Invisible Backdrop

by Camellia Staab March. 22, 2019 404 views

A while back photographer Glyn Dewis conceived a process whereas with just a few adjustments in one's camera setting and a speedlight , one could create an invisible black backdrop.

I have been using his process along with a speedlight snoot, on and off, for some time since it produces a moody, low key image, which is my favorite type of photography.

I decided to use this technique in capturing some photos of the Beta fish (es)*️ that have been residing in our house and the results are what you see.

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The image below is what the bowl looks like without the magic black backdrop (this was edited (lightened) since I forgot to take a before/after picture).

captured without the magic black backdrop.

captured without the magic black backdrop.

*️ Orange Beta died overnight due to photographer's negligence.😔😔

If you have never used this technique, you should give it a try. It is a fun way to create a beautiful photograph with studio quality lighting and a subject against a black backdrop.

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Andi Saw 6 months, 2 weeks ago

I want a betta! blue heart

6 months, 2 weeks ago Edited
Camellia Staab Replied to Andi Saw 6 months, 2 weeks ago

I have no doubt you will add it to your menagerie real soon smile

6 months, 2 weeks ago Edited
Andi Saw Replied to Camellia Staab 6 months, 2 weeks ago

It was my plan, but then Life happened smile

6 months, 2 weeks ago Edited
Jane Arrietty 6 months, 3 weeks ago

So fantastic! Very beautiful, nice work.

6 months, 3 weeks ago Edited
Camellia Staab Replied to Jane Arrietty 6 months, 3 weeks ago

Thank you Jane smile

6 months, 3 weeks ago Edited
Russell Smith 6 months, 3 weeks ago

Stunning photos. I am curious about the speedlight snoot . Where did you find one and was it a reasonable price. I have been wanting something like this because there are a number of times that this would have made life easier .

6 months, 3 weeks ago Edited
Camellia Staab Replied to Russell Smith 6 months, 3 weeks ago

Russell this is the one I have
 https://www.amazon.com/Rogue-Photographic-Design-ROGUERELG2-FlashBender/dp/B00SYIW756

But you can also make one using an empty can of Pringles chips. Just have to cut out one end to fit over your flash.

6 months, 3 weeks ago Edited
Russell Smith Replied to Camellia Staab 6 months, 3 weeks ago

Thank you I will just have to remember to not throw away the can the next time we get some hehe.

6 months, 3 weeks ago Edited
Radha Mistry 6 months, 3 weeks ago

Stunning fish and pictures!

6 months, 3 weeks ago Edited
Camellia Staab Replied to Radha Mistry 6 months, 3 weeks ago

Thank you Radha smile

6 months, 3 weeks ago Edited
Laurie Madsen 6 months, 3 weeks ago

These are fantastic Camellia!
I don't have a speedlite, but I love to do this with existing sunlight!
This is a beautiful series and wonderful examples!

6 months, 3 weeks ago Edited
Camellia Staab Replied to Laurie Madsen 6 months, 3 weeks ago

Thank you Laurie I appreciate your comments smile

6 months, 3 weeks ago Edited
Laurie Madsen Replied to Camellia Staab 6 months, 3 weeks ago

+1

6 months, 3 weeks ago Edited
Heidi Egerman 6 months, 3 weeks ago

These are soo creative. I've never used a speed light before. I think I've been a bit afraid of them. Looks like it would be worth checking out.

6 months, 3 weeks ago Edited
Camellia Staab Replied to Heidi Egerman 6 months, 3 weeks ago

Heidi I forced myself to use mine and now I love the control I have over the light when trying to shoot moody pictures. I have photographer friend that uses his all the time, inside and outside, I don't think I will go that far, but  when I am shooting stills it really works well.

6 months, 3 weeks ago Edited
Heidi Egerman Replied to Camellia Staab 6 months, 3 weeks ago

Thanks. I’m putting it on my list of things to try. I do love controlling the light versus chasing it.

6 months, 3 weeks ago Edited
Sydney Solomon 6 months, 3 weeks ago

Very nice work. I am now trying to create this effect digitally it is a challenge.

6 months, 3 weeks ago Edited
Camellia Staab Replied to Sydney Solomon 6 months, 3 weeks ago

Looking forward to your picture Sydney.

6 months, 3 weeks ago Edited
Lynn F Medley 6 months, 3 weeks ago

Stunning!!

6 months, 3 weeks ago Edited
Camellia Staab Replied to Lynn F Medley 6 months, 3 weeks ago

Thank you Lynn smile

6 months, 3 weeks ago Edited
Björn Roose 6 months, 3 weeks ago

Same technique you used for the hands holding the book, right ? No idea how you do it (and a bit too tired to look it up now), but it looks great smile

6 months, 3 weeks ago Edited
Camellia Staab Replied to Björn Roose 6 months, 3 weeks ago

Yes Bjorn, except I did not use a snoot on the "hand" image, just had  the flash on a stand at a 45 degree angle.

6 months, 3 weeks ago Edited
Björn Roose Replied to Camellia Staab 6 months, 3 weeks ago

I love it when you talk Latin, dear Camellia smile

6 months, 3 weeks ago Edited
Camellia Staab Replied to Björn Roose 6 months, 3 weeks ago

🤣🤣🤣🤣

6 months, 3 weeks ago Edited
Camellia Staab Replied to Björn Roose 6 months, 3 weeks ago

Nut case on the lose smile

6 months, 3 weeks ago Edited
Björn Roose Replied to Camellia Staab 6 months, 3 weeks ago

I was going to say 'dirty' instead of 'Latin', but I really meant 'technical'. Lost you somewhere at 'snoot' ...

6 months, 3 weeks ago Edited
Camellia Staab Replied to Björn Roose 6 months, 3 weeks ago

The easiest way to explain is through pictures    
https://www.diyphotography.net/diy-homemade-speedlite-snoot/

6 months, 3 weeks ago Edited
Lee Santiva Replied to Camellia Staab 6 months, 3 weeks ago

The 2 links were very helpful for me as I also didn‘t know what a snoot is/was. I only know the word „snooty“ but that has nothing to do with photography

6 months, 3 weeks ago Edited
Camellia Staab Replied to Lee Santiva 6 months, 3 weeks ago

Actually Lee snooty and snoot are distant cousins of each other. Each referring to one's snout (nose). So if someone is snooty their "nose" is stuck up and a snoot is like a trunk (elephant nose) on a flash.

Now I feel like the father in the movie "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" where he is always trying to find a connection between English words and Greek words and how they are related. If you have seen the movie you can understand what I mean, if you have not , I do recommend it is quite funny especially the first one. smile

6 months, 3 weeks ago Edited
Björn Roose Replied to Camellia Staab 6 months, 3 weeks ago

Thanks, teacher smile Stupid thing is: I have such a thing, it came with my Nikon, and I have no clue where I have put it ...

6 months, 3 weeks ago Edited
Camellia Staab Replied to Björn Roose 6 months, 3 weeks ago

Bjorn what you have that came with the Nikon (if it was not a special purchase) is not the same. What came with the Nikon is a hood and if I am correct the opening is pretty wide and the length of the whole barrel not that long. Some people use it on their lenses to keep sun flares out as well as keep the lens safer. The one I have is this....
https://www.amazon.com/Rogue-Photographic-Design-ROGUERELG2-FlashBender/dp/B00SYIW756

It can be used as a diffuser  or as a snoot. You can even use a Pringles ( chips/crisps) can as a snoot if you cut open both ends.
And that is the end of today's lesson 😉

6 months, 3 weeks ago Edited
Björn Roose Replied to Camellia Staab 6 months, 3 weeks ago

Okay, my snoot is not a snoot confused

6 months, 3 weeks ago Edited
Lee Santiva 6 months, 3 weeks ago

Amazing colors and images! Thanks especially for photo#13 Behind the scenes

6 months, 3 weeks ago Edited
Camellia Staab Replied to Lee Santiva 6 months, 3 weeks ago

Thank you Lee smile

6 months, 3 weeks ago Edited
Jay Boggess 6 months, 3 weeks ago

WOW!!!! Wonderful images. The colors , details and dramatic lighting, using this technique, produced some really strikingly, otherworldly images! Thanks for the tip! 
Oh......and di I say WOWOWOWOWOW???? (((GRIN)))

6 months, 3 weeks ago Edited
Camellia Staab Replied to Jay Boggess 6 months, 3 weeks ago

Too kind Jay, but thank you anyway smile

6 months, 3 weeks ago Edited
Jay Boggess Replied to Camellia Staab 6 months, 3 weeks ago

Always a pleasure, Sis!

6 months, 3 weeks ago Edited
Sherry Hill 6 months, 3 weeks ago

these are so gorgeous.. i am so interested in low key photography, but am having a hard time wrapping my brain around it.. i don't have an external flash and my camera flash just won't work properly.. i get black images every time.. 
ah, i will keep trying.. 
your photos are such an inspiration..

6 months, 3 weeks ago Edited
Camellia Staab Replied to Sherry Hill 6 months, 3 weeks ago

Sherry you don't need an expensive flash. Neewer has flashes for around $30 and a transmitter can run around $20. You will need a transmitter only if your camera's flash can be the commander, that way you can use the flash off camera.

6 months, 3 weeks ago Edited
Sherry Hill Replied to Camellia Staab 6 months, 3 weeks ago

thanks for that info.. my cameras internal flash has been out of sync for awhile now.. i can't even take normal flash photos with it..  i will check out neewer.. thanks!

6 months, 3 weeks ago Edited
Bob Rosenberg 6 months, 3 weeks ago

It does look interesting.  Where is there info on how this is done?

6 months, 3 weeks ago Edited
Camellia Staab Replied to Bob Rosenberg 6 months, 3 weeks ago

Bob if you click on Glyn Dewis' name up on top where my narrative is located, it will take to Glyn's page with instructions. The only difference between his and mine is that I use a snoot on my flash so as to direct where I want the beam of light to go.

6 months, 3 weeks ago Edited
Bob Rosenberg Replied to Camellia Staab 6 months, 3 weeks ago

Got it Camellia.  Thanks. I'll give it a try soon.

6 months, 3 weeks ago Edited
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