A few years ago, when I started taking photos of more than family and sunsets, I read a tip about using black velvet for a back drop. The next time I was in a fabric store, I purchased 1 yard of black velvet. I love how it makes objects pop when they are placed on it.
So, why black velvet? The way the fibers lay on the fabric prevents velvet from reflecting light back at the camera. The background then becomes a nice, solid color. In the photo below, you can see how the fabric absorbs the light.
When I’m taking a photo of a smaller object, I usually throw the velvet on one of my counter height kitchen chairs. This becomes a mini mobile photography studio. I can move the chair around to get the best light, and it is super quick to set up. All things that make an impromptu photo session at midnight go quite smoothly…which may or may not have happened in the making of this post.
This next photo shows how I am using the back of the chair as the back drop, but left enough fabric on the seat so that I could have the same solid color all around my porcelain creamer. The contrast is good, and the lines around the creamer are crisp. If you plan on taking photos of larger items, or a number of items at the same time, I would go with a larger piece of velvet.
I use this technique when I am taking photos of something with a busy pattern, or something I want to isolate, making the subject the only thing you see. When I took the photo of the Shout Stain Remover a few days ago, I used the black velvet because the can was pretty busy visually. Here, I took a tighter shot of my creamer. I like how clean everything looks, and how you are focusing on the details of the creamer instead being distracted by a busy or dirty background.
What are some of your favorite photography hints? Do you have a DSLR, or a point and shoot? What are some of your favorite things to take photos of?
Day 1: Pizza
Day 2: Shoes
Day 3: Shout Stain Remover
Day 4: The Ability to Vote
Day 5: NASCAR
Day 6: Black Velvet for Photography
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