5 Tips On Making Your Digital Background Portraits Look Great!
Digital Background (a.k.a. digital backdrops) portraiture has become
very popular in the last few years. This is becoming evident by
the increasing number of websites selling digital backgrounds on
cd. It s no secret that I use digital backgrounds myself for much
of my studio work. I have learned some great tips from trial and
error on using digital backgrounds. Here are my top 5 tips on using
1. Shoot subject in front of a white background.
You are just making it harder for yourself if you shoot the subject
in front of a busy background with the intention of extracting them.
Do yourself a big favor and save yourself from headaches by shooting
them in front of a solid color. A very common misconception is that
you must use chromo key screens (blue or green) to get a good extraction.
This is totally false. It may be true for video but not digital
2. Properly lighting the background.
You can use a cheap little slave flash to light the background
for you, which makes extractions a whole lot easier. I bought mine
at Ritz camera for $30 and it is worth every penny.
3. A Good extraction is a must!
This is pretty obvious actually. You definitely don t want your
portraits looking fake. To perform extractions, most people generally
use the extraction tool in Photoshop. I use to do the same until
I mastered Photoshop s eraser tools. I get far more consistent results
using the erasers than the extraction tool and you will too with
a little know how.
4. Properly blend your subject with your background.
Chose the color of your background that best compliments your subjects
clothes. Often, colors of the same family work best. Dark with darks,
lights with lights, reds with reds, and so on. This is often overlooked
by beginners but has a very dramatic effect on the end result. Once
digital backgrounds are loaded into Photoshop, their colors can
easily be changed.
5. Vignetting can make all the difference.
Ever notice in many portraits that dark quasi-circular area around
the subject? That is a vignette which is designed to draw the viewer's
attention to the center where the subject is. Many people instantly
will use the burn tool for this purpose. This can be quite limiting.
A far easier and faster tool in Photoshop is the gradient tool,
especially when it s on it's own layer which gives you far more
freedom than the burn tool.
There you have it. Following these suggestions I have given you
will greatly improve your digital background portraiture.