It seems that more and more product and still life photography is shot against a really popping and colourful background. Those are usually colour gradients going from, for example,a lighter green to a darker green. Before, I made them using the Gradient Tool in Photoshop. However, I just spotted a new option in the gradient dialog box which is named “Noise Gradient” and I think that is a better way to do it.

The Noise Gradient command, located in the Gradient Type rolling window in the Gradient Editor (double-click on the gradient preview at the top left of the screen when having the Gradient Tool selected), basically generates different spikes of colours that will be used by the Gradient Tool. The most important slider of them all in the dialog box is the roughness slider. It basically adds or subtracts blur to the palet. For the aforementioned application, I’d go with nothing higher than 15%. You can shift the colour of the resulting gradient by moving the Red, Green and Blue sliders at the bottom. Or, you can click the Randomize button a few time and see what you get.

Once you are happy with the gradient you have, click on OK, choose a circular gradient, create a new layer, find the center point of your canvas by using rulers and drag the gradient towards the edge of the frame. If you’d like a smoother transition, you can try using the Gaussian Blur filter to try to make the gradient less choppy. Also, you can try stretching the layer to get an oval gradient if your frame isn’t squared. The possibilities are endless; just play with the background until you are happy with it. I also like to add a tiny bit of noise to the gradient layer to make it more realistic. I recommend that you go with the Add Noise filter.

Using the Noise Gradient function is an excellent way to easily generate a unique background. Try it your next product or still life shoot and let us know how it went!