Finding (or making) the Perfect Background…Every Time!

Written by: Glyn Dewis

Published: July 19, 2012

Category: General

Hi Folks,

Today I just want to briefly touch on backgrounds.

Backgrounds can make or break an image but finding the ideal one let alone getting access to it can at times prove challenging. This is why I love to create composite images as it eliminates the logistical nightmare of getting a model, lighting & crew into a location plus it eliminates the worry of a shoot possibly being postponed because of bad weather; particularly appropriate this past few months in the UK.

Going out specifically to shoot backgrounds is something I’ll do on a regular basis but that still doesn’t eliminate the issue of finding the ideal background. Solution? Make backgrounds using elements from other photographs. Of course this is for when I’m mainly compositing images from scratch but can also be done to add elements into an already photographed background and make it something completely unique:

Sometimes I may find a location that’s almost perfect; say for example I find a street that’s perfect for what I want…well one side of it is anyway…I may copy one side to the other, remove duplicate elements, add new elements and end up again with a completely unique background:

Anyway, last week I had a cover shoot with Fitness Model Shaun Stafford; great guy to work with and clearly possessed with insane genetics; regular readers of this blog will maybe recognise Shaun from modelling during Scott Kelby’s Light It, Shoot It, Retouch It Seminar in London earlier this year [Link].

Cover shots done, we then worked on a few images for compositing and one that I’m working on at the moment has, quite unintentionally, ended up going down the route of having an Olympics theme. The challenge though was finding a suitable backdrop as getting out to shoot one at the moment with all the rain just wasn’t going to happen plus I wanted the background to be dry.

Solution? Find a stock photo that kind of fits the bill and tweek it in Photoshop:

Anyway, tomorrow I’ll be posting the final image that this new background is for and then early next week I’ll add a B.T.S. (Behind the Scenes) post to give you a peek at the Photography & Retouching.

Right must dash…things to do, places to go and people to see, so whatever you’re up to today have a good one and I’ll catch you back here tomorrow,
Enjoy,
Glyn 🙂

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7 Comments

  1. Gafox Art

    Hey Glyn, nice Blogpost and super works. Greats from Germany

    Reply
  2. Chris

    Hi Glyn.

    Love all you work and thanks for all the tips and tricks.

    Do you have any tips or tricks that you use to place a person so that It looks realistic.I recently read that the subjects eyes should always be in line with the vanishing point.I find that hard to understand.
    Is there a method that you use in your compositing or is I purely your creative eye that you rely on.

    Chris

    Reply
  3. Russ Robinson

    Great job cleaning up the track image…looking forward to seeing what you do with it!

    Reply
  4. Oscar Gimeno

    Hello Glyn,

    I am sport photograph but about four months to this time I start to work with Photoshop with two images and the results could be better but start to be good. I am always thinking in new backgrounds but sometimes is difficult to find them…

    Regards from Spain!

    Reply
  5. Adrian

    I need to take your advice and spend a day looking for backgrounds in my local area as I am always struggling to find background images.

    Reply
    • Glyn

      Thanks for the comments folks. Backgrounds are so important; I used to use alot of stock imagery but the prices have shot up over recent times so as often as possible I’ll shoot my own backgrounds now and when I’m unable I’ll alter an image to make it look how I want; gotta love Photoshop 🙂

      Reply
  6. Matt

    Shooting backgrounds is a great idea. Always good stuff on this blog. Thank you.

    Reply

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