How To Make a Black Background in Photography

Making the background black in photography is a technique often employed by seasoned photographers. This technique is useful to emphasize small objects. It is also a good technique to highlight often ignored features such as wrinkles on the face. Follow the tips outlined in this article to effectively and successfully make the background black in photography.

  1. Use the shooting location's black background. Taking advantage of the shooting location's black background is of course the first on our list. Whether you are indoors or outdoors, make sure that you scan the area first to find natural sources of black background. Just bear in mind that you will need to make sure the natural black background is devoid of shiny spots. This is because the shiny spots will cause the light of the camera to bounce back. The reflected light will then result in speckles of light on the photograph. To avoid this, you can simply shift the camera's position to an angle that will not create as much of the reflection as possible.
  2. Use black cloth to help make the background black in photography. Another option is to simulate the desired black background by using black cloth. Make sure that you choose the appropriate size of black cloth for the purpose. The bigger the black cloth, the better. Also, select the type of fabric that is thick enough. Black fabrics that are glossy or sparkly are a big no-no as well. Velvet is the best candidate for this purpose. Heavy fabrics typically used for window drapes are a good choice as well. The distance of the black cloth from the subject is crucial too. Make sure that the black background is at least a couple of meters away from the subject to avoid unnecessary spills of light that could result in white speckles on the photograph's black background.
  3. Use a soft box to help minimize the bouncing of the light. A soft box is commonly used to produce the effect of soft lighting on a photograph. It works by diffusing the light by making it bounce to another medium, typically an aluminum foil. The most common type of soft box is shaped like an umbrella. A soft box can be very useful especially if you cannot find a thick enough or dull black fabric to make the background black in photography.

Of course, you can always use a photo editing software to make the background black in photography. However, using it excessively on your photographs is not a good practice at all. Sure, you will get satisfactory photographs using an editing software, but you hinder your development as a photographer. This is because you may end up relying too much on it instead of focusing on honing your photography skills.


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