Thoughts on chroma key backgrounds

Started Aug 27, 2014 | Discussions thread
Mr McClicky
OP Mr McClicky Regular Member • Posts: 195
Re: Thoughts on chroma key backgrounds

AlbertInFrance wrote:

Mr McClicky wrote:

Im new to dslr photography and interested in chroma key backgrounds for portrait work. Although Im new to photography one of my goals is to fast track my way to shooting professionally as a freelance, Im counting on my brief past experience in cinematography and video to help speed me through. Im curious as to what is the consensus on digital backdrop and would appreciate your constructive feedback, suggestion for affordable software, advice, etc. Thanks in advance.


Have you identified a market for this sort of thing in your area? How are you planning to use chroma key for portraiture: realistic or stylised?

If you are expecting to produce realistic portraits where the sitter seems to be on a beach or in a jungle you'de better learn a lot about matching the studio lighting to the background. Having shadows going the wrong way is a total no-no and softly lit subject with a sunny scene can liik pretty odd as well. If you want to do full-length portraits then combining the two is particularly demanding

I doubt if a 'brief' past experience of video/cinematography will be enough to 'speed you through'.Typically still studio photography requires a lot more attention to lighting than your average cameraman acquires, especially on non-drams shoots. If you see this as a quick and easy way to get into portraiture then I believe you have another think coming.

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Hello Albert, thank you for your feedback.  I had the feeling that my "fast track" comment would probably be misinterpreted and ruffle a few feathers in this thread. When I say I plan to "fast track" my way into portrait photography it's only because I'm a  52 year old man who is trying to transition from handyman repair work to working the last half of my career in a field that Im really passionate about, film/video production and now photography.

Over the past fews years, I've lost my passion for handyman work so I figured I'd dive back into the production industry and try to make another go at it.  The brief experience in camera work that I mentioned spans over several years working in a motion picture lab as a color timer, camera and production equipment rental technician,  film school, video/film camera operator, director, producer, and others.

I know that chroma keying is probably a fairly difficult skill, however, based on my research, I feel confident that with some time and practice I can master it.  I don't mean to diminish the skill level of photographers who utilize digital backdrops to achieve professional portraits, however I've always been of the mindset that if one person can do it then I can learn to do it as well.  I'm truly a believer in demystifying what appears to be mystical.  I figure that already having a bit of a similar background (motion picture film and video) should give me a bit of leg up over others starting out with none.  I'm hoping for advice on how to accomplish this goal in a short time.  Since I'm currently self employed, I have some available time to dedicate towards practice, also, throughout my work life I always been a pretty fast study.  I recently purchased two collapsible, two sided 5'X7' backdrops (black, white, chroma green and blue screen).  I was also going to purchase a picture backdrop but held off on the purchase because I figured that I could achieve the same goal electronically.  I'm hoping that someone here would encourage and advise me on how to do it.  I know its not rocket surgery ; )  Thanks again.


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