Thank-you Thomas and Donald. I'm glad to hear they're being enjoyed and not just gathering cyberdust.
I'm going to try to share what (I think) I know now, so if someone recognizes where I'm wrong feel free to correct me.
I used to toy with the paintbrush in photoshop elements and create black backgrounds, but it just wasn't worth the time. Most in those galleries that have black backgrounds were in filtered light. That high contrast that we're all avoiding in bright sunlight actually helps when the brights aren't quite so bright. When rays are hitting very few objects, those in the light are very bright and in order to expose the brights properly the darks end up very dark. I usually keep my exposure compensation a few steps down, because darks can be recovered while blown highlights are very difficult (if not impossible) to recover.
Also, I like to use zoom lenses which make it easier to find a background that you like, because the perspective doesn't change when I want to fill the frame with a subject. If I had to be right on top of the subject the perspective would change. Things that were distant and indistinct would then be clearer and make a distracting background.
I don't really know how to explain this. It's one of those things that I just learned to feel. I hope some of it makes sense.
The Mio shots with black blackgrounds actually had a black backdrop erected behind them. It's a welcome tool to find at a show!
--- In email@example.com, "d7432da" <donald@...> wrote:
> Lots of beautiful pics, Brock. Lots of variety too among plants (and some animals too). Question. How do you get those photos with the background completely black? Does a photo program do that or is there a method to do that when taking the photograph?
> Donald Eaves
> Texas Zone 7b, USA