Background Analysis

An ongoing evaluation of background materials and their effect upon the image aesthetic … …

The qualities which denote whether or not a background is a success are difficult to both identify and quantify – they are very subjective in nature.

This post, and all subsequent updates, is an attempt to identify those qualities, and provide a method of quantifying them.

To remove some of the subjectivity, the investigation will adopt a scientific approach: aiming at achieving repeatable and reproducible results, manipulating the independent variable, keeping all other variables constant

As an opener, an attempt to promote further discussion (and investigation), I would suggest that the qualities which make a good background in an image, are similar to those which make a good context within which to view an image, albeit for different reasons. In summary, these are as follows.

The material should be of a nature which avoids specular highlights, unless there is a specific reason why this should be the case.

Colour should avoid competing with the subject.

The background should avoid providing a distraction, for example, by being heavily patterned.

Investigations will, therefore, look at these three key areas: finish, colour and pattern.

1). Slater Harrison Colourcard, “Black Surf”, 260 gsm


Morris, 2017. Silent Killer

2). Colorama “Black” (LL CO 568)

Morris, 2017. Hasret

See also: Da Vinci on … Backgrounds

One thought on “Background Analysis

  1. Pingback: Da Vinci on … Backgrounds | The Photographic Art of Food - An MA Photography Project

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