August 24, 2015

Background Check

Backlit. David Hayes, 2015

Why...I remember back in my undergrad days...when we had to take our photographic "gray cards" out and expose roll after roll of film to create our on "gray scale". Talk about boring! Even still...I certainly gained a strong sense of tonal range from doing such exercises. So when the latest Be Still_52 prompt ask us to set up a simple vignette and then use different backgrounds my first thought was...boring! That was until I started working with my raw images. Different backgrounds do make a difference!

All of the images in this post were shot with my Nikon D90 camera and processed first in Lightroom and then in Photoshop.  In Lightroom, I used Kim Klassen's presets and in Photoshop her textures.

Using an old jar and three coneflower seed heads as my single element, I started with a backlit gauze for my background. Backlit was processed using the "Darklight" Lightroom preset and "0216-2" texture in Photoshop.

Black. David Hayes, 2015

Switching from my backlit set-up to solid backgrounds that were side lit from the left using natural light, I first went to black foam core. This proved a bit challenging to get a good exposure given the dark browns of the seed heads. In the end, Lightroom worked it's magic bringing out the highlights whilst keeping the shadows I wanted. I used the preset "Olden Days" in Lightroom and her "Chalkmagic" texture in Photoshop.

Gray. David Hayes, 2015.

Next I used a piece of light gray foam core. This was a little easier to work with but still had it's own quirks when it came to getting a good exposure. As before, processing in Lightroom brought out what I wanted and the Lightroom preset "Pause" and the Photoshop texture "Simple 1-2 proved to be the icing on the cake! I do like this version!

Wallpaper. David Hayes, 2015.

In my background collection I have a piece of plywood that has different wallpapers on each side. I gave this side a try and while the background itself can be a distraction, I used the Lightroom preset "On air" and the Photoshop texture "theveil" to knock it back a bit. Not sure I'd use this background with such a simple set-up in the future but it was fun working with it during the post-production.

Stucco. David Hayes, 2015.

On another plywood board I used stucco to create my own "wall". While I like the subtlty of this image, the background is a bit overpowering. Even still...might be worth revisiting sometime in the future. For this one I used the Lightroom preset "Summersun" and the Photoshop texture "warmwhispers". 

Coral. David Hayes, 2015.

This is my favorite. A coral background board, the Lightroom preset "moodswing" and Photoshop texture "aurora_bl". Like a warm summer's evening...

4 comments:

Evelyn S. said...

Absolutely beautiful! My coneflowers haven't reached the seed stage yet, but they are getting there!

Kim S said...

Thank you for commenting on all your backrounds...inspirational!

Seth said...

Digging this series. Amazing how the change in background changes the entire look of each image.

janice meyers foreman said...

Lovely experiment, so many wonderful choices.