How To Make The Background Disappear?

Decorating By Donnabugg Updated 26 Aug 2010 , 11:47am by Loucinda

Donnabugg Posted 8 Aug 2010 , 8:40pm
post #1 of 17

Hi all. Can anyone tell me how to get the black background I see with so many cake pictures? Usually I just take a shot of it with a black sheet behind it but I'd rather do it on the computer if it's somewhat easy. Thanks!


16 replies
kelleyskreations Posted 8 Aug 2010 , 8:54pm
post #2 of 17

Good question! I would love to know too icon_smile.gif

nancyg Posted 8 Aug 2010 , 8:55pm
post #3 of 17

I would like to know also....

pmarks0 Posted 8 Aug 2010 , 8:58pm
post #4 of 17

Just looking at your sample picture and a few of your own photos, I think part of what you're seeing is that sheet you're using has a slight sheen to it which shows up in your photos, whereas the sample is using a fabric with a matte finish.

Unless you're a whiz with photoshop, it would be very difficult to cut around the cake in the photo to put it onto a different background, or change the background. I'd suggest that you look at a heavier fabric which doesn't have a sheen to it. It also looks like the background is right behind your cake...perhaps putting a bit more space between the cake and the backdrop will give you the look you're aiming for.

Texas_Rose Posted 8 Aug 2010 , 8:59pm
post #5 of 17

It's easiest just to get the right background when you take the photo. That way the shadows and the edges come out right. I use a black science fair backboard and a piece of black fabric for my background.

You can use a photo editing program to change the background, but unless you already have one that you're familiar with or you want to splurge on photoshop and a good plug-in for it, changing the backround on the computer is more trouble than it's worth especially if any of the cake is the same color as any part of the background.

Doug Posted 8 Aug 2010 , 9:14pm
post #6 of 17

as Texas_Rose pointed out, starting with a black MATT background is the first step.

Step 2 is setting up the lights to they only fall on the cake.

The greater the difference in the amount of light on the cake and on the background, the deeper the black that can be achieved.

in situations like this, photographers will use a snoot/top hat to force the light to fall in a narrow cone on the desired item (that or a focusing spot)


and for chopping backgrounds out -- the Photoshop magic wand tool is god-send.

Donnabugg Posted 8 Aug 2010 , 10:46pm
post #7 of 17

great tips...thank you!

Donnabugg Posted 8 Aug 2010 , 10:52pm
post #8 of 17

great tips...thank you!

casme Posted 9 Aug 2010 , 3:52am
post #9 of 17

Purchase a black matt board, pretty cheap at hobby lobby, and keep it only for your cakes. works great.

Lcubed82 Posted 9 Aug 2010 , 4:01am
post #10 of 17

I cut out the background around a flag cookie one time....probably could have run out and bought a blue board and taken another picture in the time it took to PhotoShop!!!

kelleyskreations Posted 9 Aug 2010 , 8:20pm
post #11 of 17

After reading this thread I purchased a yard of black cotton fabric at Hobby Lobby today. I took some new pics and am so happy with how they turned out. What a difference the fabric makes!!

mindy1204 Posted 10 Aug 2010 , 3:26pm
post #12 of 17

I have an inexpensive black felt blanket I bought at Ikea that I throw over a chair and use! I need to work on lightening but it works well!

cmnycakes Posted 10 Aug 2010 , 6:59pm
post #13 of 17

Definitely definitely definitely don't wait to "fix" backgrounds in photoshop. It's very difficult, time-consuming, and the results are generally poor, unless you really know what you're doing.

If you wanted to, you get go the blue-screen or green-screen route. The bright cyan blue is a great color to work with for cakes because generally there isn't such a color on a cake, and it's easy for Photoshop to select the background. I believe it's called "keying out" the background. You'll probably be left with a blue edge around your cake, which will take some Photoshop expertise. And then, in order to effectively key out the background, you'll need to evenly light the blue-screen. PITA

What I do is I have a dedicated area set up for taking pictures so that I don't have to worry about setting it up every time. Not always feasible, but I'm lucky I guess.

Monirr04 Posted 10 Aug 2010 , 7:04pm
post #14 of 17

I use Microsoft 2010 publisher. There is a tool that removes the background for you and puts in what ever color you want. You just point and click.

yummymummycakes Posted 24 Aug 2010 , 12:38pm
post #15 of 17


I use Microsoft 2010 publisher. There is a tool that removes the background for you and puts in what ever color you want. You just point and click.

Monirr04 can you explain how you do this please?

cs_confections Posted 26 Aug 2010 , 6:18am
post #16 of 17

I use black heavy poster board - a single piece for the base and the tri-fold (like for science fair) posterboard for the background and sides. When not in use, they fold up and are easily stored in the back of a closet. As long as they don't get beat up and I don't use the flash, they usually don't show up too much if at all.

I bought them at Hobby Lobby -once with coupons - when those needed to be replaced, they were on sale that week for 50% off at Hobby Lobby.

Loucinda Posted 26 Aug 2010 , 11:47am
post #17 of 17

I don't have any trouble with taking the pics here at home, it is at the venues with stuff in the background that I am wanting to figure out how to get rid of!

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