Flower Photography of Anita van Rooy

2. Altering the Background

Iceland Lupines Vignette

Yellow and Pink Rose softened

Altering the background is often unnecessary if the flower was photographed close up, because the background should be nicely out of focus. But if the background shows detail or is otherwise not what I want, then I may alter it somewhat with the following procedure.

Start by selecting the now-sharp flower border with a lasso selection. Enter Quick Mask at 200% or 400% zoom, and very carefully brush the edges of the selection to exactly match the edges of the flower. If this is done well, it can easily take an hour or more.

Pink Peony

Pink Tulips
Exit Quick Mask and put this selection on its own layer (Ctrl-J, or Layer:New Layer via Copy). Now the flower is protected on its own layer, and I can modify the background layer without fear of accidentally damaging the flower.

Inside Magnolia

Leaning Columbine
To create a pleasingly soft background, Iíll either use a plain color or Iíll pick one or two colors from the flower and paint those on the background with a large, very-soft brush at about 15% to 20% opacity. You can see examples of this in my sample photographs on this page. The background thus modified should complement the flower and focus attention on the lovely details of the flower.

Pink and Yellow

Yellowish Peony

Yellow and Pink Tulip

Open Pink Tulip

Purple Iris

Pink and Yellow Columbine

Updated 20-aug-11   Contents copyright © 2001 - 2011 PhotoCentric.Net, All Rights Reserved