How To Create Black and Dark Background Photos

You must have wondered how to create black background for photos. Most people think that it is possible only with the use of a black backdrop or black cloth. Yes, it is also the way to perform this task. But this is not the only and mostly used method. It is actually the proper use of exposure & lighting that works the best in this kind of photography. In this article, we have discussed everything about black background photography tips that you need to know. So just read this guide and master dark background photography.

Create Black and Dark Background Photos

PART 1. Method To Control the Light and Exposure

Before moving ahead, it is necessary to understand the concept of controlling light & exposure. If you think that you will be able to get satisfying results with your light and camera set at the auto settings, you are actually wrong. There will be a need for you to have good control over the light & exposure.

The face of your subject should be well exposed and there should be a proper balance between the light falling on the subject and the background. This kind of balance will help you to put a black background on a picture without using a backdrop.

In case your subject is light-skinned, it will be easily separated from the black background. On the other hand, you will need to use a backlight to be able to separate it from the black background, if the subject is dark-skinned.

Method To Control the Light and Exposure

In order to end up having a proper dark background in your portrait, you can perform the following actions:

Lighting Tricks for Black Background Photography

Below we have mentioned two important lighting-related tricks that you can use while shooting in order to create black background for photo:

Create Black Background for Photos With Natural Light

In case you intend to use natural light in a room for portrait photography with a black background, you will have to make the following set up:

Create Black Background for Photos With Electric or Artificial Light

Just like natural light set up, in case of electric light also, you will have to keep in mind that the amount of light falling on the subject must be more than the light falling on the background. When you are using the sources of electric light (like a flash, studio strobes, etc), you have better control as compared to the natural light set up.

Here you will have to keep in mind the following points while making the set up for shooting the photos with black background:

PART 2. Create Black Background Photos Without Control of Light

Is it possible to create black background photos without control of light? The answer is yes. In your routine life, there are times when you find people in a situation in which they have a natural dark or black background behind them. In such a case, you don’t need to make any artificial set up in order to create a black background or dark atmosphere.

Another way to make it possible is to create an illusion of a black backdrop by playing with various settings available in your camera. We have explained this method below in detail.

Make Use of Black Backdrop in Black Background Photography

Although it is not mandatory, yet using a black backdrop is an obvious and most useful method to create black background for photo. And, if you make use of a black backdrop in your photography, you will need to spend very less time in editing the photo. On the other hand, if you don’t want to use any black backdrop in photography, you can manage to get the best results with the use of proper lighting that we mentioned before.

And, when it comes to the options that you can use as a black backdrop, there are many options that can be used. Some of the most popular options are black fabric, black velvet, black bed sheet, etc.

Make Settings in Camera for a Black Backdrop

Do you know that, for the photography with a black background, you can create a virtual black backdrop by doing some settings in your camera? Yes, it is also possible. But you will have to be having sound knowledge of using your camera in order to gain the best output. You can follow the steps given below to photograph with black background:

Some Useful Tips To Be Perfect In Creating A Black Background For Photos

Here below we have listed some of the most important tips that will help you to master the art of performing black background photography:

PART 3. Post-process the Photos With Black Background after Shooting

There are times when there is not much difference in the value of light on the subject and that on the background. In such cases, you will need to edit your photo using some photo editing software in order to make your background darker. Of course, there are also some tools that can help you brighten dark photos too.

And, you can make use of the software like Photoshop and Lightroom for this purpose. The tools that are generally used in manipulating the background in Photoshop & Lightroom are Blacks, Shadows, Brush, Burn, Contrast, etc.

Here we take Lightroom as an example, and you can follow the steps given below:

If the Background is Uniformly Black

If the Background is not Uniformly Black

For some small areas that are not uniformly black, you can use Photo Eraser software to paint them and make them as black as other areas. As its name suggests, it is an effective tool to erase unwanted objects from photos by filling the selected area with intelligently-generated textures pulled from the surrounding pixels. Hence, it can also be used to remove censored parts, watermarks, tourists, street signs, power lines, and other undesirable objects from pictures without spoiling the image background.

Download Photo Eraser for Windows Download Photo Eraser for Mac

you can use Photo Eraser software to paint them and make them as black as other areas.

Final Words

As mentioned above, it is mandatory to have more amount of light on the subject than the background in order to gain the best results in black or dark background photography. Hence it is an art that demands a very close observation of light while shooting photos. The more you are master in observing or seeing closely the light, the better the results will be. And still, if the results are not that satisfactory, the post-processing of the dark background photos with the use of editing software like Photoshop & Lightroom does the rest.

By Jihosoft
Last updated on

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