Introduction: Photographing Small Objects and Need a Background?

Create your own colours, textures or even use pictures as backgrounds.

Step 1: Make a Background Image on Your Laptop

I made this background in Photoshop, but you can use anything you like.
Save it so you can fill the screen with it in the next step.

Step 2: Put Your Laptop Behind Your Subject.

The wine glass is the foreground subject. The blue and yellow background for it is fills the laptop screen.

Step 3: Photograph What You See With Your Camera

-- A macro (close-up) setting may help.

-- If you light the subject, stop it spilling onto the screen by choosing the direction carefully (e.g. no frontal flash).

-- Watch out for digital artefacts (patterns or lines) on the background if it is too sharply focussed (see also comments from others).


Puzzledd (author)2011-01-09

Clever idea. I like to photograph my sea monkeys with different backgrounds, and so far I've just used coloured paper. I'll try this- it even gives some backlighting :)

peterbryenton (author)Puzzledd2011-01-10

Thanks. Let me see some of your results sometime please.

Prfesser (author)2009-12-22

Very clever!  I have a large screen that I'll be able to use for bigger objects.  This is going to be quite useful for me!

peterbryenton (author)Prfesser2009-12-22

Pleased to hear that. Do please post some of your results.

AngryRedhead (author)2009-12-21
Clever idea, but I can see the lines on the screen.  Maybe with a lower f-stop, it would work better?

 Well spotted, thank you. You're absolutely right: setting a shallower depth of field would be the way to go. Please do let me know how you get on with that.


P.S. There's also the risk of a Moire pattern being generated by the interaction of the screen pixels and the camera chip. Then the pixels get re-sized in the digital image editing app, so there's a whole lot going with lines in the picture.

I think any method of "defocussing" the background image is worthwhile exploring. Over to you, folks.


Maybe putting a piece of translucent paper/plastic over the screen to blur the image?


Good suggestion: worth trying, thanks. Let me know how that goes, please.

Phil B (author)2009-12-21

This is a clever way to use what you have to get what you need.

peterbryenton (author)Phil B2009-12-22

Thank you.

Weissensteinburg (author)2009-12-21

haha...that's pretty smart


 Thank you.

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