Even shooting on location you can achieve some background lighting magic. The sun moves around throughout the day — think east to west as well as dawn to dusk. Analyze what time of the day the sun will project the light on your subject at the desired angle. Note: Hard light (direct sun) will create darker shadows while diffused light (cloudy overcast) will create softer shadows.
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.
Like other photo backdrop materials, polyester also comes in various sizes and colors. An advantage of this fabric is that it’s wrinkle-free. If there are heavy wrinkles, it can easily be removed by warm ironing from the back or by steam ironing it when it’s hung. It also includes rod holes that are perfect for hanging, especially if you don’t have a place to store it after using.
Anyone that does any kind of handy work around the house (or anywhere for that matter) definitely needs to keep a few of these on hand. They are simple. They are plastic, but they feel very strong. The spring inside is REALLY strong! It's got a tight grip for sure! I have around 40-50 of these (different brands) that I've acquired over the years doing woodworking projects. These rank right up there with the best ones! If you're gluing something, these are a must to clamp the parts together. Great grip and as inexpensive as you're going to find! (currently $9.99/1.67ea). Hard to argue with that!
So why only 4 stars and not 5? I personally don't like the very top of the backdrop. If you look at the pictures carefully (I don't know if you can actually see this because I tried to crop these out), it looks like there are ceiling lights on a dark alley street. Scientifically, that's impossible and realistically, it looks WEIRD. But other than that, it's near perfect for what you're paying for.
Having skills in a variety of lighting techniques for your photo backdrop can give you some wonderful options for creating beautiful imagery for either products or portraits. By brushing up on your exposure and composition know-how along with practicing prior to your actual shoot date you’ll quickly be able to build a portfolio showing off your creative depth.
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