Practice English Speaking&Listening with: How to shoot black backgrounds without a backdrop | Macro & Product Photography Tutorial

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in this video I'm going to explain how you can get black backgrounds in your

images using only some artificial lights and the settings in your camera no need

for a backdrop stick around and I'll get started in just a sec

hi guys i'm Ben from adaptalux and this video is all about getting black backgrounds in your

images whether you're in the studio whether you're taking portraits or macro

you can do this pretty much anywhere because it really only involves some

artificial light and choosing the right settings in your camera this is one of

the most common questions that I get asked after showing off some macro shots

I'll have a nice bright subject in the front and a black backgrounds how did

you get that black background because we didn't see you put a black backdrop

behind your images you didn't talk about it well it's because it's deceptively

simple it's all in the settings it's all in the lighting so I'm going to grab a

subject grab some lighting and show you exactly how to do this in your own

images I'm not going to spend long talking about what our subject is today

because it really doesn't matter you could be shooting macro or portraiture

or products the principles of what we're doing today stay the same you might need

to scale it up and use different settings but the idea behind it will be

the same no matter the environment no matter the scale that you're shooting at

and no matter the subject so my subject today is going to be a little bit of

everything he's a person he's also a product and he's really small so it's

macro if you know who this character is let me know down in the comments I want

to know whether you're all as nerdy as I am but if you're not it doesn't matter

he's just a stand-in for whatever you want to shoot with a black background

we'll be taking a couple of portraits of this guy and I'll explain how we set up

this shot to get a black background no matter what is actually in the

background what's going to be in the background of my shot today is just

what's naturally there these bookcases I won't be moving anything out of

way I won't be putting in any back drops or all that we're going to do today is

add some lighting and change our settings and this shot that you see now

is going to become a nice moody black background shot the first step towards

getting a black background image is basically to ruin your shot what we want

to do is massively under expose our shot so that everything in the background is

absolutely black that means changing our settings so the settings that we were

just shooting on ISO 500 F5.6 and 1/60 of a second gets us a pretty

average looking shot and a pretty average looking histogram now you're

going to want to bring up your histogram on your camera most cameras have this

function it's probably buried in the settings if it doesn't come up

automatically but what that's going to allow us to do is check on our next shot

how much of our image is actually black so you'll see here that our histogram is

actually if most of the pixels are in the middle with the exception of a few

Dark One's where the background is already quite dark where the where the

shelf goes in on our next shot though you'll see that it's pitch black

we've got nothing in the shot and most of the pixels are all over on that

extreme left-hand side of the histogram the settings that we've changed to are

1/200 F13 and ISO 100 so much better settings we're

going to get a deeper depth of field we're going to get less grain because of

that low ISO and we're not going to get any camera shake at all with that one

two hundredth of a second shutter speed this is all pretty good and because of

that really extreme histogram it means that our image is completely black and

there's nothing in our background to worry about the next step is going to be

lighting at our subject to counteract these settings

I've moved over here to start lighting my subject and by doing that I've

actually changed the lighting situation in my room just a little bit by moving

my studio lights so that you can still see me I've added a little bit of

ambient light to my scene and also my background so that's something that

you'll have to watch out for as not only the time of day changes and the ambient

light changes around your shooting space but also when you're adding light to

your scene you're going to need a lot of control to make sure that no extra light

spills over onto the background something that gives you an advantage

here is having a big distance between your subject and your background whether

that's a full-size person make sure that there's nothing immediately behind them

or whether it's something small like this make sure that you've got a good

distance before you get to any objects in the background so this distance

between the subject and the bookshelves is pretty good and I can start adding

some light to my scene the aim of the game here is to get our

subject as bright as possible without letting any of the light fall onto the

backdrop and to do that we're going to need some artificial light that is

highly controllable I've got that in the form of the Adaptalux Studio but if

you don't have an Adaptalux then you can use your studio strobes your flash guns

any continuous light that is bright enough that you can light your subject

really really bright without letting it spill on to the background and light

that up as well so I'm going to get my Adaptalux studio out I've got my control pot

down low on a little mini tripod here so that I can add lighting arms and still

be able to shoot over the top of the control pod and onto the upper half of

my subject so first thing I'm going to do is add a white lighting arm-s the

brightest version of the white lighting arm that we have that should give us a

really good starting point to to start thinking about how we want our lighting

to fall on our subject now all of your normal lighting techniques still apply

here if you want to diffuse your light you can go ahead and do that if you want

to get some rim lighting coming in from the back go ahead and do that just

don't shine the light on the background I'm going to add a couple more lighting

arms here I'm using lighting arm-s' all across the board so that we can get

maximum out of the light onto our subject I'm also going to diffuse this

second light and just move it around a little bit to figure out where I

actually want this light to sit to make sure that it's not in the frame now that

I've got those two lights set up I'm actually going to add a red light as

well to give it a little bit more atmosphere and a little bit of color on

the dark side of his face now that gives it a little bit more

Menace but I'm actually going to move my studio around and bring these lights in

from a couple of different directions try them out and figure out what I like

best I found a pretty good at lighting setup here that I like I've got one

light coming in shining up from the bottom another my key light coming in

from the side and then that red light on the dark side of his body just giving it

some really red menacing sinister look one thing that the red is doing though

is spilling onto my background not sure if I can find it here but there is a

little bit of red coming back here and shining onto the bookcases behind the

subject the way that I'm going to deal with that is to narrow the beam angle on

my lighting arm so that it's only shining on the subject exactly where I

want it to be now that we've got our lighting setup and our settings decided

we can play around and make sure we can get the perfect image without

compromising that black background you can change your settings at this point

if your image is too bright up your shutter speed have a smaller aperture by

all means change those to make your image darker if you want to make your

image brighter do that using your lighting increase the intensity of your

lights give more power to your flash or in the case of the Adaptalux Studio

connect it to the app and change the intensities of each lighting arm so that

you have the perfect image with the maximum amount of light on your subject

and the the least amount of light on your background

what we're doing here is taking advantage of our cameras dynamic range

cameras only have a certain range of exposure that they can handle at one

time so if you're taking a photo of something really really bright like we

are today then everything else is going to be really really dark it's the same

effect that you get if you've ever taken a silhouette of a tree against a sunset

or trying to take a picture of the inside of a room whilst it's light

outside the window is going to be really really bright because the camera can't

handle both of really bright areas and the really dark areas if your camera can

handle the really dark areas and the really bright areas it might have a HDR

mode you're going to need to turn that off for shooting images like this your

camera might try to automatically pick out the darkness of your background when

we actually want it to be deliberately as dark as possible so that's one last

little tip there but to recap the main principles that we're working with today

is to get a really really bright subject and expose for your subject while

leaving your background to be as dark as possible you can do this by manipulating

the settings in your camera and setting your exposure only for your subject

while also adding extra light into your scene without it hitting the backdrop

this is kind of the opposite to shooting a white background photograph like we

did in our other product photography tutorial where we were lighting the

background as much as possible so that it blows out the whites instead of

dimming down the blacks and taking advantage of the shadows I'll link that

other video up here if you want to see another style of product photography for

things like selling on eBay and Amazon that's really good this works just as

well for a more moody and a different kind of product photo as well as

portraits and macro I use this technique all of the time in my other macro videos

which I'm sure some of you have seen because I get quite a lot of questions

on how to do it hopefully this video has answered those questions for you and if

it has make sure to leave me a comment down below telling me what you've used

this for subjects you've been shooting with a black background if you've

enjoyed the video make sure to give it a like and remember to subscribe we've got

lots more videos coming in 2020 hit the bell button so you don't miss

any for now I want to say a big thank you to Lord Shaxx from Destiny if you

haven't already guessed that by now you can go in the comments and pretend like

you knew it earlier on a big thank you to all of you for watching this video

and I'll see you next time

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