View Full Version : Making a Photography Background

07-02-2009, 07:10 PM
I thought this quick explanation of how to make your own graduated background in Photoshop (or similar) might come in useful to people :)
It'll save you £££'s against buying one!

You need:
1 x Sheet of Matt Photographic paper (ideally A4)
1 x Ink-jet or Laser-jet printer
1 x Photo programme (e.g. Photoshop)

1) Set your paper size to A4 (210 × 297 mm)
2) Use the Colour selector to select the Colours you'd like your gradient to be (e.g. Black & White)
3) Select the gradient tool (on photoshop it's behind the paint bucket tool)
4) Fill a selection by clicking and dragging the pointer across the canvas or selection. The larger the drag the more gradual the gradient will be. All of the control of the tool lies in the dragging of the pointer. Pressing and holding the shift key will create perfectly aligned gradients.

Have a play with whatever programme you're using their are normally a few options for different gradient styles.....

When you're happy print it out onto the photo paper and voilą
you have your own professional looking photo background! :D
Here's an example of something I took using mine (I selected the darker area of the gradient but by using an A4 sheet you can also select a lighter gradient)
The pics aren't up to studio standard but with the help of a cheapo ebay light tent and some good lighting you can get some great results....

Nic xxx

08-02-2009, 10:18 PM
As a comparison here's the same jewellery item on a white background and a graduated background :)
http://www.muranosilver.com/images/loveandbelovedsmall.jpg http://www.muranosilver.com/images/loveandbelovedwht.jpg http://www.muranosilver.com/images/swirlfrontsmall.jpg http://www.muranosilver.com/images/loveandbelovedreverse.jpg

Nic xx

09-02-2009, 10:08 AM
what is a light tent and how does it work?

09-02-2009, 10:11 AM
Thanks for sharing that, your pics look amazing! It is suprising how much diference it makes when you compare the two!

09-02-2009, 10:33 AM
Glad you found it useful claireybear
& thank you for the "Rep" Linda60 & greannancrafts :)

what is a light tent and how does it work?

A light tent is a translucent box that allows you to shine lights on a piece (or put outside one a well lit day) without getting all the unwanted reflections.

Here's an ebay listing with one in, the tent on it's own can be picked up for under £20 :)
http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Photo-Studio-32-Light-Tent-Continuous-Lighting-UK_W0QQitemZ200305124640QQcmdZViewItemQQptZUK_Phot ography_StudioEquipment_RL?hash=item200305124640&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14&_trkparms=72%3A1121%7C66%3A2%7C65%3A12%7C39%3A1%7C 240%3A1308

Nic xx

09-02-2009, 11:14 AM
blimey just what i need - thanks!!

09-02-2009, 01:49 PM
Thanks for the background tips - they look amazing! I really need to look at re-doing my pictures as they're really letting my site down so thank you!

Does anyone else/can you use a lightbox for anythign other than jewellery does anyone know? E.g I've got FIMO models - would they be good in a lightbox do we know???

09-02-2009, 01:56 PM
If you follow that ebay link above and scroll right down to the bottom of the listing there's some pictures taken in the light tent including pairs of shoes and handbags lol. So fimo models should prove no problem :)

I suppose if you bought some white muslin and made a strong wire frame you could make your own light box even cheaper (I wonder how many of you are now off to raid your wardrobe for coat hangers!!).

Addition: Here's a link I found for making your own cardboard box light tent http://digital-photography-school.com/how-to-make-a-inexpensive-light-tent
It's not as easy to tidy away as the folding £20 ones but it's a darn site cheaper!

Nic xx

09-02-2009, 06:34 PM
Thanks for this tutorial. It's really simple and easy - am going to have a play myself and sort out my photos.

09-02-2009, 09:56 PM
Oh wow - that's really cool - thank you so much!! Now, do I go for the cheap option or the easy one.. :D

09-02-2009, 11:05 PM
The advice you give Nic is always good, well done and thanks.



27-05-2009, 12:39 PM
What a great tutorial and so simple. thanks

27-05-2009, 05:26 PM
Hey, that's really good, thank you. As someone who isn't too keen on black backgrounds, the graduated one looks really good. But if you print it out on photographic paper, is it shiny?

05-04-2010, 11:57 AM
Various Photo Background Packs like nature background photo, session background photo, Las Vegas background photos are available at photostudiosupplies.com/photo-backgrounds-image-packs.php

Daffodil fairy
11-04-2010, 11:11 AM
Just wanted to thank Nic ( and subsequent 'threaders'(?)for the excellent info. I was just about to start photographing for my website when I came upon this thread-didn't know what a light tent was and hadn't even thought of the concept of photographing in this way. It works a treat and the photo's that I have taken look far more professioal than I could have hoped.


Victoria x

Creative Spell
15-12-2012, 12:03 AM
Very clever - thanks for sharing!

26-02-2013, 08:02 AM
This is what I have been looking for .. thanks for sharing