What do you think about digital backgrounds

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by heavenlymom, Sep 18, 2008.

  1. heavenlymom

    heavenlymom TPF Noob!

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    I am still learning with photo shop and I thought about purchasing some adorable digital backgrounds but am not sure if it's a waste of money or a good investment.

    These are a couple I was looking at and I'd love any input on if these actually turn out the way they look and are easy to do if you are still learning on photoshop (I have the newest version - it was given as a very nice gift). I don't have a lot of money to spend on new backgrounds and thought I'd buy a couple new backgrounds and some of these digital ones.
    Do they work? Do they sell? Are they easy to do?
    Thanks so much.
    Links are below.

    http://cgi.ebay.com/Digital-Photogr...39:1|66:2|65:15|240:1318&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14

    http://cgi.ebay.com/Digital-Photogr...39:1|66:2|65:15|240:1318&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14

    http://cgi.ebay.com/Sale-WOW-Over-6...39:1|66:2|65:12|240:1318&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=150295221180
     
  2. Sw1tchFX

    Sw1tchFX TPF Noob!

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    I dunno, seems kitschy to me.
     
  3. John_05

    John_05 TPF Noob!

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    Personally, I would either just shoot the images I needed for something like that, or create my own backgrounds in Photoshop. Taking the pictures or making them in Photoshop yourself would be fun, and good practice.
     
  4. Big Mike

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

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    I suggest trying it yourself, several times. Extracting a subject and placing them on a new background isn't too hard...but making it look good it another story. You may find that it's not worth the time & effort, or you may love it.
     
  5. Brian Austin

    Brian Austin TPF Noob!

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    It is but it's also a growing trend.

    Let's face it: props and setups are expensive and require a LOT of storage capacity. That's room that doesn't generate revenue, which (imo) is wasted space.

    The biggest drawback with digital backgrounds is lighting and exposure. Like Big Mike said, it's relatively easy to extract a subject and merge it into a background. Making the lighting and exposure match the background, though, is a different story. You can't change the lighting much on a portrait if the background is already set. Shadows don't match, highlights are backwards, and it's apparent that something isn't right, although most viewers won't necessarily understand WHY they don't like it.

    As was suggested, make your own backgrounds and test it. Set up a few props, take a few images, and create the TIFF or PSD backgrounds. Then shoot a subject or take some existing shots that match up in lighting. See how it works for you.

    It takes some practice but is pretty slick once you get it working and understand how to use it within its limitations.
     
  6. heavenlymom

    heavenlymom TPF Noob!

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    Does anyone know of any good tutorials that will help me figure out how to do put a person on a new background (I don't know how to do this yet), layering (still learning and confusing) and how to make your own backgrounds on photoshop ????? :confused:
     
  7. Josh66

    Josh66 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    But it does generate revenue (if you use the props).

    Some of those digital backgrounds don't look too bad. What resolution are they? If the digital background is limiting how large you can print I would scrap it.
     
  8. Big Mike

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

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    Google "Photoshop+tutorial"....you will get millions of hits. Add 'extraction' and or 'background' to narrow it down.
    A background is just an image....so to make your own, just take a photo...or create 'digital art' with Photoshop etc.
     
  9. cnvang

    cnvang TPF Noob!

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    All your basically doing is cut and paste, but the problem is blending the two images together...You'll also need a green or blue backdrop to make it easier select the image...They do have software/programs to help you, but I never found out.For some exercises I would recommend google in image of backgrounds or muslim background and trying to merge a person in it. If your not that great at blending the image it will look cheesy and just fake...I've tried it before, I didn't like it, but some of my clients did...B&h sells some digital backdrops called Juicedrops if I remember correctly. There really expensive. Good Luck..
     
  10. Mike_E

    Mike_E No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    A quick word if you are just starting with this. Shoot the backgrounds in RAW and when you save to your format of choice put the color temp in the file name. Then when you shoot the portraits (in RAW) matching the color temps will be a breeze.

    p.s. matching temps is a good-thing ;)
     
  11. photographyaddict

    photographyaddict TPF Noob!

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    It's definitely a waste. And as a photographer I think you should have more faith in ur own work rather than buy someone else's.
     
  12. Brian Austin

    Brian Austin TPF Noob!

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    No it doesn't. The props generate revenue but their storage doesn't. Warehousing never generates revenue unless that's the focus of the business (ie storage facilities for rent). It's the entire premise for JIT manufacturing.
     

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