Priceless Advice From Erik Almås On Shooting Backplates

Erik Almås is a master of color, composition, and composites. In this behind the scenes look at some of Erik's recent personal work, he provides some invaluable tips on shooting backplates. See his full explanation below.

If you are looking to get better at shooting backplates to create composite images look no further than Erik Almås. Erik is a San Francisco based photographer that travels the world shooting commercial images for advertising clients, a dream job that very few individuals get to live. Erik explains the making of this image on his blog, which you should read.

From The Blog

I often get asked what my favorite place is and “What’s the best place I have visited?”

As every experience is different it is truly hard to answer which one is better…
My answer is often that my favorite place is the one I have not yet been to.
There are a few places though that has touched me in a special way where I, on the day I left, told myself I will come back.

One of these was Namibia.

When in big cities like New York or London I inevitably feel contained. I can’t see further than the next street corner and after a few weeks the buildings start caving in on me. When this happens I know it’s time for me to get some air and go to a place that’s open. Open to see the horizon and the sun rise and set…

A vast open space always gives me a sense of belonging. Of being part of something way bigger than myself.
All small issues, insecurities and ambitions just falls away and are being replaced with a sense of gratitude for all things that is.

Namibia was a place like this.
In the vastness of the desert planes one feel both small and big at the same time. Small and insignificant in the massiveness of the space, and big as in being connected to it all…

It’s been 7 months since I was there. I still think of it…

I have slowly started looking through the massive amounts of images shot while there. Most of it will be it’s separate body of work drawing from the polar and slightly ambiguous feeling described above.

This first personal image from my trip to Namibia is both a success and a failure to me.
Success in it’s beauty and a failure in describing how I felt when there.
It has too much of Erik Almas, the photographer in it. This in the sense of me having to control it. To relate it to me and put the human element in control. I love mountain biking and the feeling it gives me of flying through the landscape. It’s honest in that it relates to me but I didn’t bike when there.
When there I felt free and numb and lost and found at the same time…

So, when finishing the biker and living with it and the other images for a while I realize it’s both a success and a failure.

What I’m grateful for is that in the process I recognize this duality and can let the rest of the images be what they are.
Be what they are and speak to the bigness of Namibia, a place I can’t wait to go back to.

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1 Comment

Would love to see a tutorial on how to create such a seamless background.