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.

Don't take this review too critical to the overall worth of the product. Ultimately you pay for what you get and this is a very reasonable price for a starter home studio setup. I've been working with freelance photography for a few years now, primarily as a hobby, and decided to buy this as a portable setup I can take just about anywhere I want. Everything was functional for that purpose and works wonderfully. The light fixtures come with lights that aren't dimmable but adjustment of height and distance from the umbrella to the bulb can suffice. The carrying bag is fairly poor quality but it's kind of just a nice little extra you get with the package so I didn't take that to heart. The stand pieces, both for the backdrop and the lights, are fairly well made but if you aren't gentle they can be easily broken. As for the backdrops themselves, you get a white, black and green one; all of which are the expected colors and are decent material. However, if you intend to set these up indoors (or outdoors for that matter) be sure to have a background that is plain. These are not the thickest back drops and you can really see just about everything behind them if you aren't caring enough to have a plain backing. Overall, I am satisfied, but you shouldn't expect this to be the only kit you will ever need. Adequate for the beginner but once you really want to make a serious home studio, you will need something much more advanced.


Fast delivery. The product arrived in it's original box only. There was obvious wear on the box where the product inside fits snuggly against the box. There was also a hole in the lower portion of the box. When you open the box the two stands are in seperate bags (as pictured) and the two poles are together in plastic. I could see several small holes in both bags where they rubbed against the box. The biggest hole is really a cut about 1/2 long. I was disappointed but then I didn't buy the product for the bags. Taking the stands out of the bags I was surprised to find them undamaged. So, I had to put it together. It was easy to assemble and disassemble by myself. I've done it twice. (Hint: if you can't unsnap the ... full review

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Breaking news: Bokeh is in! With Lastolite’s Out of Focus Backgrounds, you won’t need to fiddle with your camera’s aperture to mimic that dreamy depth of field. There are a pair of double-sided backdrops in the Out of Focus line: one features a blurred seascape/autumn foliage, and the other sports summer foliage on one side and city lights on the other. At 4 x 5 feet, these backdrops should handle close to full-length portraits and will collapse to about a third of their size for transport. They weigh in at 3.3 pounds and come with their own carrying case. 

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Summer may be drawing to a close soon, but ice cream is everyone’s year-round fave. Unlike the real stuff, Ink & Elm’s Dip n Dots backdrop won’t melt on you and its matte vinyl is tear resistant, so you can use it as a floor drop, too. It’s water resistant in case some real ice cream spills from your subject’s hands (or yours, we’re not judging). You can order the backdrop with grommets along the top for an extra $8, or spend $15 to get a pole pocket along the top. Sizes range from 3 x 2 feet up to 10 x 6 feet. Yum.
Great photography doesn’t always involve buying the most expensive camera on the market. Certainly, great cameras yield very good results. But even the best camera can’t perform to its best level without great lighting in the scene. Quite often, that great lighting will come from the sun with outdoor photos. However, when you have to shoot indoors, you need to provide your own lighting. Although you can produce this lighting with an on-camera flash unit, photography lighting sets provide the best quality of light. You also can make significant adjustments to the intensity and direction of light when using a set, giving you maximum control of the photo quality.
If you do many in-studio portrait sessions, you probably have a lot of space set aside for background materials, props, and supports. Add to your stash with canvas backdrops for photography, and selections made of durable, low-maintenance materials, such as cotton and wrinkle-resistant polyester. Several backgrounds come on rolls so you can mount them to autopoles and smoothly swap out designs between poses. Seamless paper works particularly well for everyday needs, as you can roll sheets out to the desired length and then reuse or trim away pieces for easy recycling. Muslin photo and video backdrops feature non-reflective surfaces that diffuse light more naturally, which can help keep the focus on your subject. If you prefer materials that allow for fast and efficient cleanup, vinyl and PVC backgrounds are a solid choice, especially when you use them in potentially messy situations involving pets, babies, and toddlers.
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