Got A Cluttered Background? Insert Your Own

July 6th, 2011 by Mike Moats

Every macro photographer will run into a great looking flower with character, but the angle you want to shoot at has a horrible clutter background and you can’t do anything about it.  All is not lost, you can insert your own background.  Photograph and print your own backgrounds and just place them behind the flower.  Now some may say that’s cheating, but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do.

Here is how you do it.  For a green background find a grassy field or even the grass in your backyard. This is how the subject looked on my first background shot.

Now just turn the focus on your lens till it becomes out of focus and a solid color like this. Now I have a nice solid green background.

Here’s another subject, some bushy stuff on the ground.

This time I don’t take it all the way out of focus, just take it to a point where I have some slight textures.

Here is another subject that has some pinkish flower, so it will give me another color to work with.

Here is the out of focus image, and this subject gives me a little different color.


Now you can always take any of these out of focus backgrounds into Photoshop and adjust the tint to change the color.  Here is the last image and I changed the color in Photoshop to a more grayish green.  So you can play with the colors until you get what you want.

So just print yours out to what ever size you don’t mind carrying into the field.  Most subjects are small, so you can get by with an 8X10 print.  Attach the print to some cardboard or foam core, or anything to stiffen  it.  You can hand hold it behind the subject to be photographed, or use a Wimberley Plamp to hold it in place.

You can visit Mike’s blog and learn about his workshops here:  Tiny Landscapes

Mike’s eBooks are available in the OPG store here:  Mike Moats

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2 Responses to “Got A Cluttered Background? Insert Your Own”

  1. Lakiesha says:

    This is way more hefpull than anything else I’ve looked at.

  2. Emirhan says:

    I love them all but the last one is my fav too!I know what you mean about photo trahepy, lately I have been dreaming of places I want to go and shoot. Soon…Have a fantastic week Jen!:)

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