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Photographer
WCR3
Posts: 967
Houston, Texas, US


I was watching a webinar recently on posing and lighting for classic portrait photography. It was pretty standard stuff, but at the end the presenter (who had probably 40-50 years of experience) was asked about the best background colors for portraits.

Without skipping a beat he said "Green!" and went on to explain that it makes all skin types, from African Americans to Scandinavians, look good.

He didn't say what shade of green, but in context I'm pretty sure he was not talking about chroma key green.

Intrigued, I looked through about twenty MM VIP and standard portfolios and couldn't find a single example of shooting with a green background except outdoor foliage and grass, both of which have potential problems with reflected green tinting of the model's skin.

So, finally, here are the questions: Does anyone out there in MM Land regularly use green background material, either seamless or fabric? What shade do you use? And if you have images in your MM portfolio, would you provide a link?
Mar 26 13 08:56 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
WMcK
Posts: 5,228
Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom


DP
Mar 26 13 09:00 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
WMcK
Posts: 5,228
Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom


That's just one man's opinion. It's as valid or invalid as anyone else's, but very few would seem to agree with him.
Mar 26 13 09:01 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
D-Light
Posts: 546
Newcastle, Limerick, Ireland


I use green seamless paper regularly. It's Lastolite grass green. Customers often are unsure but when they see the images are usually pleased. The most common remark is that it has a relaxing look.

I also use it for glamour and it looks well.

http://www.modelmayhem.com/portfolio/pic/31347415

The colour on the floor is the actual colour of the paper.

If you plan extracting the subject, don't directly light the background and it's easy after that, well easier anyway.
Mar 26 13 09:05 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
WCR3
Posts: 967
Houston, Texas, US


Very nice, and thanks for the link. By the way are leprechauns green or is it just their clothes? We don't have many around here ;-)
Mar 26 13 10:29 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
WMcK
Posts: 5,228
Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom


WCR3 wrote:
Very nice, and thanks for the link. By the way are leprechauns green or is it just their clothes? We don't have many around here ;-)

Just their clothes!

Mar 26 13 10:38 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Robert Jewett
Posts: 2,428
al-Marsā, Tunis, Tunisia


When I was in school (psych major), they specifically mentioned the impact of green in art.  I was taught to avoid large sections of it as it makes humans nauseous.  Dogs are not affected, however.

Then again, in the 90's they were still teaching that males and females are exactly the same psychologically.  We all know what BS that is. smile
Mar 26 13 10:45 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
WCR3
Posts: 967
Houston, Texas, US


Well, it looks like the old "pro" giving the webinar was voicing an opinion that's not shared by many.

Robert Jewett wrote:
When I was in school (psych major), they specifically mentioned the impact of green in art.  I was taught to avoid large sections of it as it makes humans nauseous.  Dogs are not affected, however.

Dogs probably aren't affected because they don't see colors, only monochrome.

Mar 26 13 02:24 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Raoul Isidro Images
Posts: 5,930
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia


WCR3 wrote:
Does anyone out there in MM Land regularly use green background material, either seamless or fabric? What shade do you use? And if you have images in your MM portfolio, would you provide a link?

http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/100626/02/4c25cc8144ef5.jpg

Link:
http://www.modelmayhem.com/portfolio/pic/18299859

.

Mar 26 13 02:53 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Kent Art Photography
Posts: 2,649
Ashford, England, United Kingdom


Blue makes skin look cold.  Red makes skin look warm.  Green makes skin look - well, green.

I don't know of anyone who who uses a green background on a regular basis, and I would never recommend it.
Mar 26 13 03:01 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Raoul Isidro Images
Posts: 5,930
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia


http://mms.ibsrv.net/images/Modelmayhem_head.jpg

.
Mar 26 13 03:12 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Kent Art Photography
Posts: 2,649
Ashford, England, United Kingdom


Raoul Isidro Images wrote:
http://mms.ibsrv.net/images/Modelmayhem_head.jpg

.

Of course, the photographer there chose to blow out the green background so that it didn't have any effect on the model.

The OP quotes someone who clearly does not blow out his backgrounds.

Mar 26 13 03:33 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
deletedxxx
Posts: 149
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia


Robert Jewett wrote:
When I was in school (psych major), they specifically mentioned the impact of green in art.  I was taught to avoid large sections of it as it makes humans nauseous.  Dogs are not affected, however.

Then again, in the 90's they were still teaching that males and females are exactly the same psychologically.  We all know what BS that is. smile

That is so species-ist!
Why did they only test the effect on dogs?They should have asked cats, parrots and goldfish how they felt when they looked at the colour green, they live inside and have to look at the artwork too!

big_smile
seriously the whole world makes me lol.

Mar 26 13 03:48 pm  Link  Quote 
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Photographer
Giacomo Cirrincioni
Posts: 20,904
New York, New York, US


I don't think he was referring to green seamless.  If he has a traditional grounding in the arts, and he's talking classic portraiture, what he's talking about is a greenISH hand painted canvas.

Like this:

http://www.dennymfg.com/BackdropDetails … d4baddb137

Myself, I prefer brown tones if using such a canvas.
Mar 26 13 04:44 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
NothingIsRealButTheGirl
Posts: 31,986
Los Angeles, California, US


Giacomo Cirrincioni wrote:
I don't think he was referring to green seamless.  If he has a traditional grounding in the arts, and he's talking classic portraiture, what he's talking about is a greenISH hand painted canvas.

Like this:

http://www.dennymfg.com/BackdropDetails … d4baddb137

Myself, I prefer brown tones if using such a canvas.

I saw the webinar myself (Frank Dispensa/Sekonic)and you are definitely on the right track here.

He was talking about classic paintings.

Mar 26 13 04:55 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
NothingIsRealButTheGirl
Posts: 31,986
Los Angeles, California, US


http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_Q2z1M3wzz-Q/S52zUrrHiQI/AAAAAAAAAJo/AFBUu0EShi4/s400/Kuler_orange_teal.jpg

The modern cinematic equivalent is the much loved and much reviled 'orange and teal' palette.
Mar 26 13 04:57 pm  Link  Quote 
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Photographer
Giacomo Cirrincioni
Posts: 20,904
New York, New York, US


The Space Cowboy wrote:

I saw the webinar myself and you are definitely on the right track here.

He was talking about classic paintings.

If I remember correctly I believe the school of thought that promoted this followed the same logic that we use when shooting green screen - noting on people, except sometimes the irises, is green.  This causes the sitter to pop off the background.  It's actually for this very reason that I prefer brown tones, I like the more unified pallet.

Mar 26 13 04:59 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
WCR3
Posts: 967
Houston, Texas, US


The Space Cowboy wrote:

I saw the webinar myself (Frank Dispensa/Sekonic)and you are definitely on the right track here.

He was talking about classic paintings.

Yep, it was the Sekonic webinar with Dispensa. Based on everything here so far, I'm not rushing out to buy a green background. But I might use green gels on a black background if I can ever find a redhead to shoot ;-)

Mar 26 13 07:11 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Good Egg Productions
Posts: 15,075
Orlando, Florida, US


I GIS'd "portrait photo".  About 1 in 100 was a green background with the clear majority being some tone of gray.  Some white, some black, some blue.

It appears this person is doing something that almost no one else does.
Mar 26 13 07:20 pm  Link  Quote 
guide forum
Photographer
Giacomo Cirrincioni
Posts: 20,904
New York, New York, US


Good Egg Productions wrote:
I GIS'd "portrait photo".  About 1 in 100 was a green background with the clear majority being some tone of gray.  Some white, some black, some blue.

It appears this person is doing something that almost no one else does.

Again, I'm assuming he was talking about classical portraiture in painting (commissioned).

Mar 26 13 07:36 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
NothingIsRealButTheGirl
Posts: 31,986
Los Angeles, California, US


Good Egg Productions wrote:
I GIS'd "portrait photo".  About 1 in 100 was a green background with the clear majority being some tone of gray.  Some white, some black, some blue.

It appears this person is doing something that almost no one else does.

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-FkZRc-o5HMs/TkaKb2QiXxI/AAAAAAAAB1M/upbJsOUwHBQ/s400/Color+correction+AFter+effects.jpg

How many are pushing the neutrals green in post?

Mar 26 13 07:37 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
David Parsons
Posts: 972
Quincy, Massachusetts, US


The Space Cowboy wrote:

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-FkZRc-o5HMs/TkaKb2QiXxI/AAAAAAAAB1M/upbJsOUwHBQ/s400/Color+correction+AFter+effects.jpg

How many are pushing the neutrals green in post?

It's become popular in movies to push things green to effect a certain mood.  It all stems from The Matrix.  Every scene where they were in the Matrix had as much green added as possible, and as much blue removed as possible to show a kind of sickly environment.

Mar 26 13 07:54 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Carle Photography
Posts: 9,227
Oakland, California, US


A client requested green a while back for a shoot.
(15 different people, simple head shots)
It is a bright cherry color, and went well with all skin tones.

As long as you have the model away from the BG then you won't have any color bleed.


http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/121020/20/50836687a1624_m.jpg

*Green is not my go to color, but what was fun is all the different photos sure did pop  out from all the traditional duller BG shades that people use.
Mar 26 13 08:00 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Images By Joseph
Posts: 866
Naperville, Illinois, US


D-Light wrote:
I use green seamless paper regularly. It's Lastolite grass green. Customers often are unsure but when they see the images are usually pleased. The most common remark is that it has a relaxing look.

I also use it for glamour and it looks well.

http://www.modelmayhem.com/portfolio/pic/31347415

The colour on the floor is the actual colour of the paper.

If you plan extracting the subject, don't directly light the background and it's easy after that, well easier anyway.

Did not think a green background could look this good - not a bad model also!
Thanks for sharing - something new to try

Mar 26 13 08:06 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Phantasmal Images
Posts: 565
Boston, Massachusetts, US


WCR3 wrote:
Dogs probably aren't affected because they don't see colors, only monochrome.

Not true, dogs (and many other animals) have dichromatic vision.

http://www.diycalculator.com/imgs/cvision-tri-vs-di.jpg

Dogs are also actually capable of seeing into the near UV spectrum. Interestingly enough the cones in human eyes are actually receptive to UV light as well, but the human lens is very good at blocking UV light. Cataract surgery used to allow humans to see UV light (it's been described as a bluish white), but these days an artificial lens is implanted during the procedure which blocks UV light just as the original lens did.

Cats have very weak trichromatic vision, which makes their world look like a pastel painting.

Some birds actually have 5 types of cones, and can see much more variation in color than we could ever imagine. Some birds also see into the UV spectrum as well.

Mar 26 13 09:28 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
NothingIsRealButTheGirl
Posts: 31,986
Los Angeles, California, US


David Parsons wrote:
It all stems from The Matrix.

http://lubowphotography.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/Newman-Krupp2.jpg

I wouldn't be surprised if things like film stocks and fluorescent lights were turning things green before that.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4WoJOAj9r6w

Mar 26 13 09:59 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
irphotovision
Posts: 33
Covina, California, US


The knowledge of the old masters of portrait photography is lost on today photographers, if you study the work of photographer like Joe Zeltsman and Phillip Stewart Charis you will see they used green backgrounds in many of there portraits.  Many of todays portrait photographer use such busy backgrounds you are lucky to notice the person in the portrait.
Mar 26 13 10:53 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
ArtisticPhotography
Posts: 7,699
Buffalo, New York, US


I don't know about that, but "back in the day" when you used film and did little post-production work, you'd sometime shoot a dark-skinned male, esp. a dark skinned Caucasian male with a light green filter because it did good things to their skin tones.
Mar 27 13 06:44 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
WMcK
Posts: 5,228
Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom


ArtisticPhotography wrote:
I don't know about that, but "back in the day" when you used film and did little post-production work, you'd sometime shoot a dark-skinned male, esp. a dark skinned Caucasian male with a light green filter because it did good things to their skin tones.

But that was in B&W to balance the over sensitivity of the film to blue. The green tones obviously did not show in the photos.

Mar 27 13 06:55 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
WCR3
Posts: 967
Houston, Texas, US


Phantasmal Images wrote:

Not true, dogs (and many other animals) have dichromatic vision.

http://www.diycalculator.com/imgs/cvision-tri-vs-di.jpg

Dogs are also actually capable of seeing into the near UV spectrum. Interestingly enough the cones in human eyes are actually receptive to UV light as well, but the human lens is very good at blocking UV light. Cataract surgery used to allow humans to see UV light (it's been described as a bluish white), but these days an artificial lens is implanted during the procedure which blocks UV light just as the original lens did.

Cats have very weak trichromatic vision, which makes their world look like a pastel painting.

Some birds actually have 5 types of cones, and can see much more variation in color than we could ever imagine. Some birds also see into the UV spectrum as well.

I stand corrected. That's very interesting, especially about bird vision. Thanks.

Mar 27 13 09:03 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
D-Light
Posts: 546
Newcastle, Limerick, Ireland


WCR3 wrote:
Very nice, and thanks for the link. By the way are leprechauns green or is it just their clothes? We don't have many around here ;-)

We don't have any here anymore, seems that with all the rain they have all drowned.

Mar 28 13 10:07 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
WCR3
Posts: 967
Houston, Texas, US


Sorry for your loss.

We could use some of that rain here, though. We've been in a drought for the past two or three years.
Mar 28 13 10:32 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
NothingIsRealButTheGirl
Posts: 31,986
Los Angeles, California, US


http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-CUReMqhBO7w/UIqsxdae00I/AAAAAAAAAws/jD6XgcUne7g/s1600/VELASQUEZ-MENINES.jpg

Velasquez
Mar 28 13 05:55 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
NothingIsRealButTheGirl
Posts: 31,986
Los Angeles, California, US


http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/0e/Diego_Velasquez,_Aesop.jpg
Mar 28 13 05:56 pm  Link  Quote 
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Photographer
Rays Fine Art
Posts: 5,917
New York, New York, US


Same model, same shoot, this one (18+) http://www.redbubble.com/people/raysfin … re-studies (18+) used the green background "as is" and this one (again, 18+) http://www.redbubble.com/people/raysfin … re-studies (18+) has it changed out to another color and this one (yet again 18+) http://www.modelmayhem.com/portfolio/pic/23404443 (18+) has her in black and white.

Personally, I don't see any intrinsic benefit to the green vs. another color vs no color. I think it's just a matter of personal preference.

Oh, Yeah, the green is just one of the Home Depot auto-mixes.  I don't know the number.
Mar 28 13 06:14 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
NothingIsRealButTheGirl
Posts: 31,986
Los Angeles, California, US


Rays Fine Art wrote:
Same model, same shoot, this one (18+) http://www.redbubble.com/people/raysfin … re-studies (18+) used the green background "as is" and this one (again, 18+) http://www.redbubble.com/people/raysfin … re-studies (18+) has it changed out to another color and this one (yet again 18+) http://www.modelmayhem.com/portfolio/pic/23404443 (18+) has her in black and white.

Personally, I don't see any intrinsic benefit to the green vs. another color vs no color. I think it's just a matter of personal preference.

Try a less saturated green and see if you like it better

Mar 28 13 06:15 pm  Link  Quote 
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