View Full Version : Making a Photography Background

06-07-2009, 05:06 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 voilà
you have your own professional looking photo background!

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)

For comparison the same jewellery item has been on a white background and a graduated background

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

The Bijou Dragon
11-07-2009, 08:55 AM
That's a great idea, thanks :)

I also buy papers from craft shops like Hobbycraft, there are some beautiful yet understated ones that would be perfect!

19-07-2009, 04:08 PM
Thanks for the tips, I've been struggling with getting enough light on my work (3 lamps pointing at it doesn't seem to work!) so the light tent should be perfect... I never really thought about what the jewellery was being photographed on, probably because the lighting is more of an issue, but I'll definitely remember it for the future!

I usually get my geeky partner to do the rest. He uses a free editing programme called GIMP... If you can't afford photoshop its just as good, you should be able to find a download if you search it in google (its perfectly legal, don't worry), and there are some good tutorials on how to use it on youtube.

20-07-2009, 02:11 PM
normally the graduated background (an infinity curve in photography) is simply caused by the fall of in light against a curved white background and the way the camera registers light.....

20-07-2009, 02:24 PM
True = but I'm cheating :D

Di Sandland
25-07-2009, 02:14 PM
All this photography stuff is very timely for me. I'm in the process of setting up a website and want the pics to be 'just so.' My (sometimes) better half has just stopped me from spending 300 quid on a jewellery-photography set up! That's 300 quid we haven't got, I hasten to add.:o

Di x

The Bijou Dragon
25-07-2009, 05:33 PM
I have been using my Planishing block for a background of late and alot of people have been commenting how nice it looks! So much so that I'm going to go and find some brushed aluminium to use instead of my block which will only become more worn in time and lost it's appeal photography wise :)

Di Sandland
25-07-2009, 05:34 PM
Just took a look - and, yes, your planishing block does make a neat background :D

The Bijou Dragon
25-07-2009, 06:55 PM
Just took a look - and, yes, your planishing block does make a neat background :D

Thanks :D

I did it by chance just once and loved the look and then so did everyone else so it's stayed!

25-07-2009, 07:20 PM
the planishing block was a good effect perfect for earrings :D

28-07-2009, 04:40 PM
cheap mirror card from art shop underneath you work for reflections of work can look pretty cool!

05-04-2010, 01:07 PM
How many shots did you take?

05-04-2010, 01:14 PM
about 2 or 3 for each picture

13-04-2010, 02:53 PM
Thanks for the good tip. :)

I have just started to photograph my pieces either on a mannequin with a white background behind it or on a white piece of paper – then Photoshop the background.
For me the key is using a tripod to stop any hand shake getting in the way of a crisp shot!