The Infinite Black Background Effect – A LEGO Photography Tutorial

You’ve seen it. It’s the cool lighting effect you’ve always wanted to do, but could never figure it out. It’s the infinite black background. At first it is difficult to do, but once you get the hang of it you’ll want to do it all the time. In this tutorial, I’ll show you how to get that effect.

Infinite Darkness

Things You’ll Need

Camera. Preferably a DSLR with a Manual setting. Webcams and Point-and-shoots work too, but not quite as well unless you can adjust the exposure.

Black Poster Board. This is the background of your photo. It’s very hard to get it dark enough in a room where you cannot see the wall directly behind your set, you we use poster board to simulate this darkness.

Your Set. Obviously, you’ll need the subject of your photograph. Mine is a baseplate with a minifigure on top.

Setting It Up

Here is how I set up the shot for my photo.

Infinite Darkness Setup

As you can see, I used the poster board as the background, bent and tucked under my set. I used my adjustable neck desk lamp to light up the scene. I did not point it directly at the subject, though, because my baseplate isn’t long enough to be able to do that and keep the edge of the shadow still on my baseplate. If I did point it directly at my subject, the extra light from the lamp would shine beyond the edge of the baseplate, and light up the posterboard, destroying the effect.

The camera’s settings are as follows:

  • Manual Mode
  • Aperture ƒ/5.6
  • Shutter Speed 1/20
  • ISO 100
  • Active-D Lighting Off

Yours will not be exact, but the basic point it to properly expose the foreground, while the background is still dark. I used a large aperture to produce a shallow depth of field so the background could be blurry, thoroughly selling the effect.

I hope you learned something from this little tutorial! Please follow this blog for more tutorials and Behind the Scenes looks at my Brickfilms.



4 thoughts on “The Infinite Black Background Effect – A LEGO Photography Tutorial

  1. Jesse Gabel Studios

    How do you get a website thing like this? I’d really like to have a site like this one.

  2. Is that a Nikon? Love it!

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