Greenscreen Your Favorite Family Photo

I’ve been having a lot of fun using the Shotbox Photo Studio to digitize all kinds of photos, documents, books, and artifacts from my family archive. It’s so fast and easy to create high quality digital images that I decided to try something different using the greenscreen background included in the Shotbox Photo Studio Deluxe Bundle.

Our two boys wore out cowboy boots faster than a dog’s tail in a meat market, but I just couldn’t throw out those pointy toddler toes. We saved three pairs of boots— one pair was made into a lamp, one pair became bookends, and one pair was left for the archive and my Shotobox greenscreen experiment.

Your local weatherman uses a greenscreen (or chroma key) when he points at storm patterns on a national map. He isn’t standing in front of a map. Instead, he’s in front of a green backdrop that’s replaced by a digital image or video of a map to create a layered effect. You can do something similar with video software, but it’s even easier with the Shotbox and a smartphone app.

The four background banners in the Shotbox Deluxe Kit give plenty of options for photographing various objects. I’ve found that choosing a high-contrast background typically gives the best image. Jewelry, silver, and small objects look good on white or black; simple matte finish items like boxes or products show up well on blue; and some artifacts are great subjects for chroma key, or greenscreen, treatment.

I set up the Shotbox with the green chroma key background and placed the boots toward the front of the photo box. I experimented so that the boots didn’t cast a shadow against the back wall.

I tried several different greenscreen apps for iOS and found most of them to be too complicated. Chroma Key Green Screen Studio App for iPhone by Noe Guerrero was fairly simple. Search the App Store for your smartphone to find a trial or ‘Lite” app to try.

You need two photographs: a foreground image (the boots) and a background image (the snapshot). Depending on the app, you may need to snap the foreground image against the greenscreen background within the app. Chroma Key Green Screen Studio App allowed the option to select photos from Library or Take a Photo.

The background image may need adjusting to fit the space filled by the greenscreen. If you use the greenscreen as a seamless backdrop, your background photo will fill the entire space leaving your artifact floating against the photo.

I liked the final product better when the boots were on a “floor” created by a piece of red scrapbook paper. The resulting photo is a fun montage of a great memory.