Thursday, February 27, 2020
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Backgrounds in Portraits

If you’re looking at taking portraits, then stop ignoring the background. Too many times, Ive seen nice portraits which have been let down by over-looked backgrounds.

Sometimes when you don’t have an interesting background, you can simply throw the background out of focus by using a wide aperture and get reasonably close to your subject. For instance, frame your subject in front of some trees to get  a green background.

Other times, you’re going to need an artificial background, like a drop sheet, if you don’t have an interesting background. I use the car garage sometimes as my ‘studio’. The messy placement of tools and dark tones can add something interesting to a portrait.

I have used a muslin cloth in the past and you can purchase these from companies like Adorama. They come in different sizes, material types, colours. One thing I’ll say though, is buy a few different colours when you’re purchasing.

I like cloth background, as paper can be expensive. You will need to support the backdrop with either something you make  yourself or a couple of stands and a cross pole to hang the backdrop off of.

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