White backgrounds show a lot of shadows and imperfections, and something white against something white doesn't really show a lot of detail. However, something white against something black can really highlight the details that might have otherwise been missed, and it's dead easy to create a black background, too.
This Instructable shows how to create a black background in a photograph quickly and inexpensively, and while the examples involve plants, this method is not exclusive to gardening photography of specimens. It can be easily used for photographing items, people, and animals. Probably the best part of this method though is that there is very little editing needed.
To create a perfectly white background, please check out my latest Instructable and get tips on making subjects look shiny and wet!
Step 1: Materials for Outdoor Shots
You will need a sunny day with long shadows and architectural shade (e.g., a building or a car). If you do not have a dark surface, you will probably want something black to put on the ground such as a sheet of black poster board or black fabric.
Step 2: Positioning the Outdoor Shot
Place any necessary black material underneath or behind the item in the shade.
Angle your camera to capture the item with the black, shaded background filling the frame. This might take a few tries to get the angle and arrangement just so.
Once you have the shot, skip to Step 5.