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Black background images


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#1 MattSlatts

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Posted 25 May 2009 - 03:19 AM

Help please experts!

I am trying to get a black back ground image and am having trouble. I have been playing around with:

Camera angle
Shutter speed
Apature

Cant seem to be able to do it on my manual compact. Putting my SLR under next week and would love to know how to do it?

Any assistance will be appreciated

Thanks

#2 Autopsea

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Posted 25 May 2009 - 03:25 AM

Hi.

2 possibilities :

1/ having nothing (=empty background) behind your subject, and choosing the settings adapted to the black background shot, = everything would be black without the flash, but the flash shoot the subject, so the subject is ok. as there is nothing behind, it's still black

2/ having an external strobe, and so you can find an angle to light the subject but not the background (and still have the same setting things, and beeing carefull the light will not bounce somewhere and come back on the background).

for some subject is it not possible to have a black background. it is way easier to have it underwater than out, so train yourself underwater directly.

for most of the situation, 1/200 F/16+ would work pretty well.

#3 MattSlatts

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Posted 25 May 2009 - 03:30 AM

Thanks
Ok ill give that a try. I have seen this shot done a lot with leafy sea dragons. I am trying to do it with its relative (probably) the weedy sea dragon. There is no reason as to why it cant be done if i know how. So I will try those settings to start and see how I go.

#4 Autopsea

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Posted 25 May 2009 - 03:48 AM

Thanks
Ok ill give that a try. I have seen this shot done a lot with leafy sea dragons. I am trying to do it with its relative (probably) the weedy sea dragon. There is no reason as to why it cant be done if i know how. So I will try those settings to start and see how I go.


With a compact I'm not sure you can go up to F/16; wait for your dslr :)

#5 BigJeff

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Posted 25 May 2009 - 06:24 AM

MattSlatts,

You can still get a black background with your compact, but only if you have manual mode (you didn't mention which camera you have)

In manual mode use the highest Fstop (F8?) and use a very high shutter speed (try 1/200, 1/400, 1/800). You may have to change the flash power setting to light the subject properly.

Shooting the subject against open water still applies.

Jeff

Edited by BigJeff, 25 May 2009 - 06:25 AM.

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#6 james

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Posted 25 May 2009 - 06:40 AM

If you don't have a manual mode, you can try shooting with EV Compensation aka exposure compensation. If you can dial in -2 or better yet -3 stops, you still might be able to get a dark background.

Cheers
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#7 okuma

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Posted 27 May 2009 - 08:40 PM

Theres always photoshop.
If you go this way, do not use pure black. I've found the best color is to sample a natural black back ground and use that. Some times I add a little Gaussian noise.
Underwater Photography:
If it is so easy every one would be doing it!

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