ruled by a motto “cheap, but good” you can produce a Food photography Background by yourself.
One of the most important conditions for successful food photography or object shooting is a properly chosen background. It’s obvious that you can buy whatever you need nowadays. But for those who are only beginning, it’s sometimes difficult to decide what exactly you need.
It’s great if you can get hold of an old table, nightstand or other surface with a noticeable texture from your close people and friends, which will serve you as a polygon for your creativity. But as experience shows, appetite comes with eating, and you’ll find out that one background’s not enough…
That’s why being ruled by a motto “cheap, but good” you can produce a background by yourself. You wouldn’t have to spend much, getting yourself a wonderful atmospheric surface as an outcome, expanding your requisite.
Here we’re gonna tell and show you how we created a background for food photography with only our efforts.
To do so we needed:
- a wooden pallet (we’ve found ours in the street);
- white and blue acrylic colors with water foundation (an amazing choice – easily mixed with water and totally odorless);
- sandpaper with different grits;
- a candle;
- “gouache” paint of brown, yellow and black color;
- carpentry tools – a hammer, screws, a power drill and a saw.
For starters you should break and disassemble the pallet to separate boards. Having chosen the best ones to work with, sandpaper with a harsh grit. We didn’t polish ours to be completely smooth, only removed everything, what unpleasantly clung to hands.
After that we covered the boards with a thin layer of white paint mixed with water. In that way we got a layer of primer to dim the yellow tint of wood.
Then we began assembling the background – sewed together lengthwise boards with transverse on the sides. We didn’t attach the boards in the middle, cause in that way we can use the other side as a background of different color in the future.
How to make the surface look old and worn-out
The most interesting part of work is coming up. We have to make the surface look old and worn-out. I wanted to make a surface with traces of time, which was painted over many times, scratched. As I already have the white background in my armory, I wanted to make my future “table” in blue tones.
After the primer dried, boards still looked pretty yellow, so we blotted them with one more layer.
Then we begin to rub the boards with a candle in the places, where supposedly the paint should come out. In our case there were joints in between of boards, snags and other wood imperfections.
We’re coloring the background again. Now we’re using blue paint (we mixed it with a rather big amount of white paint to get a right tone). Wait for it to dry out.
After that we scrape the background with sandpaper, absolutely mercilessly .The paint comes off really good in the places where we rubbed it with a candle, so you get a desirable “worn-out” effect.
We can easily finish at that.
Creating an effect of it being smeared
All the other actions just add the details.
In our case, it still seemed to me that the background is very blue, that’s why we covered it with one more layer of weakly white paint and rubbed it thoroughly with sandpaper. And it dawned on me that it was too “clean” . So I used painting colors, having mixed brown and yellow to work on the joints in between of boards and some patches of surface (I just painted on the boards, then “cleaned” those places with a moist rag). As an outcome I got the effect of it being smeared for many times in the past.
Maybe you would like to make dark wood with traces of gray, blue or yellow color. Or of any other one possible.
Still, even after that, background looked kind of new. So I covered it with a layer of candle once again and painted over with a dry brush, using blue color only in a few places (as if blue color came off less). After it was properly dried out, we’re ready to polish it once again with sandpaper (there’s never much of that) – at first with harsh, then with more soft one.
Final! My coarse, rough, old, country-house, poured with rains, a million times cleaned with a rag, smeared, but very cute “table” is ready!
Anyway, this “manual” is not a dogma, but something to inspire you, because the mix of tones can be totally different. Maybe you would like to make dark wood with traces of gray, blue or yellow color. Or of any other one possible.
By the way, my background inspired me to make a batch of New Year’s and Christmas photos. But I think all spring-related still-lives would look brilliant – tender flowers, desserts, berries. And it’s gonna be a base for creating Mediterranean atmosphere – seafood, shells and striped napkins.
We shoot a short video for better understanding:
Here’s our method. You got your own ideas? Let’s share!
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