One of the biggest challenges any photographer faces is finding the perfect backdrop. Technically, a backdrop refers to anything that can be used to enhance the look of the photograph. Put simply, the filling in of a background is the backdrop, which must be considered carefully to get it right.
A standard backdrop can range from a solid color muslin material in black, red, white or any other color you choose, to ones that feature artistic images of landscapes or buildings. In most cases, your backdrop will be a physical item that you can use inside of a studio or take with you to an outdoor photography shoot. The fact is that many modern photographers choose to use a digital backdrop, rather than the traditional ones described here. Check out this lesson for more information on how to use digital backdrops.
Types of Photography Backdrops
If you are seeking the traditional backdrops for your photos, the most common options are listed here. Each one offers its own appeal, depending on the subject of your photo. Considering the options carefully will help you achieve the results you desire from your photography backdrop.
· Muslin Backdrops: A backdrop that is a solid color will provide a formal look, which is the ideal option for shooting serious portraits, pictures for identification cards. Using this backdrop will provide you with a reusable item that is washable when dirty.
· Paper backdrops: These are known as paper rolls and provide a one-time use. You can find almost any color or texture for your background, depending on the type of photograph that you are taking.
· Painted canvas backdrop: These are typically only seen in a photography studio, mainly due to their heavy weight and large size.
The Role of Your Backdrop
The backdrop that you choose for your photo can impact its quality and clarity. When you take time to carefully choose your backdrop you will accurately depict the mood and personality of the subject being photographed. For example, if you take a photo of a person standing in front of a garden, you will be depicting a pleasant mood, while a photo of a person taken in front of a black backdrop with shadows crossing the subject’s face will depict a stressful or angry mood. Learn more about creating photos that WOW with this great lesson.
Backdrops and Lighting
A backdrop and the lighting will work together to create a quality picture. When you have the proper type of lighting for your subject that complements your background you can highlight aspects of your subject including facial expressions, hair color and skin color. Check out this course for more information on creating the perfect lighting for your photos.
Choosing the Right Photography Backdrop
One of the most crucial factors to consider when choosing a backdrop is whether or not the colors in the background and the foreground coordinate. You should ensure you choose a background color that highlights the subject, without affecting their look. You should never select a background that is going to create a distraction or take attention away from the subject of the photo. The idea is going to be to keep attention in the photo focused on the subject, not highlight the background.
Tips for Shooting with Your Backdrop
When you begin taking photos of your subject in front of a backdrop you should ensure that they are not standing too close to the backdrop or that the background has blemishes or lines, as this will reduce the quality of the photo. If you decide to use a background that is artistic, be sure the objects do not appear protruded from the head of the subject; this can cause a huge distraction or make your photo appear humorous.
Five Rules for Photography Backdrop Excellence
Selecting a photography backdrop is difficult, but will become easier as you gain experience.
When you begin shooting your subject, the following five rules will ensure that you backdrop works with your subject and that you receive quality results without distractions or bad lighting.
1. Check the backdrop prior to hitting the shutter release. Look for colors that do not fit, bright patches, clashing lines and other things that do not belong;
2. Move the subject of your photo if there are distractions present in the backdrop;
3. Change the angle of your shooting to eliminate background distractions;
4. Use Aperture to blur your background, which will distort any distractions or unwanted items in your background;
5. Fill the frame with your subject.
The Bottom Line
When it comes to selecting and shooting a photography backdrop the best way to receive quality results is to evaluate the backdrop that is used in photos. There are many photographers that do not consider the backdrop for photos, which leaves regrets this when reviewing the prints.
There is no doubt that there are a number of options when it comes to your photography backdrop, but it is important that you consider factors including:
Each of these elements work with the backdrop you have chosen to produce quality results. In some cases you will have to use a process of trial and error to determine what works and what does not. Or, check out this lesson, to learn more about capturing awesome photos.