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Archive 2012 · Which do you prefer solid black or pure white BG.
  
 
Michaelparris
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Which do you prefer solid black or pure white BG.


Not in these particular shots, but in your own shooting.

If you were never going to change it in PP. Which do you prefer.

It used to be white for me but I am slowly seeing more and more black BG's in my shots.

Maybe it's the weather....

Why do you prefer one over the other.












Mar 10, 2012 at 05:34 PM
hugowolf
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Which do you prefer solid black or pure white BG.


Michaelparris wrote:
Not in these particular shots, but in your own shooting.
If you were never going to change it in PP. Which do you prefer.
Why do you prefer one over the other.

I canít say that I see it as a preference. You canít do a high key shot with a jet black background, and you canít do a low key shot with a hot white background.

Brian A



Mar 10, 2012 at 05:59 PM
sherijohnson
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Which do you prefer solid black or pure white BG.


I like both but I think I like white more.


Mar 10, 2012 at 05:59 PM
Michaelparris
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Which do you prefer solid black or pure white BG.


hugowolf wrote:
I canít say that I see it as a preference. You canít do a high key shot with a jet black background, and you canít do a low key shot with a hot white background.

Brian A


That is the whole purpose of my silly poll.....If you HAD to pick one which would it be and why



Mar 10, 2012 at 06:39 PM
kenyee
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Which do you prefer solid black or pure white BG.


thunder/seal gray


Mar 10, 2012 at 07:00 PM
Michaelparris
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Which do you prefer solid black or pure white BG.


you guys are no fun...


Mar 10, 2012 at 07:20 PM
BrianO
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Which do you prefer solid black or pure white BG.


I choose my background based on my subject and the type of shot. There's no way I could have only one for every subject.

If I had to choose just one, though, it would be black. I'm a moody, brooding sort of guy.



Mar 10, 2012 at 10:05 PM
bagochips
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Which do you prefer solid black or pure white BG.


White for me. And not just because you can make a white background grey or black too


Mar 10, 2012 at 11:14 PM
Peter Figen
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Which do you prefer solid black or pure white BG.


"Not in these particular shots, but in your own shooting. If you were never going to change it in PP. Which do you prefer. It used to be white for me but I am slowly seeing more and more black BG's in my shots."

If you're going to change the background in post, you generally want two things: 1. You want separation everywhere between your subject and the background and 2. You want to use a color and tone of your current background to be at least in the ballpark of what you're going to drop in later on.

If you're going to drop in a blue sky, I'd want to shoot with a blue seamless, still making sure to have separation. It can be problematic in masking if the original background is too different - not that it can't be done, but that making it look perfect is much harder. It's also sometimes surprising how much of the background is reflected in things like the sides of faces and even in the shine of strand of hair, and those are often the things that make or break a successful composite. If I have no idea what the new background is going to be, I am usually inclined to shoot it with a light gray, which gives me the most versatility later on.



Mar 10, 2012 at 11:36 PM
cgardner
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Which do you prefer solid black or pure white BG.


For me clothing drives both the background choice and lighting strategy because clothing is the biggest potential distraction from the face. I'm not selling clothes in the photo I take so my goal is make the front of the face contrast the most. Put a white shirt on a dark background and it overpowers the face, but put it on white and the face contrasts the most.

Background tone dictates lighting strategy. Short lighting is very effective on dark backgrounds because it make the far profiled side contrast most strongly pulling attention across the face and then stopping there. But put that same short lit face on white and the bright profiled side disappears into the background perceptually. On white find low ratio full face butterfly or oblique / broad lighting that keep the front of the face darker and saturated more effective.

For portraits I favor dark clothing on a medium dark background because it makes the face contrast strongly and attracts the eye of the viewer like a magnet when full face / butterfly or oblique / short lighting are used. Keeping the background lighter than the tone of the hair is necessary for separation unless a hair light is used. With white backgrounds I find myself always fighting the glare of the background to see the face. The more background the bigger the problem. I usually only them when the subject is wearing white/ light clothing or I don't have time to change it.

With black backgrounds rim lighting is needed for separation. The clothing might be as black as the background compared together, but if you render them that way in the photo the clothing will disappears into the background. If I was shooting on black I'd ideally want the subject wearing clothing gray clothing darker than the skin but lighter than the background. If the subject was wearing black clothing I'd want to shoot them on a dark gray background, or black illuminated with gridded background light behind head and shoulders for separation.

On white backgrounds it's mostly the color contrast of the face, not the tonal contrast that catches the eye and that works best when the clothing is either similar to the skin tone (as in your shot) for sleeveless outfits (so clothing doesn't contrast with all that skin to much), white, or cool pastels. Whatever will help the warm color face contrast from everything else ó if your goal is to keep attention on the face as long as possible.

What contrasts the most will attract the viewer first and they will keep coming back to it. If something contrasts as much as the face it will sooner or later pull the viewer off the face to check it out. For example, in your black background shot if the guy was wearing black pants I wouldn't notice them one way or the other. The light ones are a distraction that pulls attention to his crotch. All things considered that shot would be better cropped at the waist vs at the crotch to remove the distraction of the pants, unless of course you want attention there. FWIW the girl is also cropped awkwardly at the bottom (arms chopped off ) and the white pattern on the dress is a distraction.



Mar 11, 2012 at 02:46 AM
 

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Mike Mahoney
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Which do you prefer solid black or pure white BG.


You can change a white background to black just by using lighting so I guess on that basis white is most versatile, but my preference is a medium gray like #56 fashion gray.

A medium gray can be changed lighter or darker very easily just with lighting alone, and takes to post very well also.



Mar 11, 2012 at 03:43 AM
Michaelparris
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Which do you prefer solid black or pure white BG.


This was not a science experiment and it was not intended to start a great debate.....At this moment in time you had to choose either black or white and the shots HAD to keep the BG either black or white. which do you prefer. I do not care about the merits of one versus the other. From an artistic standpoint which would you choose and why. The why can't be because you can change the color in PP....


Mar 11, 2012 at 04:42 AM
Michaelparris
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Which do you prefer solid black or pure white BG.


BrianO wrote:
I choose my background based on my subject and the type of shot. There's no way I could have only one for every subject.

If I had to choose just one, though, it would be black. I'm a moody, brooding sort of guy.

Someone that answered the question. Thanks.



Mar 11, 2012 at 04:45 AM
Michaelparris
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Which do you prefer solid black or pure white BG.


Peter Figen wrote:
"Not in these particular shots, but in your own shooting. If you were never going to change it in PP. Which do you prefer. It used to be white for me but I am slowly seeing more and more black BG's in my shots."

If you're going to change the background in post, you generally want two things: 1. You want separation everywhere between your subject and the background and 2. You want to use a color and tone of your current background to be at least in the ballpark of what you're going to drop in later on.

If
...Show more
I only mentioned not in my shots because I did not want people to get the wrong idea of the post. Did not want them to think I wanted them to critique my choice of each BG (although I do not mind, just not the intention of the post). From an artistic standpoint if you had to settle on one or the other and had to start getting your clientele to dress accordingly, which would it be. Simple question.



Mar 11, 2012 at 04:48 AM
BrianO
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Which do you prefer solid black or pure white BG.


Michaelparris wrote:
Someone that answered the question. Thanks.


You're welcome. (I just read the question, rather than reading into the question.)

sherijohnson and bagochips also answered it.



Mar 11, 2012 at 04:51 AM
Michaelparris
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Which do you prefer solid black or pure white BG.


BrianO wrote:
You're welcome. (I just read the question, rather than reading into the question.)

sherijohnson and bagochips also answered it.

Well put...



Mar 11, 2012 at 05:57 AM
sherijohnson
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Which do you prefer solid black or pure white BG.


I see I didn't say WHY, I feel the white background can be more useful, but it really just depends on the application or reasoning behind your choice for a particular photo shoot for instance the effect you are going for may dictate that you are using low key light and you opt for black, but for a high key look you would want white.


Mar 11, 2012 at 07:26 PM
cgardner
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Which do you prefer solid black or pure white BG.


Michaelparris wrote:
This was not a science experiment and it was not intended to start a great debate.....At this moment in time you had to choose either black or white and the shots HAD to keep the BG either black or white.


Seriously, if you can't decide that for yourself flip a coin.



Mar 11, 2012 at 09:06 PM
BrianO
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Which do you prefer solid black or pure white BG.


cgardner wrote:
Seriously, if you can't decide that for yourself flip a coin.


What makes you think he can't decide? It's a poll for crying out loud; if you can't give a straight answer then just don't post.



Mar 11, 2012 at 09:14 PM
Michaelparris
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Which do you prefer solid black or pure white BG.


cgardner wrote:
Seriously, if you can't decide that for yourself flip a coin.


Let me see if I have this correct: DSLR website, check...Lighting and studio forum inside of said website, check.....The ability to shoot the breeze, present different scenarios bounce ideas, get artistic and technical ideas and information from other photographers, for the most part,check....

As stated, it is just a silly poll. A few years back I almost always shot with a white BG. Lately I lean towards black. I personally think for larger prints black looks better hanging on the wall.

Iron sharpens iron....

Hope your day gets better



Mar 11, 2012 at 09:44 PM
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