What is a Digital Backdrop?

Digital Backdrop – maybe you have heard the term, maybe not.  You have probably seen some examples and not even realized it.  I have gotten a few requests to replicate an image that was a digital backdrop (and often the client doesn’t realize that’s what it is).

Digital backdrops are just that.  You purchase the set as a digital image through a site like Etsy or a photographer who specializes in creating them. Then, the subject is positioned in a way that would work for that backdrop and a second photo is taken.  The two images are put together in post-processing using Photoshop. 

It’s quite a process to make it look realistic.  The photographer has to consider the material that the subject will be placed on so that an easy “cut-out” can be made.  The photographer also must place the light source in the same position as what was used in the backdrop and take the picture at the correct angle. 

Then, in Photoshop the editing styles of the two images must match, which means adjusting exposure and saturation levels.  Hand editing to fix highlights and shadows is also necessary so that the two images blend nicely.  Because of all the extra work, there is a fee to cover the photographer’s time and resources.  

Surely, you knew that baby wasn’t really on the elephant’s trunk, right?  Be on the lookout for any elaborate sets that may have used a digital backdrop.  Hopefully, it will be tough to find because when done correctly you shouldn’t notice!




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