Take Charge - Tabletop Landscapes - Photography

Step 3: Making a backdrop for your landscape

An initial consideration is what to use as your backdrop.  The size of this will determine the size of the objects you can use in your landscape, as you will want them roughly to scale. Try and give yourself as much space as possible to be able to manoeuvre your objects into the positions that look right to you.

You will need to stand your backdrop up against a support, ideas include:

  • A wall – it may be the colour you’re looking for or you could pin some fabric or stick some paper to it
  • A clothes maiden – this is very good for draping fabric over
  • A radiator – as these are often in front of windows you may get some interesting back light
  • A cardboard box (weighted if you want to secure things to it) – you could also draw or paint a backdrop onto this
  • A table - draping fabric or paper over the edge of a table and working on the floor


  • Think about what you want your backdrop to represent. Is it a clear blue sky, rolling green hills, a starry night sky? The material you want to use may dictate what sort of thing you use for your backdrop support. For example, a starry night could be recreated by making small holes in some black paper and sticking it to a window to produce stars.

Also you may want to shine a light through your backdrop to give the impression of the sun or moon. If so make sure you have sufficient space behind the backdrop to do this. Take some photographs of your backdrop to see if the impression it gives in camera is what you’re aiming for. 


Beach at night

Page 3 of 6