Background Change

We’re often asked how our background change or replacement photos are created and why they look so believable.  This post will go over a few examples and outline how we approach each one.

background change example man leaning on haystackThe success of replacing the background of a photo depends on a few things. Most important is choosing a believable background.

In this example the man is wearing a cowboy hat and is leaning his arm on another person.  The perfect background was a bale of hay. So perfect that no one would ever know that the background had been replaced at all.

Another very important thing to keep in mind is the colour of both pictures.  Notice in the “before” picture, the skin tones are quite pink.  We could have left it like that and changed the tones in the new background to be cooler but decided it looked better to add more yellow to the man, to match the tones in the new background.

background change little girl on beachSimilar to the example above, this picture of a little girl looks very believable.

When told she would be going away to a beach for a holiday, she rushed into her room to put on her bathing suit (apparently she thought they were leaving right away).  Her parents thought it would be nice if they had the background replaced on the picture to really give her an idea of where they were all going.

What really helps this photo is the addition of a shadow. It was created by making a new layer and setting it to multiply on the layer below (the beach). Then, using the mask of the outline of the little girl, the layer is filled with a gradient and transformed or stretched.