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How To Make a Background Black in Lightroom

Published: 10/07/2021

Black backgrounds make a great impact on the objects in the picture. You can easily enhance and bring the objects to prominence. This is why you need to know how to make a background black in Lightroom. 

How to Make a Background Black in Lightroom

A black background adds to the aesthetics of the image ensuring that the object is brought to the forefront. It is simple yet adds elegance. When you are looking to add a black background to your image you are looking to bring the object to light. A black backdrop helps create distinct lines between the object and the image adding to the clarity of the image.

Editing the Background

The need to edit the background of any image can be done for various purposes. You need to edit the background if:

  1. You want to draw attention to the object in the image.
  2. You are looking to add a new background of your own.
  3. The chaotic background is blurring the whole image creating a cluttered feel.

For editing the background you first need to add your image from the catalog. If your image is already present in the catalog you can easily select from it. In case your image is not present you need to import the picture to Lightroom to begin the editing process. 

Importing the Image

Importing an image is an easy task. All you need to do is:

  1. Launch Lightroom from your desktop.
  2. The interface of Lightroom will open.
  3. Click on the Import button on the left side.
Lightroom import button
  1. Select your desired image.

You can now begin editing the image for the background.

Editing the Image

Once you have imported the image you can now begin work.

  1. Click on the Develop button on the right top of the work tray.
Develop button in Lightroom
  1. Now click on the Adjustment Brush.
Using the Adjustment Brush in Lightroom
  1. In the Effect area, you need to adjust the 
    • Exposure
    • Highlights
    • Shadows
    • Saturation

You need to bring them all the way down. This will create a dark gray-like effect and help blur and vanish the background.

  1. Now you need to move the cursor and color the region around the object.
Coloring the region around an object
  1. To bring clarity and finish you can zoom in and zoom out to adjust the edges of the Image.
  2. Once you have finished editing, Click done.
  3. Here is how your final image will look like.
Image with a black background
  1. You also have the option to compare the images.
  2. Here is a comparison
Before and after of an edited image
  1. Now you can save the image with the edited background.

Frequently Asked Questions

When Will I Need to Change the Background to Black?

You will need to change the background to black when you want to enhance the focus of the viewer on a single object in your image.

Do I Need to Isolate the Image When Editing the Background?

There is no need to isolate the image when editing the background. You can easily edit the background by using the Adjustment Brush tool on the right pane. One way you can boost the result of the editing is to take the picture against a darker backdrop. Rest the Lightroom editing can handle.

Is There Any Other Way I Can Edit the Background to Black Without Using Adjustment Brush?

Yes, there is one other way you can edit the background to black without using the Adjustment brush. You can do so by selecting Radial Filter. You can select the object you want to be the main focus through the Radial Filter. Then bring down the Exposure slider. You are free to adjust as per your requirements. As it allows you to adjust the shape. 

The best way is to do it through the Adjustment Brush tool as it creates a more accurate and finished result.

Will I Lose the Color of My Object as Well With the Adjustments to the Background?

No, you will not lose the color of the object as well with the adjustments to the background. 

Once you click import, your image is ready for editing. All you have to do is to select the Adjustment Brush tool from the right-hand side of the interface. Once you select that you will get an array of options pertaining to adjustments. 

Click on them and adjust as per your requirements. The brush tools allow you the freedom to work around the edges of the object. Hence, it helps in bringing clarity and improving the results. 

The color adjustments are made to the areas clicked on by the brush. If you mistakenly click on any part of the object in the image. The area clicked on will be affected. 

Why Do I Need to Edit the Background to Black?

There is no compulsion regarding the editing of the background to black. The main reason people opt for black backgrounds is to ensure that the whole attention of the viewer is drawn to the object that the artist wants to focus on.

For example, if you have a picture of a very cute child, but the background contains a lot of clutter. This will draw the attention away from the child. In such cases, changing the background to black can help enhance the child’s picture and also help create a more memorable image. 

Is It Necessary That My Image Will Turn Black and White, if I Edit the Background?

No, your image will not turn black and white if you edit the background. The Adjustment Brush tool allows you to edit the background without affecting the original color of the object in focus. 

The color of the object will remain intact.

Conclusion

It is evident from the tutorial that adding a black background to your image is very simple and straightforward. Having images with a black background can help you portray your shots in a more unique and favorable light with the sole focus on the object. Lightroom makes it easy for you to edit the background efficiently and effectively. 

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