Unlimited DIY Portrait Backgrounds with a 4K LED TV – DIY PHOTOGRAPHY

how about a DIY portrait background that will save you money and give you infinite creative possibilities stay tuned hey gang a portrait should never be about the background however the background can make or break the shot my favorite solid background color is gray because with gels I can make it just about any color I want but what about when you want some texture or design in your background sure you can add a new background in Photoshop which adds a lot of time to the process or you can go on location but that puts you at the mercy of Mother Nature so the practical question is how many backgrounds can you afford to buy hand-painted portrait backgrounds are expensive printed backgrounds are all the craze right now because they can be purchased for less than $100 which is very reasonable but how many photographs are you going to take with the same background sure you can vary the look of your hand-painted or printed backgrounds with creative use of depth of field and also color gels to get variations but you're limited in options and then you're just stuck with an expensive background that you don't want to overuse not sure you might be able to sell it at a loss or trade it with another photographer so that they can create shots that look just like yours a big TV that's right in my case a 65-inch 4k LED TV mounted on an adjustable stand with wheels so that I can easily move it around now before you call me crazy and say this is way too expensive stay tuned until the end it's not as expensive as you think in fact it has a much higher return on investment than those printed backgrounds this is the real beauty behind this concept you can create your own backgrounds in Photoshop or even by photographing random textures and designs and scenes that you see as you're out and about with your camera and since you'll generally want the background to be a bit soft to simulate shallow depth of field you can easily use smartphone images to create your backgrounds which means you can collecting backgrounds even without your digital camera gear if I'm looking for unique patterns or textures that I don't have in my library my go-to sources are stock photography sites like Shutterstock dreams time or deposit photos these sites let me purchase rights to an image or graphic for a few bucks each and with a little creative effort I can use and reuse a background many different times I can start with an image like this that I downloaded from deposit photos and in Photoshop I can change the cropping flip it alter the colors contrast etc so instead of being limited by what I can do to a physical background with color gels I now have so many more possibilities to repurpose without reusing the exact same backgrounds I set up the lighting for these shots no differently than I would have if I was using one of my physical backgrounds the only real difference is that I didn't need to light the background my subject is generally placed 3 to 5 feet in front of the TV screen now a lot of people have asked me if I ran into problems with reflections from the TV the answer no because my stand allows me to tilt the screen down and since my lights are almost always slightly above my subject or higher this is more than enough to compensate I did run into a few scenarios where I also angled the TV slightly to the left or the right to avoid a reflection remember from the cameras perspective it can't tell the background is tilted or angled the biggest change to the shooting setup compared to using physical backgrounds is that the TV is a constant ambient light source which means that it isn't as bright as your speed lights or studio strobes now if you routinely shoot with constant light sources like LEDs then this isn't an issue if you shoot with strobes it means that you will shoot at slower shutter speeds than the usual one 250th of a second that most cameras are designed to synchronize with flash this also ensures the you own encounter banding from the refresh rate of the television here is an example that was shot at ISO 200 with a shutter speed of 150th of a second and an aperture of f3 point 2 so that I could have both eyes in focus shooting portraits you have very little check movement and with the image stabilization that is available on most camera brands today one fiftieth of a second is also very doable for hand-holding a portrait shot also I'm lighting my subject with strobes which means the slower shutter speeds don't impact the clarity of my subject at all the worst-case scenario if my shutter speed were to slow is that I would see some ghosting along the edges of my subject but my subject would still be in focus you can also use this as a creative advantage this shot was done at one thirtieth of a second at ISO 320 by lowering my shutter speed to one fifteenth of a second placing the camera on a tripod and jerking it from side to side as I fired the shutter I can use an effect called shutter drag to create this motion blur in camera while we're talking about creative options notice the blue reflection in the sunglasses that was created by placing a white Walmart reflector in front of my subject the reflector is angled up and then using rim lights placed behind her with blue gels aimed at the whiteboard I get the blue rim lighting on her jaw and the blue color reflected back into the sunglasses change the background on the TV and change the color gels to orange and you can get a result like this one I always talk about the idea of work your shot you know trying different variations and not assuming that your first idea is the best idea this shot that I showed you earlier started with a test shot using this bokeh background and I simply didn't like the look then I went with this golden bokeh image and some yellow tool wrapped around the models head and then I settled in on the mixed colors with the red purple and blue for this shot I had an image on the TV but also used a piece of ruffle tool and waved it behind my subject in front of the TV during a one-thirteenth of a second exposure now remember I shot with strobes so I knew my subject would be tack sharp I had the camera on a tripod and shot with a wireless controller as I waved the material the backlighting combined with a slow shutter speed gave me this awesome feeling of movement from the ruffled tool I should also point out that with this TV setup my go-to lens is the méxico 75 millimeter F 1 point 8 from Olympus which is a full-frame equivalent of 150 millimeters I prefer the slightly longer focal length given the limited size of the background but you can make this technique work really well if you're a full-frame shooter using a 70 to 200 millimeter zoom or even a 100 millimeter macro a shorter lens like the full-frame 85 or on Micro Four Thirds a 45 will work you just need to have your subject closer to the TV also the way that I manage the images on the screen is to place my laptop on the shelf under the TV I keep all the backgrounds in a Dropbox folder so that I can add to the folder easily from any of my computers and I simply use the Mac preview app to scroll through the images and select which one I want to use you could use any software that has image browsing capabilities and the ability to view an image full screen my laptop also has photoshop on it so that I can alter the color scheme of any image while I'm in the studio shooting oh and one last thing after you select your image be sure to move the cursor all the way to a corner otherwise you'll be retouching it out of the final image been there done that you can thank me later I purchased the TV and stand on Amazon almost a year ago I paid five hundred and ninety nine dollars for the 65 inch TV and 60 $4.

99 for the stand so that is less than six hundred and sixty-five dollars since then TV prices have come down considerably and many of you will be able to do this with even bigger screens at a more affordable price a 53 inch wide seamless paper background averages about $32 a six-foot wide printed background with light blue bokeh sells for $54 and it's a challenge to repurpose a 5-foot wide hand-painted canvas background which is truly beautiful sells for $300 so you do the math it doesn't take long as we accumulate backgrounds with the goal of adding variety to spend much more than this electronic digital background set up you see the possibilities are truly endless you are only limited by your own imagination if you're not willing to experiment and fail and solve problems you will not develop a creative skillset embrace failure so is this for you only you can decide that for any photographer who is looking to do portrait photography as a way of generating income the return on investment for a setup like this is extremely good because of the endless possibilities it offers not to mention that you don't have to hang it from stands or a ceiling like you do a regular background and if you shoot in your home it could double as your family TV now if you have a larger vehicle you could take this set up on location since newer TVs are very thin and lightweight and you can purchase mounts from companies like tether tools that will allow you to mount the TV on a c-stand in case you're wondering there is nothing to stop you from mounting the TV sideways if you prefer vertical portrait backgrounds ultimately I hope this gets you thinking and inspires you to think outside the box and push your creative boundaries so please take this idea and run with it go create and show me what you come up with until next time please hit that thumbs up and subscribe so that you don't miss any videos and don't keep all this cool stuff to yourself please share it with your photography friends remember photography it's not a competition it is a passion to be shared now go pick up that camera and shoot something because your best shot hits your next shot adios.

Leave a Reply