Photography is a rewarding art form that many find useful in their personal lives as well as their careers. One of the more tricky aspects of studio photography is making the most out of the photo background. Sometimes you set up your own background, as in a studio shoot, and other times you will be working with the natural backgrounds of the outdoors. Lighter colors are among the most challenging, but when you know how to work with colors, lighting and the shadows you can make lighter backgrounds work for you.
Manipulating the level of contrast is one of the most basic things a photographer can do when shooting against light colored photography backdrops. Without contrast, the photographic effect can be a washed out look. If you are photographing a person, having them wear darker colors will help bring out contrast. For light colored objects, props can be used to offset the lighter colors of the primary subject. Studio shoots are most friendly when it comes to playing with contrast as backgrounds can be changed simply by changing the seamless background paper.
2. Camera Settings
When a photographer is unable to make changes to the environment or backdrops of his subject, it may still be possible to adjust the camera settings. Whenever you’re photographic setting has a lot of light colors the aperture should be set slightly higher than what the camera suggests. Getting the right level may be a challenge, but with a little trial and error you should be able to find the level of light that will best show off your subject as well as your backgrounds.
3. Selecting the Right Positioning
Sometimes getting the right level of lighting and contrast with a light photo background comes down to where the photographer and his camera is when the picture is taken. A few inches can make a big difference when the photographer is having trouble getting the settings where he wants them. The angle of the camera can also be adjusted to help make the most of natural shadows and other elements of the environment.
Another component the photographer can control is framing done through zooming. By zooming out the photographer gets more background and natural contrast. Holding the camera for a landscape look or a portrait look can also contribute to the contrast of the final picture.
Interested in learning more about studio lighting techniques? Check out A Guide to Using White Backdrops!
-Backdrop Express Photography Team
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