how make the background black

Started Jun 25, 2013 | Discussions
b4cktr4ck
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how make the background black
Jun 25, 2013

Hi all,

is it possible to make the background a uniform black without affecting the black on the clothes and accessories and without cropping the image?

if yes, can you share how in Photoshop? I have similar photos I would need to retouch

thanks!

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Allen Gerdes
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Re: how make the background black
In reply to b4cktr4ck, Jun 25, 2013

Is this what you are looking for?

I cannot show you how to do it in Photoshop, as I rarely ever use it.  This was done using PSPX5 and the Topaz Labs Remask plugin to extract the subjects from the background.  Then placed the extraction above a black background and merged layers.

Regards....Allen

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HB WOODY
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Re: how make the background black
In reply to b4cktr4ck, Jun 25, 2013

I opened in PS and put a black layer under the image then created a mask to show the black layer in the easy to cover placed. I then used Camera Raw to adjust the shadows and the blacks.

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Patsy Murphy
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Re: how make the background black
In reply to b4cktr4ck, Jun 25, 2013

b4cktr4ck wrote:

Hi all,

is it possible to make the background a uniform black without affecting the black on the clothes and accessories and without cropping the image?

if yes, can you share how in Photoshop? I have similar photos I would need to retouch

thanks!

I'm a little confused as to what you really want. You have two black sheets and a pop up background which I assume should  also be black in color, however either due to your camera settings or lighting setup your pop up background is a very dark navy blue color, you can clearly see that due the shadows behind him especially, if you were to uniformally set the whole background to black it would take away the outline on the top of his head, of course you could always add a couple of little highlights to the top of his hair. I did two versions to show you what I mean. One with the accessory and one without.

You can achieve similar results to what Allen did by duplicating the layer change the blend mode to soft light add a mask and mask the people back in.

Regards Patsym

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Ralph Ramirez
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Re: how make the background black
In reply to b4cktr4ck, Jun 25, 2013

Created a mask then placed black layer below image but also lightened his hair so that it shows up a little more.  Used curves until the hair looked like I wanted it, inverted the mask then painted the hair back with white brush .............Ralph

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Toermalijn
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Re: how make the background black
In reply to b4cktr4ck, Jun 25, 2013

b4cktr4ck wrote:

Hi all,

is it possible to make the background a uniform black without affecting the black on the clothes and accessories and without cropping the image?

if yes, can you share how in Photoshop? I have similar photos I would need to retouch

thanks!

Next time, if you want to make extractions in photoshop, use white. It's much better for extractions in photoshop.

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b4cktr4ck
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Re: how make the background black
In reply to Patsy Murphy, Jun 25, 2013

Good point I agree with the hair issue and shadows. What if we retouch it in a way where we leave the backdrop as it is and the same black of the backdrop is used for the rest of the background so that is not pitch black?

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Sailor Blue
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Re: how make the background black
In reply to b4cktr4ck, Jun 26, 2013

The biggest problems here are the way you placed and lit your subjects.

Your subjects are so close to the background that subject lighting is making the background gray, not black, and the subjects are casting shadows on the background.

First, you need to keep subject a minimum of 6' from the background to keep their shadows off the background.

Second, you should have lit the subjects in such a way that as little as possible light hit the background so that it would be black.  Depending on how you light and what type of light modifiers you use you might have to flag the background to keep the subject light off of it.

A hair light would have helped separate the middle subject's dark hair from the background.

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b4cktr4ck
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Re: how make the background black
In reply to Sailor Blue, Jun 26, 2013

The biggest problems here are the way you placed and lit your subjects.

Your subjects are so close to the background that subject lighting is making the background gray, not black, and the subjects are casting shadows on the background.

First, you need to keep subject a minimum of 6' from the background to keep their shadows off the background.

Second, you should have lit the subjects in such a way that as little as possible light hit the background so that it would be black.  Depending on how you light and what type of light modifiers you use you might have to flag the background to keep the subject light off of it.

A hair light would have helped separate the middle subject's dark hair from the background.

-- hide signature --

Living and loving it in Bangkok, Thailand. Canon 7D - See the gear list for the rest.

Thanks for the suggestion Sailor Blue. I just didn't have enough room (and background) to move the subjects further from the background
I don't really mind if the background is grey due to the vicinity
Good point with the hair light will keep that in mind

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