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Hour 22. Creating Backgrounds and Textur... > Creating Backgrounds and Textures

Creating Backgrounds and Textures

Backgrounds are everywhere, literally behind everything you see. You need to learn to recognize what makes a good one, and how to imitate it, or use the real thing for your own purposes. One way I’ve done this is to take my camera for a walk. There’s a nicely landscaped condo building across the street. It has benches just right for people to sit on, trees to stand in front of, a marvelous brick sidewalk, walls of both brick and concrete, and fresh grass and flowers. When I want to shoot portraits, I walk people over to my “outdoor studio.” It’s convenient, and always cleaned up, unlike the house. I also shoot there when I have no subject, and I’ve collected a half dozen good shots of plain grass, the brick, the slatted benches, and so on. I keep these filed on a separate CD-ROM, from where I can retrieve them easily. When I need to “relocate” someone shot against a messy background, I’m all set. I just choose an appropriate piece of real estate and drop them into it.

There’s a new store in my town specializing in fancy papers for craft projects. I’ve already picked out a half dozen sheets to use as backdrops for photographing small objects. Backdrops of this type need to be neutral in color, to go with as many things as possible, but can be textured and/or patterned. Keep them clean and flat in a cardboard folder when you’re not using them.


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