Last year when I tried this, I did it by the book to get a perfectly black background – and then the technique sat in my back pocket until now. This year I wanted to experiment with backgrounds to see if I could do the same thing on the fly – no perfect black hole to shoot into, more complicated subjects (like kids)… I found that when I prioritized the black background, like the one above, my subject was in really harsh, flat light (read: not the light I want!) The kids totally didn’t work – they were washed out and flat, and the backgrounds were not really that black… I’m thinking this has to be a little staged to work. I’m glad I’m more comfortable with the concept though – at least I can be more aware of my backgrounds, and I like the look with flowers! Turns out sunlight is a little more forgiving on flowers than faces…

f/5.6, 1/4000, ISO 800, SOOC

oh… maybe part of the issue was trying to shoot in sunlight with ISO 800…. whoops!