Photography: Surfaces And Backgrounds I Like

surfaces and backgrounds in photography

I often receive a question from you, dear readers, asking what kind of surface or background I used in this or that photo. These questions led me to an idea that it could be fun to share the pictures of surfaces and backgrounds I like to use… so, here they are.

The first picture shows my probably most often used photo surface, a simple wooden table from Ikea that I bought many years ago. It actually moves with me wherever I move and it serves as my office or studio focal point. I love that little table.

 
 

surfaces and backgrounds

What I probably like best about it is its natural look and honey-like color. I like that color a lot and I think it makes the pictures look soft and cute.

 
 

surfaces and backgrounds in photography

I have used my good old table in many photo shoots – like here

 
 

surfaces and backgrounds in photography

… or here.

 
 

surfaces and backgrounds in photography

Since I really love wood and I am a big fan of wooden paneled surfaces (even the header of my site tells this very clearly), I bought these wooden babies about a year ago (you can get them in any good home store, like Home Depot in the USA or Baumax in Europe; the good people there can even cut them for you in any size you want). My official plan was to fit them together at home and use them as one piece, but, for some reason, I did not find the time neither the nails to do that.

 
 

surfaces and backgrounds 6

Just lately it occurred to me that there’s actually no need to fit them together. I can easily place them on top of any surface (floor or table) and they will work just fine. And on top of that, they are much easier to store this way – as individual panels.

 
 

surfaces and backgrounds in photography

And you know what? I really really really love using my wooden panels. You can find them in many of my pictures … like here

 
 

surfaces and backgrounds in photography

… or here

 
 

surfaces and backgrounds in photography

… or here

 
 

surfaces and backgrounds in photography

… or here.

 
 

surfaces and backgrounds in photography

As time went by and I got more and more inspired by darker backgrounds in photography, I decided to get something like that into my life too.

So I gathered up some dark-brown wooden exterior home paint, a brush and a protective plastic sheeting, …

 
 

surfaces and backgrounds in photography

… I laid out my old planks …

 
 

surfaces and backgrounds in photography

… and I did it. In other words, I applied three coats of color to one side of each of my wooden panels.

 
 

surfaces and backgrounds in photography

Oh, how I loved the result. A dream come true! Now my wooden panels can work as a bright and dark background too.

 
 

surfaces and backgrounds in photography

I have been happily testing my new dark background in the past few weeks and I’ve been utterly impressed by the results.

 
 

surfaces and backgrounds in photography

Ahhh, it really makes my heart sing to see something new after years and years of using bright surfaces mostly. Change is good!

 
 

surfaces and backgrounds in photography

Love!

Oh, and this picture brings me to another area of photography that I wanted to mention – backgrounds.

 
 

surfaces and backgrounds in photography

This picture shows how the previous photo was taken. A kind of ‘behind the scenes’. 🙂

Since the natural space in my shooting corner does not offer the neatest background options, in the past I spent hours and hours thinking and trying to figure out the right solution to that situation. Luckily, one happy day, as I was walking the endless isles of Ikea, a gorgeous idea struck me – what if I used a clothes rack for this purpose? It is an inexpensive and really perfect solution!!

 
 

surfaces and backgrounds in photography

So I brought one of Ikea’s clothes racks home and have been happily using it since then.

I have already used a large sheet of colored paper as a background.

 
 

surfaces and backgrounds in photography

And I have also tried to use a dark fabric too.

 
 

surfaces and backgrounds

Here’s the result.

 
 

surfaces and backgrounds in photography

When it comes to backgrounds and surfaces, I would really love to mention this simple solution, my good old buddy, the Lowel EGO Sweep.

 
 

surfaces and backgrounds in photography

The sweep is a table-top background support stand and it comes with many colored paper backgrounds.

 
 

surfaces and backgrounds in photography

I have used it many times … like here…

 
 

surfaces and backgrounds in photography

… or here.

 
 

surfaces and backgrounds in photography

Oh, and of course, then there are fabrics. They can be used as surfaces, backgrounds, props … anything. I love my fabrics. My collection comes from Ikea and the local fabric store. And as with any other props, there’s never enough, that I know for sure. We’ve definitely entered a little addictive area of my life here. 🙂

 
 

surfaces and backgrounds in photography

I used some cute fabrics in my pictures here

 
 

surfaces and backgrounds in photography

here

 
 

surfaces and backgrounds in photography

… or here.

Well, thank you for letting me share my thoughts on surfaces and backgrounds I like.

Feel free to let us know about any ideas you have in the comment section of this post!

Wishing you a great day!

Love,
Petra

 

Photography – Photo Editing with RadLab

tulip - totally rad presets - before and after comparison

Lately I’ve received quite a few questions asking me what my photo editing process looks like. This got me thinking about how many stages in photo processing I have actually gone through.

A few months ago I put together this post about my favorite retouching techniques.

And just recently I found a real gem. It is a cute set of actions (or ‘stylets’) called RadLab. And I ADORE that thing! The actions/stylets are super-easy to use and make the whole photo editing process really quick and enjoyable.

Here are a few example for you to compare…

 
 

chocolate - rad lab presets - before and after comparison

 
 

cake - rad lab action - before and after

 
 

dogs and gardne - rad lab action - before and after

 
 

truffles - rad lab actions - before and after

What do you think? Do you like the difference?

Love,
Petra

 

Sometimes…

Sometimes I find myself in the mood… to put this world into a different angle.

Sometimes I’m in the mood to take vengeance on this world by sucking all color out of it.

There you go…

Sometimes my mood is not so harsh and I give this world a slight ‘vintage’ chance.

And sometimes I get just amazed by how much power I have over this world…