Home / Blog / Amazon has Patent Approved for Seamless White Backdrops

logo_amazonBack in March, the online retailer monolith Amazon.com was granted a patent for photographs that utilized the technique of a seamless white backdrop and direct lighting. This is a pretty common way to photograph a variety of things. Although this is an oversimplification of the technique, it raises some pretty important questions.

The exact description of the patent is as follows:

“Embodiments of the disclosure are directed in an arrangement of various elements to form a studio in which items, people, products, clothing, or any other object can be photographed or filmed to achieve a particular effect. More specifically, embodiments of the disclosure can allow images and/or video of an item placed in a studio arrangement as described herein to be captured with a background that appears, when captured with an image capturing device, as a near perfect white without the need for post-processing, retouching, or other image manipulation.”


  •  How will this effect the average photographer?
  • Why did Amazon request the patent to begin with?
  • Will others still be ‘allowed’ to shoot this style?

A lot of these questions aren’t easily answered, and will become a bit more apparent with time. What are your thoughts on the patent?

6 thoughts on “Amazon has Patent Approved for Seamless White Backdrops

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  4. This is absurd. I am pretty sure that their “exclusive” technique involves placing the item on a translucent surface lit from below. This technique is as old as frosted glass and too obvious to patent. I was taught this technique in photography school in the early 1980’s. The corporate takeover of everything of value in this country is going to lead to the fall of the American empire. (Secretly hoping this story is a fake)

  5. I don’t know what they’re trying to do by patenting that, but I don’t like it. I think if something is common knowledge or general practice nobody should be allowed to patent it. People should only be allowed to patent things they invented themselves with their two hands or, in the case of big companies, things that have been invented by the company and are exclusive to that company at the time of the patent.

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