Shooting on Chroma-key or Green Screen backdrops have come a long way with today’s technological advances. The purpose of this article is to explore the advantages of one plugin in particular; the Easy Green Screen 3.0 plugin, available from: http://ezgreenscreen.com/, as Freeware. The plugin is available for all versions of Photoshop, CS or higher, running on Macintosh or Windows.
I teach a very successful Chroma-Key workshop and I’m always amazed to talk with photographers before our first session. Some of the most common misconceptions I hear over and over are: Never shoot a blonde. The plugins are prohibitively expensive and not very effective, especially when hair is involved. Well, that may have been true many years ago, but no longer… In this tutorial I hope to show you how to obtain high quality results consistently.
Lighting is everything in photography. Lighting on a chroma-key backdrop is twice as important and said to be twice as difficult. As long as you pay attention and meter well, you will find lighting for a chroma-key shot is easy and fun. Nothing more difficult than any other multi-light setup. This should be well within the grasps of any serious amateur or beginning professional photographer.
Flat, even light on your backdrop is essential. I use two Alien Bees 1600’s to light my backdrop. In the past I have attached barndoors and I have had softboxes mounted to my Bees. I believe softboxes did spread the light more effectively at close distances – in confined spaces. However the barndoors makes it easier to move around the studio, so I probably will continue using barndoors when shooting at home. This is not a contest to see who can use fewest lights. If you need to place more strobes on your backdrop, then do so!!
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