April 24, 2014

Removing Unwanted Backgrounds From Digital Photographs


You can remove the background or backdrop behind an object in a picture with a process called background removal.  This process can remove the background in its entirety, or you can choose sections or parts that you desire from a backdrop to be removed.

Before the arrival of digital photography and the current accompanying technology, background removal was performed in a more laborious process.

It was once done in a darkroom under all of the proper temperature and ambient conditions.  The film was watched closely while submerged in a working solution.  By overexposing the film to the solution, the background was blurred and has a decrease in resolution.

Today, background removal is possible using any digital photo editing software like Image Manipulation Program, GNU, or GIMP. GIMP is a special kind of graphics editing program able to support some types of object-based (or vector) graphics.

It is not necessary that the digital photograph editing software used for background removal be able to support all types of object-oriented graphics.  The advantage in using GIMP of course, is that it enables easy vector to raster conversion.

Other commonly used raster graphics editors and digital photo editors will also work just as well.  Most digital photo editors have plug-ins which can alter the background in different ways.  Plug-ins are computer programs with highly particular functions.  Most sophisticated photo editing programs use special purpose plug-ins and will perform background editing and removal based on special criteria.

Objects without backgrounds gain a new sense of versatility and purpose.  They can be placed in a new backdrop, even in a new situational context.  An example would be to remove the dining room backdrop of a flower vase and replace the background with that of a hotel lobby.  The object can also be moved around in any way and you can change its alignment with the new background.

An object can gain a new sense of purpose without changing itself at all. It retains all of its properties like shape and size but becomes moldable to individual usage.

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