Learning to Create Black Backgrounds with a Flash

Shortly after getting my DSLR earlier this year I saw a video at Modern Lens Magazine on creating black backgrounds anywhere. I decided to give it a try using a small dancing angel figure my daughter has.


It was not hard to do but I did learn some lessons.

The thing is less than a foot tall and I was shooting it on the floor. The flash lit up the floor around the figure somewhat spoiling the black background effect.

I was too close to the wall behind the figure and the flash lit it just a bit too.

To compensate for that I reduced my flash power and shot a slightly underexposed image. The image was dark so I used Lightroom to brightened the highlights and whites and dropped the blacks and shadows even more. The floor was still somewhat visible so I had to use an adjustment brush in to drop the exposure in that area (another alternative for a complete black background but it is more work).

Still need to play with the technique when I’ve got a larger room and a subject that’s much taller and not right on the floor.

Some earlier test shots at my desk using the technique.