photo shot tips for changing background

Discussion in 'Photography' started by Dave, Nov 14, 2012.

  1. Dave

    Dave Guest

    I plan to take some outdoor pictures that will have the background
    changed to something a little more desirable. Before I take the
    pictures, I'd like some tips on setting up the shots to make replacing
    the background easier and better. I use GIMP, but would guess that the
    tips would apply to all photo editors.

    Some that I can think of are:
    * Maintain the same camera settings (shutter speed, aperture, focus, etc.).
    * Maintain same light (sun) and sun angle.

    Please respond to NG as I'm currently locked out of my e-mail .

    Dave, Nov 14, 2012
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  2. Dave

    Joel Guest

    I don't use GIMP but I have heard some people here and other groups saying
    that GIMP is just as good and as poweful as Photoshop. So I may be able to
    give some general information for you to try

    - First, it's possible or impossible, good or bad often depend on how
    complex or simple the image you work on. And the SIZE and QUALITY can be
    part of the most important parts too.

    - It's pretty forward, all you need to do is removing the background or
    selecting the foregound. Then replace (if removing background) the
    background with other background, or place (if selecting) the selected
    foreground to other background.

    - The most important parts is how to make a CLEAN foreground (it's pretty
    much impossible), a good CHOICE of the replacing background, and how to
    BLEND or HIDE the edges.

    In general, most people use MASKING technique but because many years ago I
    can't get what I need so I have developed my own technique and happy with
    it. But I still use Layer Mask (I use Layer Mask on most of my work, pretty
    much 95-98% on detailed retouching)

    IOW, I don't use Masking as the main tool to separate between Background
    and Foreground, but Layer Mask has always been one of the most important
    tools of my work.
    Joel, Nov 15, 2012
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  3. Dave

    Dave Guest


    Thanks for the insight. My biggest concern is that when I'm done, the
    new background look like it was the original background, not a cut and
    paste job. I have seen a number of photos that were clearly cut and
    paste because the perspectives didn't match, or the exposures didn't
    match, etc. So, I plan to use the same camera settings, same
    perspective, same sun angle and conditions, etc. Don't know how much
    this will help, but it is worth a try.

    If I get time, I plan to do a roll of film (have not gone digital yet)
    as a test/development opportunity.

    Dave, Nov 15, 2012
  4. Dave

    Joel Guest

    I am with you as I don't think anyone can get a clean cut no matter how
    great s/he is . Yes, we may have seen thousands of video tutorials showing
    they do the magic, but as I have always said that they are just for showing
    off and screen displaying not for printing.

    Now, I don't know anything about GRIMP, but if it has and works similar to
    Photoshop then you may not need to make any cut, but applying directly to
    the layers . These are the basic steps you may need to do.

    1. Carefully select the replacement background looks similar to the
    foreground. I mean the quality, brightness, and may be color etc..

    2. Studying both background (the one to replace the original) and the
    foreground see if you can be able to BLEND and HIDE some ugly around the
    edges. With some experience, it may take few seconds to have a full picture
    of the final, what kind of problem you may run into etc..

    3. You can make a rough cut, don't need to be perfect. BUT as closest to
    the edge as possible

    4. Place the replacement background to a NEWER LAYER (I usually place it on

    5. Go to the foreground image (UPPER LAYER) and select Layer Mask. That's
    about it!

    You need to use your BRUSHING SKILL to BLEND the background to the

    It sounds very simple *BUT* you may need the magic power of TABLET to do the
    job, and you need to use with the combination of Brush Size and Opacity.
    *Sometime* to make thing even simpler, quicker you can make a rough masked
    version (very good but still not need to be perfect), then do LAYER MASK
    between rough Masked and the Original.

    This way instead of spending 1-2 hours trying to make a perfect mask or
    replacement. You just need few quick seconds to make a rough cut, few quick
    minutes to make a rough mask, and few minutes to make the final touch.

    And as I always said, I don't need to waste my time and energy trying to
    learn any fancy command, but I try to master each tool/techique, and use
    what I know best to do the work.
    Joel, Nov 17, 2012
  5. Dave

    Joel Guest

    I also forgot to mention *IF* you perfer you can use a good MASKING
    plug-in to make a good rough masked image, then use LAYER MASK tricks to
    finish the work.

    As I have tried, none Mask program or plug-in can make a perfect cut, but
    some does a better job than other. I don't use plug-in, but sometime (used
    to) I tried some plug-in to learn what Photoshop is capable of, or get more
    idea from the plug-in.
    Joel, Nov 17, 2012
  6. Dave

    Joel Guest

    Here, I found one of the sample of what I meant by selecting the good
    replacement background, studying both background and foreground etc..

    IOW, I don't use Masking plug-in so I don't talk about how to use plug-in,
    and you can see the sample shows isn't a perfect cut *but* the right
    background can make some difference.

    But it usually not usable (not good for large print) until you finetuning
    with Layer Mask tricks I mentioned in previous message.
    Here is more and you can see how they trick people to believe how easy their
    program can do. I have never tried OnOne Mask plug-in to know much about it
    Joel, Nov 17, 2012
  7. Blue or green screen --- and partially transparent masks where
    the green shows through partially.

    Make an in_camera mask: shoot an immediate second shot with
    full backlight and no subject light only, so that you get a
    mostly black-white result: black your foreground, white your
    background. Use a heavy tripod. Use the mask ay our layer
    mask. For non-static objects a fast frame rate is desirable,
    as well as a power source for all the flashes. You may get
    away with hanging a white background for the flash to light.

    The best solution --- of course --- is to replace the background
    before shooting the pictures.

    Wolfgang Weisselberg, Nov 25, 2012
  8. Dave

    Steve Smtih Guest

    The blue-green screen is the best idea of all - for one, you don't even need
    to worry about getting outside even in bad weather. To get the best results
    I don't use PS or Gimp for those pictures, I use something called PhotoKey.
    There is no issues with getting the masking right or anything else. The
    software does all of the work of removing the background for you. You have
    complete control over all picture aspects including position of foreground
    and size of foreground - or the same for the background. I use this
    extensively for placing subjects where I want them.

    Stephen Smith

    "Dave" wrote in message
    I plan to take some outdoor pictures that will have the background
    changed to something a little more desirable. Before I take the
    pictures, I'd like some tips on setting up the shots to make replacing
    the background easier and better. I use GIMP, but would guess that the
    tips would apply to all photo editors.

    Some that I can think of are:
    * Maintain the same camera settings (shutter speed, aperture, focus, etc.).
    * Maintain same light (sun) and sun angle.

    Please respond to NG as I'm currently locked out of my e-mail .


    --- news:// - complaints: ---
    Steve Smtih, Dec 1, 2012
  9. Dave

    Joel Guest

    Blue-Green screen technique is usually good and handy for VIDEO or may be
    some photo to display on TV *but* not a good idea to use as part of photo

    WHY? because you will never be able to get the solid (same) Blue/Green or
    whatever color you use for green-screen technique. And green-screen is
    pretty much using Masking technique, but they try to use a special GREEN as
    a very unusual color making easier to separate.

    BUT because the GREEN color close to the EDGE will be a different GREEN than
    the rest. So you won't be ale to make a solid clean selection for the MASK.

    Green-Screen technique can be the answer for video, and can give photo
    editor a quick and dirty cut out, but not acceptable for professional use.
    Or if you are real good with Masking then it doesn't matter what background
    it may be, it can be a same or mixed color, and they should be all the same.

    Why they all the same? here is some quick and dirty steps and you will
    see why

    1. I would make a quick selection of the BACKGROUND I want to remove, then
    hit DEL KEY and it doesn't care if the color is Blue, Green, Red, Yellow,
    White, Back, Pink, Purple and whatever

    2. I them make another quick and dirty selection but this time is closer to
    the edges, and then DEL KEY to delete it.

    At this stage it may look much dirtier than the Green-Screen Mask, but it
    may only take me few short seconds instead of 5-10-15-20 or whatever time
    you spend to make the Mask.

    Then I use the same old techniques to remove the background closer and
    closer to the edge, just like you have to do after making the MASKed layer.
    Joel, Dec 2, 2012
  10. Just as in "VIDEO".
    Just as in "VIDEO".

    Just as in "VIDEO".

    Of which Joel, wold reknown professional use photograper
    knows everything.

    Just as in "VIDEO".

    .... Joel doesn't have very much of an idea how green screen
    works. He probably believes that with video, they do all
    his steps very very fast for life green screens (like news

    Wolfgang Weisselberg, Dec 4, 2012
  11. Dave

    Joel Guest

    Hey STUPID! as I know some people thing video is as same as image, and
    that is why I said it only work with VIDEO. See that STUPID?

    If there is the same then I ain't gonna compare the differences, because
    if it's the same then there should be no difference to compare.

    Got it STUPID!
    Just like DUMB is same as STUPID then I agree.
    Hey STUPID! if Joel doesn't have much idea of how green screen works then
    Joel ain't gonna say it works great with video but not image.
    Joel, Dec 6, 2012
  12. Hey STUPID! So you're basically saying that video doesn't
    consist of images shown in a sequence. See that STUPID?

    I got that you have to repeat grammar school.

    Both apply to you. Close enough?

    Hey STUPID! If Joel says "Hey STUPID! sun rises in north"
    then that is no clue that Joel any idea where sun rises.
    Same with green screen.

    Wolfgang Weisselberg, Dec 10, 2012
  13. Dave

    Joel Guest

    Hey STUPID! you are SO STUPID to see what normal people see.
    Just like when I passing GAS into your skull (through your nose of course)
    even it's GAS but you won't smell GASOLINE
    Hey STUPID! If you can understand my BEST GRAMMAR then I sure will make
    you see how STUPID you really are.

    Hestier quienestion ete humonezen it biensen tiousorez!
    Yes, real close! STUPID!
    Joel, Dec 11, 2012
  14. Hey STUPID! So you say GAS is GASOLINE and video is not images
    in a sequence.

    Hey STUPID! Your BEST GRAMMAR is even more STUPID than you
    are --- no wonder, you invented it.
    Hakelei balbalmot kabricua dusedti!

    Yep, your parents were real close to each other, being
    brother and sister. No wonder you came out STUPID.

    Sailed right over Joel's head.

    Wolfgang Weisselberg, Dec 16, 2012
  15. Dave

    Savageduck Guest

    Hey! You guys! Cut out the Serbo-Croatian!
    Savageduck, Dec 16, 2012
  16. Just after you stop to talk North-South-Americanian.

    Wolfgang Weisselberg, Dec 16, 2012
  17. Dave

    Savageduck Guest

    There should be a word for that. ;-)
    Savageduck, Dec 16, 2012
  18. Dave

    Joel Guest

    Hey STUPID! it sounds like you really want to put yourself in fire, don't
    Hey STUPID! you got that right!
    Joel, Dec 16, 2012
  19. Wolfgang Weisselberg, Dec 18, 2012
  20. Hey STUPID! I'll put you on fire, that's better for everyone.

    Hey STUPID! That means you *love* to talk about stuff you
    have no knowledge about --- because you think that masks that
    you have no brain.

    Sailed right over Joel's head.

    WAY over Joel's head.

    Wolfgang Weisselberg, Dec 18, 2012
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