Green Screen Photography
I recently had a client who wanted photos of her and her business partners in front of a background that could be replaced in post-production. This is called Chroma-Key technology or Green Screen. Basically a green colored background is used (blue works also) for the photo. This makes it easier for a graphic artist to drop out the image and place it on another background/ in a new setting.
In the first example here, they wanted to show the principals in a setting that best represented their business offering. Their graphic artist created a collage with two other images, added the company logo and inserted text.
Sounds easy enough…here are a few things you should know.
- A green screen is just a colored seamless paper available at most photo stores.
- Make sure your subject is at least 5 feet from the background. You do not want the green to bounce back onto their skin or hair.
- Light the background evenly using the same exposure as the subject in front. You will thank yourself when it comes time to select it.
- Light the subject with as much shadow as you wish.
- Use a complimentary color as a rim light on the back of your subject. This will help with flair lighting that shows through hair.
In the second example here, the customer had individuals who were not local and were therefore having their picture taken elsewhere. To provide a cohesive look, all photos were taken on a green screen. This allowed their graphic artist to insert the same generic background for all portraits providing a unified look.
Be prepared to spend some time in Photoshop selecting and masking out the background as this technology was developed for video where the image quality is not as critical. How long it takes depends on the expertise of your graphic artist…it can take awhile if they don’t do this on a regular basis.