January 29: Black Background

Discussion in 'MOC 10 Challenges' started by ashleywb, Jan 29, 2022.

  1. ashleywb

    ashleywb Sand in my toes

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    Welcome to day 29! Today's challenge is a photography challenge which means you must take a NEW photo for this challenge.

    Your challenge is to take a photo with a black or very dark background behind your subject. I got interested in trying this when my daughter took a self portrait for a class assignment. I scrapped it here:
    02.21dreaming-web.jpg

    Then I started noticing more images with black backgrounds - portraits, stills, animals, nature photos. Here are some examples I found on the web. They are quite striking, don't you think?

    black bkg portrait.jpg

    dog on black background.jpg

    There are a couple of different ways to approach this challenge.

    The first and easiest is to simply take a photo of someone or something against a black background. You could use a black sheet, tablecloth, posterboard, curtains or find a black wall or dark wall in deep shadow.

    Another option is to use your camera to achieve the effect. The trick here is proper lighting. A light source that illuminates your subject but not the background is helpful. Experts suggest placing your subject next to a window or other source of natural light in an otherwise dark room. Shut all other doors and cut other sources of light in the room. This is what I chose to do and I found it pretty effective. Here is one of the photos I took with my iphone using this technique.

    IMG_5093.JPG

    In order to get the really dark background I used the exposure slider on the camera to under expose the shot. I shot this at -1.7. You can get to the exposure slider by hitting the little arrow toggle at the top of your phone camera screen and then selecting the + - icon from the options.
    instructions-phone-exposure-2.jpg
    Ignore the subject of these photos! :) Just wanted to show you the menu options.

    I know not everyone has an iphone. Whatever your device, you should be looking to adjust exposure and under expose your image. Of course you can also use a DSLR.

    Justine (@bellbird) was kind enough to offer some examples of how she achieved a black background using a couple of different methods. She used her ipad as a light source and shot with her phone.

    The first with birds against a grey wall...
    Justine PhotoCollage_16425-birds600px.jpg


    and the second with blackberries using black paper as a base and background.
    Justine 3 PhotoCollage_1642553858-berries600px.jpg

    Feel free to tweak your black background in post processing. You can adjust levels and contrast or even use the brush or burn tools to get the darkened effect. However, please do not use an app that simply pops a black background behind your subject. The point of the challenge is to experiment with your camera and try something new.

    To Recap, here's the challenge:
    1. Take a NEW photo with a black/very dark background behind your subject.
    The subject can be anything, but must be visible against the black background. The background must also be visible, please do not crop your image so tightly that I cannot see the black background.
    2. Scrap that photo. You may include more than one photo on the page. At least one photo must have the black background and it should be easy for me to identify.

    Here's my page:

    MOC_29blackbkg_web.jpg

    And one from Danica (@weaselwatchr )

    weaselwatchr.jpg

    Please Remember the general rules which apply to all MOC layouts:
    Your page must be a new page in order to count for the Month of Challenges. Your page must be posted in three places:
    1. Uploaded to the TLP Gallery (not an outside hosting site).
    2. Posted in your page thread you created in the MOC Layouts Folder. You should have one post per completed challenge page. If you complete all 31 challenges, your thread should contain 31 posts. Please do not comment in the participants’ page threads so we can keep them clean.
    3. Posted in this thread. People can comment here if they wish.
    Your page must contain Lilypad product (pages with photos and font only do not count). If you use product from other stores, your pages must contain at least 75% current Lilypad product (currently for sale in the store from either permanent designers or guest designers).
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2022
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  2. ashleywb

    ashleywb Sand in my toes

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    Questions/Clarifications

    To clarify, I am looking for an almost solid black or very dark background here. Almost as if you had gone into a studio and made a photo against a black backdrop. It doesn't have to be perfect - you can see from the photo of my daughter above that there is still a bit of a shadow and the outline of a frame hanging on the wall. But the idea is that the only source of light is directly on your subject leaving you with a black background. Or of course, you can use an actual black background.

    For this challenge your photo should be a color photo. Your subject should be in color against a black background, not a black & white photo.
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2022
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  3. chigirl

    chigirl Candy Corn junkie

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    will a snowy night sky work?
     
  4. ashleywb

    ashleywb Sand in my toes

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    Not if you can see the snow coming down. Looking for a very dark/almost solid black background.
     
  5. JenEm

    JenEm Pollywog

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    Thanks for hosting, Ashley. I loved experimenting with a dark background, and your examples were really helpful. Mine :)

    [​IMG]
     
  6. bonnenuit

    bonnenuit Why do I always have to be Captain?

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    Other images not showing in first post.
     
  7. ashleywb

    ashleywb Sand in my toes

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    Ugh, Sorry! Can you tell me which sections you can't see?
     
  8. bonnenuit

    bonnenuit Why do I always have to be Captain?

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    Justine's and Danica's
     
  9. ashleywb

    ashleywb Sand in my toes

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    Ok, should be fixed now.
     
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  10. cla

    cla Well-Known Member

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    Moment of panic but then I remembered the black felt I keep around - whew! Definitely a challenge.
    [​IMG]
     
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  11. Donitab

    Donitab If only the TV would yell back

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    You can also use the portrait mode on your iPhone with stage light mono. It is easy and dramatic.
     
  12. myka

    myka Active Member

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    Oh my gosh... my daughter & I tried about 10 different shots and this was least blurry, and we busted a gut looking at them, she said it looks like the photo in a ransom note!! Bwahahahahaha...
    2022-29-MOC-Challenge- Photo with black background:
    [​IMG]
     
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  13. michele hillam

    michele hillam Loading up the bookmobile

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  14. ashleywb

    ashleywb Sand in my toes

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    I'm actually glad you mentioned that. I want to check that out. However, please don't use it for this challenge as it is basically a black & white photo. I am looking for a color photo against a black background for this challenge.
     
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  15. Cath_

    Cath_ In my polka dot dress and apron

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    i cant psychically get up do a photo shoot, for a new photo
     
  16. SeattleSheri

    SeattleSheri Movers, cleaners, great hair. I'm a socialite!

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    I used Ashley's method to take this photo against my bedroom window with my iPhone. Original photo is in my page credits. Thanks for introducing me to a new photography technique!

    [​IMG]
     
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  17. vixen

    vixen Pink Parrot Head

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    my one and only entry for MOC10
    [​IMG]
     
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  18. Tamsin McAtee

    Tamsin McAtee Member

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  19. CaroRen

    CaroRen Well-Known Member

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    Iphone -1.7 exposure with dark room only tv on.
    [​IMG]
     
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  20. ajm

    ajm Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for the challenge! Early morning photo, with one light source, visible in the glass reflection.

    [​IMG]
     
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