Muslin is a cotton weave fabric that holds dyes and paints with ease. These backgrounds are made of lightweight material and are clamped to a background stand or even draped over anything to transform the look of a picture. As the muslin is made of thinner and lighter material, it does not show wrinkles and can be used as a neutral background or as a dramatic one. It comes in many different sizes and pattern that range from 5x8 to 30x30 feet and solid color backdrop or designer series patterned design. Muslin backgrounds can feature replicas of old master paintings, abstract patterns or marbleized patterns. This material is very portable and fairly inexpensive making it a favorite with photographers.
Users love the price and the quality of the product, but some do note that it’s too light for their liking. The Linco T-shaped backdrop stand features a sturdy design, a set of crossbars, and clamps to keep the fabric in place. Another great thing about this product is that it’s light – just four lbs., and you don’t need any special skills to assemble it. What’s more, you can adjust it from 2.6 ft. to 6.7 ft.
In the shot above I used a two light setup. The main light, camera left, is a Profoto D1 1,000Ws head inside of a 50 inch Westcott Apollo Softbox. While the idea of mixing what is considered to be a high-end strobe with a budget softbox my not sit right with some, I find the indirect lighting source from a Westcott or Photek to give a really nice and even light. The 60 inch Photek Softlighter, which I also enjoy using, may only cost $95 but gives a really nice, soft, and even light. If these lower cost indirect sources are good enough for the likes of Mario Testino and Annie Leibovitz, then they are good enough for me. Clay Cook did an great article on these lighting sources, "Lighting Like Leibovitz," that you can find here.
The fabric has a slight odor similar to vinegar and evaporated milk but airs out if you leave it unfolded a few days. The fabric, as expected, is lightweight but decent quality cotton. By definition Muslin is lightweight cotton cloth and, yep, it's thin so a backing layer is necessary if used against a bright light or window (e.g., my uploaded image). It ... full review
For a dramatic or edgy appearance, go with low-key lighting. Low-key lighting also focuses attention onto your subject by surrounding them in shadows instead of light. To do this, you want to ensure that your solid black backdrop is at least 3 stops darker than the light on your subject. With low-key lighting, you also need to ensure that none of the light from your subject is hitting your backdrop. Grids and flag are very helpful for this.
Hand Painted photography backdrops are at a quality level all their own. With over 45 years of experience, we have mastered creating the perfect hand painted background replica every time. We are capable of handling the most delicate of color changes in our Old Master backgrounds. The Old Master series of hand painted canvases are sure to please and will last for many years if cared for properly.
If you’d like to do a little further reading, here are a couple of links to tutorials that I found helpful before trying this myself. Prop Insanity has a great one with pictures of their actual studio set up using this type of background and Digitial Photography School has a great article on How to Take Beautiful Bokeh Christmas Images . (Bokeh being that gorgeous background blur we all love). You can also check out my Photography board on pinterest for more ideas. If you do try this, I would LOVE to see your finished product so please come share with us on Facebook.
The Hand Painted Background is made from durable high quality muslin material and is 100% cotton to help absorb the light and eliminate reflection. It is completely seamless being made from one piece of material. It comes with a 4" rod pocket at one end. It is machine washable and crimped along the edges to prevent tears. It is light weight and easy to fold. Please allow for 5-8% manufacturing shrinkage. Package Contents One (1) 10 'x 12 ' W001 Muslin Backdrop Specifications -100% cotton to absorb the light and help eliminate reflection -completely Seamless, made from one piece of material -3.5" rod pocket at one end -Allow for 5-8% manufacturing shrinkage.
To start constructing this DIY backdrop, measure how thick your elbow is compared to your curtain rod, and add electrical tape around the end of the rod until you have a tight fit. For most people, it will be easier to put a little bit of tape on at a time, testing the fit every so often until it’s snug, but measurements can give you a good base to start with. Don’t attach the rod to the elbow yet, however.
The most simple way to hang a backdrop is by using wall hooks. This solution is suitable for people using smaller and lighter backdrops. 5 x 7-foot X-Drop Backdrops and 3.5 x 3.5-foot backdrops feature built-in grommets for use with hooks. While you can install these into your wall, we recommend picking up a pack of removable wall hooks to protect your walls. They are usually under $10 USD per pack.
One of the advantages of using a chroma key background is that it can shorten production time by doing away with the need to change from one background to another. This kind of photo backdrop allows the photographer to freely take pictures without thinking of what background will best fit the image, as they can decide on that part later in the post-processing stage.
Stock up on extra drive components such as chains, switches, and weights, so you can quickly replace broken or missing parts. Be sure to keep plenty of spare clips, hooks, and brackets on hand so portrait backgrounds and video backdrops stay in place during shoots. Maintain clean and organized work spaces by storing paper rolls and mounting poles on wall-mounted and freestanding storage racks.