Common Green Screen Photography Mistakes

Today’s essential question: What are some common issue that arise when taking photos in front of a green screen? How can we prevent them?

Today we will continue shooting green screen photos, trying to prevent common green screen photography mistakes. Here are some of my favorite photos taken during last class:

Common Green Screen Photography Mistakes

Missing Body Parts

Why it happens: The subject’s clothing or accessories are too close in color to the green screen.

How to prevent it: Avoid green clothing, accessories, and subjects. When that is not possible, create a screen in a color that contrasts with the colors you are photographing.

Camera angles do not match

Why it happens: Different photos are taken from different camera angles. These photos then will not work together if composited into the same image in Photoshop.

How to prevent it: Set up a tripod to your desired height and camera angle, and keep it consistent as you photograph all of your subjects. Make sure the angle of the camera matches the angle of your background scene.

Awkward Lighting

Why it happens: Studio lighting is too dark, too light, or inconsistent.

How to prevent it: Take test photos and adjust the lighting as necessary. Start with even ambient lighting from overhead lights and windows, and experiment with the distance, strength, and angles of any auxiliary lights.

Motion Blur

Why it happens: The subject moves before the camera finishes taking the photo.

How to prevent it: Use a quick shutter speed (if you have a DSLR). If you can’t control the shutter speed manually, force the camera to use a quick shutter speed by providing sufficient light and using a tripod to steady the camera. Remind your model to remain as still as possible.

Subject Extends beyond the Green Screen

Why it happens: The model and photographer do not take the camera angle and subject’s position into account before taking the photo.

How to prevent it: Take test photos and adjust the position of the model and camera/tripod as necessary.

Subject is not Realistically Posed

Why it happens: The model awkwardly acts out a pose without the necessary props, and consequently, poses themselves incorrectly. When the scene and props are later added in Photoshop, they do not fit or look strange.

How to prevent it: Provide the model with placeholder props and scenery that mimic the size and shape of whatever will be added in Photoshop. It’s amazing how much simple objects such as boxes, paper towel rolls, rope, and stuffed animals can help the model pose properly.

Today we will:

  • Take photos in front of the green screen
  • Begin building our scene in Photoshop
  • Create a new  blog post with the following:
    • images of any work created today
    • a brief reflection of any challenges you faced, how you worked through those challenges, and what you would like help with



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