Backgrounds

Discussion in 'General Planted Tank Discussions' started by Themuleous, 30 Apr 2008.

  1. Themuleous

    Themuleous Member

    Messages:
    4,126
    Location:
    Aston, Oxfordshire
    Anyone got any thoughts on backgrounds for tanks? I'm thinking my 20g deserves a decent photo shoot without all the equipment, but I'm not really sure on a background for the tank. Could go with the classic black but not sure if thats best? I dont want anything permanent so no paint or vynil.

    Cheers

    Sam

    Fullfront.jpg
     
  2. Wolfenrook

    Wolfenrook Member

    Messages:
    336
    Location:
    West Midlands UK
    If it's just for photography purposes you could try putting a mirron on the back, this will give an illusion of depth but be careful of reflections whilst taking your photographs.

    Ade
     
  3. I would just use the wall as it is, and backlight it nicely. I think you might lose the wood in a black background

    Tom
     
  4. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

    Messages:
    4,428
    Location:
    Leamington Spa, UK.
    Something I'm trying out at the moment is using grease proof paper. Seems to work OK, though I'm not sure about the colour. It might give a nice lighting effect for the photos :)
     
  5. Egmel

    Egmel Member

    Messages:
    724
    Location:
    Guildford, Surrey, UK
    I'd be tempted to buy some sheets of different coloured card and try them all seeing which one you like best.

    I think a dark colour will show off the plants nicely but as Tom says, if it's too dark then the wood wont stand out enough.

    My choices to try first would be
    • Cream
    • Pale Grey
    • Pale Blue
    • Royal Blue
    • Dusky Pink (?)
    I'm not sure about the last one but I think it might bring out the colour of the wood and offset the green nicely.

    The other way to do it would be to play with it in an image program, cut out the foreground and try different backgrounds to see which colours work well.
     
  6. beeky

    beeky Member

    Messages:
    879
    Location:
    Chippenham, Wiltshire
    It's difficult isn't it?!

    When I was doing my tank I didn't have a background at first but then I got some black card. My wife said she preferred it without, saying it looked more "stylish" and made the wood stand out more. I then showed her George's scapes in PFK and she said "see, I know what I'm talking about!". I've kept the black card though....I can't be seen to be agreeing with her, I'll never hear the end of it!

    Anyway, I'm not sure what else to use to hide the wires and tubes either.
     
  7. beeky

    beeky Member

    Messages:
    879
    Location:
    Chippenham, Wiltshire
    Just had a thought -

    How about lining paper from a DIY shop? Should be pretty cheap and is a cream colour. Or, even cheaper i.e free (what? me, tight?), how about some wallpaper, but using the reverse side?
     
  8. Egmel

    Egmel Member

    Messages:
    724
    Location:
    Guildford, Surrey, UK
    Wallpaper is an interesting idea, because in most big DIY stores you can just help yourself to lengths as 'testers'...
     
  9. Themuleous

    Themuleous Member

    Messages:
    4,126
    Location:
    Aston, Oxfordshire
    Wow thanks for all the ideas people, glad Im not the only one! I think its going to have to be a case of get a load of colours and just see which works best. I do like black, but its not always the best choice.

    Watch the journal for the results! :D

    Sam
     
  10. George Farmer

    George Farmer Founder Staff Member

    Messages:
    7,091
    Location:
    Cambridgeshire
    I'm a big fan of no background and backlighting the wall, or pale card/paper behind, for photo shoots.

    Black has its uses too, of course.

    Blue looks too fake for me in most situations.

    It depends of the mood you're tring to create and how it balances with the overall aquascape (inc. fish).
     
  11. Themuleous

    Themuleous Member

    Messages:
    4,126
    Location:
    Aston, Oxfordshire
    So what are your thoughts given the scape in question, George?

    Sam
     
  12. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

    Messages:
    4,428
    Location:
    Leamington Spa, UK.
    I wonder what a reddish background would look like. Red and green are complimentary colours... Might not suit the scape though...
     
  13. Themuleous

    Themuleous Member

    Messages:
    4,126
    Location:
    Aston, Oxfordshire
    Worth a try Steve!
     
  14. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

    Messages:
    4,428
    Location:
    Leamington Spa, UK.
    This might (or might not!) help :)

    [​IMG]
     
  15. aaronnorth

    aaronnorth Member

    Messages:
    3,955
    Location:
    worksop, nottinghamshire
  16. Themuleous

    Themuleous Member

    Messages:
    4,126
    Location:
    Aston, Oxfordshire
    Cheers :)

    Might see if I can print a large version out and stick it to the back of the tank, see which colours work best.

    Sam
     
  17. Themuleous

    Themuleous Member

    Messages:
    4,126
    Location:
    Aston, Oxfordshire
    That look scool Aaron :)
     
  18. ulster exile

    ulster exile Member

    Messages:
    352
    Location:
    Birmingham, UK
    I really like that sunset background! Having the same dilemma with my tanks as I'm not liking blue and am having trouble with the plastic things not sticking properly to the back and either getting condensation getting in, or huge reflections where it is coming away.

    I'm seeing more tanks without backgrounds (and tbh Sam, I like yours as it is without a background) but I wonder whether it is generally frowned upon by you pro's because of the equipment/wires being visible on the outside of the tank...?
     
  19. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

    Messages:
    4,428
    Location:
    Leamington Spa, UK.
    Going back to the grease proof paper idea, I have this on a larger tank I'm setting up this eve (been doing some DIY on the hood tonight!) Anyhow, the wall behind it is a sort of orange colour, like an actual orange (I didn't choose it, I rent this place and I think my landlady is colour blind!) Anyhow, with the paper onthe back and with the way the hood is (open at the rear) the light on the wall is actually creating a sort of sunset effect :) It looks quite nice!
     
  20. beeky

    beeky Member

    Messages:
    879
    Location:
    Chippenham, Wiltshire
    Is it possible to do something in photoshop or some kind of paint program? If you remove all the equipment, then take a photo you could 'fill in' the background with a colour of your choice. Might be difficult to get good coverage with the plant leaves etc but maybe worth a try, even if it's to give you a shortlist of card colours to try.
     

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