Black as a Background in Glamour Composites

Sometimes, compositing a glamour portrait results in a wonderful photograph, but lacks the drama of a simpler composition. Here is an perfect example of such an image of my gorgeous friend Charissa. The original background behind her was chromakey green, which has of course been masked out. The composited background here is an HDR image of the well-known Moraine Lake in Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada:

A typical glamour composite of Charissa with an HDR background.

A typical glamour composite of Charissa with an HDR background.

While experimenting with different backgrounds, I tried pure black:

A composite of Charissa with a black background.

A composite of Charissa with a black background.

In the above image, a slight vignette has been added on the bottom. Of course, this image could have been taken in a studio environment, but achieving a 100% solid black background is often difficult when there is limited space, such as in a home studio. I much prefer this version - the focus is now entirely on Charissa's great beauty.

Here is a black and white version of the same image:

Charissa in black and white.

Charissa in black and white.

In conclusion, taking time to mask the model from the studio background, then adding a totally black background is food for thought. In my hands at least, this method beats shooting the model against a black background and then touching up areas in the background that are not 100% black. Further, once the model has been masked from the original background, many different backgrounds can be tried.