Dec 07 2009

How to Use Green Screen Photography to Shoot Fantasy Photos

Published by at 6:55 am under General

Green Screen Photography is quickly gaining popularity, especially with small studio owners who want to offer an innovative product that larger photography studios do not want to provide. Green screening, also known as chroma keying, is often the perfect edge that a small studio can use to blow the competition out of the water. And the studio can increase their customer base by branching out into the niche market of fantasy photography.

In the world of green screen photography, there is the fantasy-theme option known as “sword and sorcery.” Some examples in this category include novels and movies like “Lord of the Rings” and role-based games such as “Dungeons and Dragons.” To shoot these fantasy-theme photos, pose the client dressed in a period costume in front of a green screen, holding a “weapon” or prop such as a sword, bow and arrow, or a magic wand. Then, add digital background scenery such as breathtaking views of nature or ancient architectural structures — especially castles. Tip: If the client wants to have that soft mystical look, take a piece of nylon and strap it to your camera lens with a rubber band. Instant softness and mystery added.

Science fiction is another widely used fantasy-theme choice. Common settings for this genre would come from Star Trek, Star Wars and Babylon Five. However, this genre also includes “Dr. Who” (a time and inter-dimensional show) and steam punk (Victorian era running today’s technology with steam). Inside of this niche there are thousands of cos-players (those who enjoy putting on a costume whenever they can) who adore having their picture taken. Here are some ideas for unforgettable photos: For shots on a space travel theme such as Star Trek, create the Enterprise’s observation deck, featuring a large window looking out onto a vast blanket of stars, or the Ten-Forward cantina, using a contemporary bar scene for the background. For steam punk, choose interiors of old Victorian homes.

A niche that is often mixed in with these two previous ones, yet also deserves it’s own category, is that of fairy tales. The photos feature fairies and other creatures found in these stories. Magical landscapes that relay an air of mystery and a bit of mischief work well for this genre. However, don’t think that fairy tales are only for small children, nor only for cos-players. Female high school seniors also enjoy these photo settings. Consider shooting their portrait with them in their prom dress, but then placing them in this mystical land. This ensures you provide them with instant magic and joyful memories.

The last category, which borrow elements from all of the previous ones and yet remains unique, is known as Anime and videogame costumed characters. This type of photo requires Asian-inspired locations, both interiors and exteriors, as well as contrasting run-down warehouses or possibly historic sites that have only the barest traces of original buildings remaining.

Overall the thing to remember when shooting a fantasy photo is that no matter how strange or outlandish the costume may be, and no matter where in the world these characters are supposed to be, as long as you can make the picture look believable to the client, you will have repeat business for years to come.

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