy Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I plugged one of our wedding photos behind there lol
    [​IMG]
     

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