Photography Technique – Black Background

Black background photography technique

Black Background Photography Technique is also called Invisible black backdrop or low-key photography. The very easy way to create a black background is to have a black backdrop. But this post is to discuss and share my experience for black background photography technique without any black backdrop.

So first, what is a black background photography technique? It refers to a technique of photography that makes use of dark tones to bring drama, art, stylishness to an image. It makes your subject to stand out from the flat black. With the right lighting and settings, you can still have this kind of image in a daylight. And the featured image of this post above tells a thousand words.

The idea of this technique is to set the camera aperture and shutter speed fast enough so that your camera only sees the object that is illuminated by your light source. And all other object and background will be dark or black. Here’s to show you how to do it:

Equipment: A camera and a light source as a minimum requirement. In this post, I use my  DSLR Nikon D7200 camera and Nissin Di866 Mark II Professional flash as a light source.

Camera setting:

  1. Set the camera in manual mode so that we can control both shutter speed and aperture.
  2. Set the camera to its maximum shutter speed that my flash can synchronize with my camera. In my camera, I set its shutter speed to 1/250.
  3. Aperture can be set to values between starting point f/5.6 to its minimum aperture size (f/20, f/32, f/36) to block out more light.
  4. Set your camera ISO to it’s lowest value, like 100 or 200 and turn off Auto ISO.
  5. Uses ‘off camera’ flash mode by setting flash on camera as Command mode and set your flash as Remote flash. Remember to set the channel and group on both your camera and flash with the same value so that your camera flash can trigger the Remote flash.
  6.  Point your flash to the object and start shooting :).


Learn and gain experience from your image results. It may take a little time of a lot of time to master this technique. Below are some of the point you can adjust to have your desired image..

  • Aperture.
  • The distance between the light source (flash) and the subject.
  • The power of the flash.
  • The composition. Try to avoid any light source in the background that have more light power than your light source, like street light, sun light…

One of the experience I gained during my practice when taking still object is that I let the distance between the object and the background far enough so that the background cannot reflect the light back to the camera. So obviously, I don’t put my object on the ground to shoot. For example, If I want to take a flower, I put it in vase and place in a middle of the room to shoot, instead of place it in the ground…

Be Happy Photographer!

Don’t understand some of the terminology in this post, you may want to take a look at Photography Terminology here.

Want to see more photo like this, check my Black Background Photo Album here.

As always, please share this article with your friends if you find this black background photography technique helpful.

Please leave your tips or experience of this technique in the comment section below for discussion and to help others.

Thank you for your contribution.

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