photography that blends into web pages
December 17, 2009 11:10 AM   Subscribe

Is there a term for photography with a plain-colored background (i.e. a background that will blend seamlessly into an x-colored web page background)?

I like photographs that blend seamlessly into the background color of a web page (e.g. this photo of red shoes). Basically, anything photographed so that there are no shadows, patterns, or textures to indicate where the photo ends and the surrounding web page background begins. I've tried just searching "white background" (that's where I found the above example photo), but is there a specific term (or place to look) for this type of photography?
posted by ollyolly to Media & Arts (13 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Search "transparent GIF"
posted by jckll at 11:11 AM on December 17, 2009

The photo has a clear background. This is generally done with a mask in Photoshop. It is a simple technique of digital photo compositing

Taking an actual photo that blended into a web background seamlessly would be very tricky and time consuming.
posted by Babblesort at 11:14 AM on December 17, 2009

I don't know the name of the photography style, though it seems to be a popular theme in stock photo libraries, but to expand on jckll's comment...

Transparent GIFs are ill-suited for the kind of photography you're talking about. They support a maximum of 256 colors, which leads to horrific dithering and pixelation. Also, transparency is binary: either a pixel is completely transparent or completely opaque, with no shades in the middle. This does not lend itself well to photos. If images with transparent backgrounds are what you're looking for, try the PNG format, which supports much better color depth and a true alpha channel.
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 11:17 AM on December 17, 2009

High Key Lighting?
posted by gergtreble at 11:21 AM on December 17, 2009

Cutout stock photos.
posted by smackfu at 11:23 AM on December 17, 2009

Blue Screen Compositing.
posted by alms at 11:24 AM on December 17, 2009

It's not so much a style of photography as a tool: a 'light box'. You can Google the term for plenty of examples of how to make one yourself quite cheaply. Use of a light box makes life a lot easier when you're trying to isolate an object from its background.
But for use on a web page with a white background, you'd still need to make sure the edges are 100% white (#FFFFFF).
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 11:25 AM on December 17, 2009

These are very popular for stock photo collections, because they are so versatile. For instance, fruit.
posted by smackfu at 11:27 AM on December 17, 2009

"Isolated" objects are a search term in stock image databased like e.g Getty Images. Compare isolated fruit.
posted by oxit at 12:35 PM on December 17, 2009

The most common solution is to use a well lit light-box (you can buy one, or search google for instuctions and make your own.

Alternatively, you can imitate Yuri Arcurs, and line the inside of a greenhouse with semi-translucent white material.
posted by James Scott-Brown at 12:59 PM on December 17, 2009

Shot on a 'sweep' (white backlit opaque plexiglass) or shot on 'seamless' paper, a large long roll of seamless paper approximately 12 feet wide in various colors, often white or gray. Many of the things described above apply more to film than still photography. The background (plexi or seamless) is curved behind the subject which creates a background without shadows, corners, or curves if properly lit. Some large studios have the curve built into the floor of the studio itself (almost like a skateboard ramp) to shoot large objects like cars and motorcycles etc. It is usually painted white by default but can be roller painted any color depending on need.
posted by Muirwylde at 6:38 PM on December 17, 2009

The style of photo with the red shoes is called a 'drop out'. Its digitally cut out (used to be done with an x-acto knife by a graphic designer). The shadow is then added digitally. It used to be added with a 25% gray marker.
posted by Muirwylde at 6:42 PM on December 17, 2009

You want "silo" photos. Ignoring the first few pictures of silos, here are almost 300 pages of example images.
posted by msbrauer at 5:51 PM on December 18, 2009

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