Welcome to the forum!

As an adjunct to the Tangents blog, the intention with this forum is to answer any questions, and allow a diverse discussion of topics related photography. With that, see it as an open invitation to just climb in and start threads and to respond to any threads.

Photography lighting: Can't get a proper black background

edited November 2014 in general photography
Hi everyonel, trying to get a black background and it is not getting completely black, my setting are 1/200 max sync speed for my flash; F22 for the aperture and ISO 100 the camera is a 5D mark iii lens 24-105 F4, any idea why wouldn't be getting the background black?


  • show us a picture. Are you using a black background or are you trying to not have light spill onto a background and hence it is not black/dark?

  • Neil vNNeil vN Administrator
    Hi there Alan ... 

    It is most likely that your main light is too close to the background. 

    One way to create darker backgrounds in the studio, is to move your light(s) much closer to your subject. Then the Inverse Square Law helps make the background darker. 

    Let me know if this makes sense or not?
    edited November 2014
    Hi all once again, here is one of the pictures of my daughter that I took trying to get a black background, I am using spot metering not evaluative reading and one other thing I was using was a white translucent umbrella with a speed lite attached behind it. what i am trying to achieve is a black background the same as the photo of the audi.
  • Hi

    To make sure a background is black the exposure must be 3.5 stops less than the subject. If possible move the subject further away from the background. If that is not possible a black piece of material could be bought and placed over the window.

    As said above moving the light source closer to the subject helps due to the Inverse Square Law.

    The only problem could be using an umbrella as they spreadlight all around.  

  • Neil vNNeil vN Administrator
    Also keep in mind that the car was lit from above. i.e., the light wasn't pointed in the direction of the background.

    The main issue you're facing is that your background items are too close to your light. You need more distance. 
    edited November 2014
    I've done it thank you Neil, Robbo61 and travelintrevor for all your help; here is the result I wanted to get.
Sign In or Register to comment.