Photography / Masking Tip replacing backgrounds

Started May 12, 2010 | Discussions thread
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Mike Warren
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Photography / Masking Tip replacing backgrounds
May 12, 2010

The next time you have a project where you know in advance you are going to replace the background behind the subjects, try this.

Shoot two shots on a tripod. One with the subjects and one with the background only.

In post processing follow these steps:

Layer the background only image over the image with the background and the subjects.
Set the background image only layer (top layer) to difference mode.
Stamp Visible.

Use magic wand (with tolerance set to 2, contiguous off) to click on the Black background.

Type Q to enter Quick Mask to check selection and clean up any bits that should not be part of the selection. (Type Q again to leave Quick Mask Mode)

Duplicate the original image (with the subjects and background) and place on the top layer.
Inverse the Selection.
Add mask to the image layer.
Place new background image under this layer.

Try this procedure with these images.

If you are really, really bored, try extracting the pineapple with your favorite masking program / method. :^)

Let me know if you have any questions.

This is a great technique if you are shooting group shots at a wedding outside and the background is not so great. A little planning will save you lots of time in post.

Mike

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