Blue or green screen for background replacement?

If you’re taking photos on which you intend to change or replace the background, you might think that a blue or green screen would be best to shoot against. That’s the "traditional" way, right? But actually, it’s a bad idea. That colour bleeds into hair, and around edges, and it’s a replacement nightmare.

This is the order of your options:

BEST: Shoot against the actual colour you want in the photo – no editing necessary.

NEXT BEST: Shoot against a colour which is very similar to the colour you eventually want – minimal editing necessary.

MIGHT BE OK: Shoot against a dark neutral colour if your subject has light hair, or a light neutral colour if your subject has dark hair – the natural contrast will help you replace the colour in editing, but can still be tricky. (Example)

BAD: Shoot against green or blue (or any other bright colour, really).

VERY BAD: Shoot against a mixed/busy background.

If you find yourself in a situation where you have no choice but to use a green or blue screen, you're welcome to post the photo in Ask Damien if you need my help.


If you have a question about this article, please feel free to post it in Ask Damien.