Simple Portrait Trick: Turn White Walls Black for Dramatic Photos Without Post Processing (VIDEO)

Most of us occasionally shoot portraits at home, and in the absence of a real studio rely upon a white wall as the backdrop for our shots. For those on a budget, wouldn’t it be nice to do something more dramatic without spending money on a custom backdrop or fiddling around with Photoshop?

If this dilemma sounds familiar, watch the tutorial below from photographer Andrew Boey of Japan’s The Beyond Photography Academy. In just five minutes, Boey demonstrates how to turn a white wall into a solid black background without spending a dime or sitting down behind the computer.

Boey’s method involves using one off-camera remote flash and an umbrella to achieve a really nice effect without harsh shadows. And best yet, he includes the necessary exposure settings and a handy cheat sheet that you can print and save for future reference.

First, Boey photographs his model against a white wall without employing the technique described in the tutorial. For his second shot he uses a direct umbrella, which results in a gray background because of light spillage on the wall.

His third setup yields the money shot (at the top of this page), as by reversing the umbrella he achieves a perfectly black wall with a bit of rim light to slightly separate the model from the background.

Check out Boey’s YouTube channel for more cool shooting tips, as well as another tutorial of his we posted earlier, explaining spot metering techniques for perfect photos every time.

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