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Photographs That Blend In

Updated on October 11, 2013
CC BY-ND 2.0
CC BY-ND 2.0 | Source

The subjects should not be so well blended in that they almost disappear withing the scene.

You must leave something that attracts the eye so that the audience finds the entire subject afterwards.

Part of the fun about this project is that a viewer might be attracted to the image simple because of the overall single color scheme although at first she or he may have glimpsed something in the image that did not seem to belong.

Upon closer inspection the viewer then should realize that it is an attempt at making the subject blend in but not disappear.

This blending in and matching of colors is not that easy. You may have the perfect dress, the perfect makeup but finding the perfect matching color to paint the backdrop is another matter.

However, most digital editing programs can help with this by making it rather painless to add colors, change them or add something new altogether.

Sometimes it is much simpler to take the dress to a paint store and have them match it to a paint. Most professional paint supply stores have sophisticated computer programs that can match most any color combination.

Blending in usually means to become one with your surroundings. In photography it can mean several things but they more or less have or rather carry a similar meaning.

"To look or seem the same as surrounding people or things and therefore not be easily noticeable:"

This project is in its essence using a model or inanimate subjects that blends in, with the exception of small parts, into their surrounding.

The shoot is very adaptable to be done in the studio since there you can control all the elements to your satisfaction.

For example like if you are photographing a red apple that sits in front of a red backdrop that more or less matches the apple's color or for that matter a banana with a matching yellow backdrop and so on.

Even if using a model that is dressed in a blue dress, her make up is blue as well, and she poses in front of a blue backdrop that matches and perhaps leaving only some small portions of her physique like the hands to be the standout show pieces.

(CC BY 2.0
(CC BY 2.0 | Source

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Do not confuse this with camouflage photographs ,especially of animals that have become masters of disguise and blend in so well with their surroundings that they seem invisible to predators or when ready to catch their next meal.

Most of these make the subject blend in so well that it makes it difficult for the viewer to even locate them.

The idea behind this project is to make the subject an integral part of the scene but with enough offsetting elements that it can be quickly found by whomever is looking at the images. Again, digital editing is better suited to make some changes as well as offering a better choice in color matching.

CC BY-SA 2.0
CC BY-SA 2.0 | Source

To start the project and see how things go it is better to use small subjects that you can easy get from your house like fruits, utensils, vases, flowers etc.

Set them on a mall table and place a backboard painted to match the subject's color. Use one single photo lamp and a reflector to illuminate the setup.

It is better to try different shutter speeds and aperture sizes to see which ones and which combinations of shutter speed plus aperture works best for you.

Once you find a combination that seems to produce good results stick with it when doing other similar shoots.

If doing large subjects like wildlife or nature scenes, place the emphasis on the subject by pre-focusing on it and locking the settings. It is better to capture detail in the subject and worry about the background later.

Remember that you can always substitute a real background/backdrop with a digital one that is the same or very similar in color as the overall color saturation of the subject.

CC BY-ND 2.0
CC BY-ND 2.0 | Source

A tip if doing the project with people. Try to either find a suitable location with colors that appeal to you and match the clothing on the models or the other way around.

It is easier to try to match the outfits to the location since painting a large wall for example can be expensive.

To see what I mean find a wall or side of building that is painted in a solid red, it is easier to get clothes that are totally red and to dress the model in blue and find a wall that is totally painted in solid blue.

However if you have the studio space and have access to a solid wall, fence or can get a large backboard, then painting it is not that expensive.

Although you can still run into difficulties trying to match the colors as closely as possible, it can still be done.

CC BY-ND 3.0
CC BY-ND 3.0 | Source
CC BY-ND 3.0
CC BY-ND 3.0 | Source

© 2013 Luis E Gonzalez


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    • LuisEGonzalez profile image

      Luis E Gonzalez 4 years ago from Miami, Florida

      sallybea: Thank you

    • sallybea profile image

      Sally Gulbrandsen 4 years ago from Norfolk

      You have some interesting ideas about photography, I love some of the images you have used here to describe this process. Thanks for sharing