Black background is a beautiful and artistic way of isolating a subject. How to get those black backgrounds in floral and other subjects? There are 6 important steps to follow in capturing a subject with black background,
1.Switch to Manual Mode
2.Choose the lowest ISO possible.
3.Fastest Shutter Speed possible.
4.Smallest Aperture possible.
5.Try not to have anything in the background.
6.Turn Flash ON.
1.Switch to manual mode:
First turn the wheel at the top of your camera to “M” (for Manual). In this mode you have full control over your camera and can adjust all settings including shutter speed, aperture, ISO, flash etc. It gives you the flexibility to set your shots up as you wish. If your camera doesn’t have manual mode then move to the last section of this article.

2.Choose the lowest ISO possible:
ISO determines your camera’s sensitivity to light.  Basically, your ISO can help you adjust to the light around you. As you are in need of less light to have a black background, you’re going to want a lower ISO (100 or 200).

3.Fastest shutter speed possible:
Shutter speed is how long the shutter stays open when it’s capturing the image. There is a trade-off: the faster your shutter speed, the less light your camera lets in, and the darker your image becomes. Hence choose the fastest shutter speed available in your camera. 

4.Smallest Aperture possible:
The aperture setting is also sometimes referred to as an f-stop. If you have a higher f-stop (smaller aperture), your camera is letting in less light. A combination of a fast shutter speed and a small aperture will block out any ambient light. Hence choose the smallest aperture available in your camera.

5.Try not to have anything in the background:
Try to isolate your subject as much as possible and not to have any other subject in the background.

6.Turn Flash ON:
Turn ON the on-camera flash. This is essential because due to fast shutter speed and smallest aperture the light falling on the subject is almost nil. However flash photography can blow out a shot with it’s harsh light. In that cases you can adjust the flash power if have a setting to do so or simply adjust by hiding a portion of your flash with your finger.

What if you have a point and shoot camera that doesn’t have the ability to change aperture and shutter speed manually.

1.Mount the camera on a tripod or a stand (support).
2.Switch to Macro mode.
3.Turn on the Self Timer mode (5 secs to 10 secs).
4.Press the shutter button and then hold /place a Black sheet of paper, card board or cloth behind the subject.

1)Spider Clinging:
Background leaves visible No  Background leaves
In the first image the background leaves are close to the spider and are hence visible. However in the second one by adjusting the angle of shot those backgrounds leaves are eliminated.
High Flash Power Perfect Flash Power

Black Sheet as Back Ground
   The first image of orchid shows the case where the flash power is high. Too much light has spoiled the details in the image. The second image of orchid shows the case where the flash power is perfect. The details on the flower are perfect. The third image of orchid shows the case where the black background is obtained by holding a Black Sheet behind the subject in macro mode.Please feel free to give your views and suggestions.


  1. Thanks for sharing Kumar!!

  2. Hi Kumar,

    Went through your blogs before too, and enjoyed them. Thanks for the information.

    Shachi Sitaram

    1. You are welcome Shachi! I always admire and love your macro shots! You have a beautiful and amazing photo stream @ flickr