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Thread: black out of background

  1. #1
    New Member
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    Apr 2012
    DFW Metroplex, Texas, US
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    black out of background

    At a gallery exhibiting professional photographers' landscape work yesterday, I was impressed by a couple of photos by same photographer in which large trees were photgraphed against what would have seemed to be either a mountain or other trees, but the background was 95% (another tree on one side was barely visible) darked out. I have taken subjects easier to select and placed them on a fill layer but the difficulty using selecting tools is compunded to almost impossibility with leaves and branches. There must be an obvious way this was done, but being on the beginner range of serious amateurs, I am without a clue. This is my first post after having just registered, so be gentle. ;-)

  2. #2
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Feb 2009
    Glenfarg, Scotland
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    Just add 'MacKenzie'

    Re: black out of background

    First of all, welcome to CiC. Thanks for joining. I hope you'll find that this is a forum that has learning at its heart (as it says at the top of the page) and that you find it a useful resource to help you with your skills development.

    So that you don't continue to get people asking you what your proper name is, because most us use that on here, you can go to Edit Profile and enter your proper name under 'Real Name'. Then it will appear underneath your Username in all your posts. You can also enter your location so that it does the same, just as in my details alongside this message. Then we all know where everyone is in the world.

    As to your question - It is pretty difficult to give the definitive answer without seeing what you are talking about.

    Was it done with lighting; e.g. flash or other strobes?
    Is it the product of dodge and burn?

    Others will, no doubt, have other ideas and suggestions.

  3. #3
    Moderator Manfred M's Avatar
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    Mar 2012
    Ottawa, Canada
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    Manfred Mueller

    Re: black out of background

    The way you describe the shot, my immediate reaction is that it was done at when it was getting dark and strobes were used to illuminate the trees. The photographer would have exposed for the background (assuming this was not totally black) and let the flash fill in the trees. Some light shaping tools to control unwanted light might have been used as well. Some level of post work could have been used to clean up the image.

    I agree with Donald; without seeing the actual work we can only guess.

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