Blue screen and green screen techniques were originally developed by the professional film industry to help separate actors shot in studio from the backgrounds that they were shot on. Later in post-processing, the blue screen or green screen background was removed digitally and replaced with a new background, shot seperatly or created in a computer. The first uses were with blue screens but blue screens had less luminosity (brightness) and exist more in subject colors (blue jeans, blue clothes in general) than green. This difference and larger lack of green in clothing makes using green screen a bit easier to ‘knock out’. Because of it’s higher luminosity, green tends to be a bit easier to light. As long as your subject isn’t wearing green clothing (or has green skin!), green screen will be the easiest to use.
The basic concept is to have an evenly lighted, easy to separate from the subject, background.

What color of green?
In general, you are looking for the purest green you can get. In other words all green, no blue or red. This is much less critical in still photography than in video. Experimenting with materials as in our tutorials section will show you which color give the best result.
The typical digital equivalents for chroma green are:
Pantone 354c
RGB 0-171-57
Hex 00AB39

You can obtain green screen materials from MANY sources on the web. Check out our links pages for sources.


Paint or materials?
Let’s face it, very few of us want to have a bright green wall in our houses. If for some reason you’re the kind of person that likes a bright green wall, great, you’re a candidate for paint…….! Walls are nice and flat, don’t move around much, don’t get wrinkled when you take them down, fold them and put them in a closet…..
There are sources for chroma green paint listed on our links page. You can also construct a flat with a large hunk of cardboard, foam core etc…. and paint it. In my opinion, you’re going to spend more money this way, and have more hassle in day to day life when you’re not shooting than if you come up with a removable, storable background.

Materials range from paper, to plastic to cloth to really expensive, pro quality backdrops with stands etc….. On the tutorials page we’ll try to elaborate on different designs and techniques. Browse the pages to find the one that works for you.

What do I need?
At a minimum, at least to use the techniques presented on this site, you need a high quality digital camera (recommend 6 megapixel or better but cameras as low as 4 megapixel might do), a backdrop and Adobe Photoshop. Various lighting devices are needed for many of the projects presented on the tutorials page with sources listed on the links page.

Why not just use a backdrop?
Price! With static backdrops you get one color/pattern etc….. To have different backdrops, you’re going to have to buy several backdrops of each color. Good quality backdrops can run around 100.00 on ebay. Using digital backdrops, there is no limit (and they’re free once you learn how to make them)