I would definitely play around with it. Your not going to want to go too wide with 4 because odds are they will move around a bit and you’ll end up with some soft faces. Some key things to remember would be try to keep their faces all on the same plane of focus, that will allow you to shoot a little wider. Generally with 4 kids I would aim to shoot around f/4 but certainly play around. At that aperture you may want to consider moving them further away from the background. Keep in mind the closer you are to them and the further away from the background they are the more bokeh you will get!
The type of material that you choose for photo backdrops can impact the photos that you take in several ways. Materials such as cotton, muslin, or canvas, may absorb and soften your studio lighting whereas materials such as vinyl, polyester, and velvet may reflect some of your studio lighting in your photos. Different situations will call for different photo material options, so it's a good idea to have a range of colors and prints in different material types. Many of these materials are available in this eBay category. Other photo background materials may include:
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.
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.
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.
Think of the Pearl photo booth as magic on a stand. Capture the smiles, capture the joy, turn it into top quality photos with customizable messages and graphics, then send these off into the world - all in a flash. Ideal for weddings, corporate functions, birthday parties, proms . . . you get the picture. The Pearl sets up in minutes, creates joy and memories for hours.
Again, if you are starting out or having trouble I would recommend getting the light a little further back (somewhere between 4 to 8 feet if using a similar sized light source). You will also notice that the right side of my backdrop is actually not 100 percent white, it fades to a light gray shade. I could increase my fill or correct this in post-processing, but the slight shift is intentional in this image.
The Emart portable background support kit features adjustable crossbars, an aluminum alloy construction for portability and durability, heavy-duty spring clamps, and heavy-duty nylon sandbags. Another great thing about this product is that it comes with a bag so that you can take it with you on your trips. What’s more, you can adjust the height from 2.6 to 7 ft and the width from 5 to 10 ft.
The StudioPRO 3000W's included backdrops add a lot of value and a professional touch that users love. The 10-foot power cord often eliminates the need for an extension, and can reduce anxiety over tripping on a taut line. The lightweight equipment and small case store easily, and if you travel a lot, you would be hard-pressed to find a more portable model.
Lastolite by Manfrotto offers the essentials to smoothen and soften natural or artificial lighting for portrait and fashion photography with backgrounds and accessories for an extra creative touch. And don't forget about our reflectors and diffusers, available in circular and triangular shapes, softboxes for speed lights and studio lights, in various shapes and sizes. Our umbrellas and backdrops are available in different materials and surfaces ideal for still life photography. We designed our unique lighting tools consulting a network of professional photographers in order to meet their needs. Many features of our products are patented and our R&D team is constantly looking to further improve product functionality. Lastolite Light Modifiers are designed to be collapsable, providing increased compactness and portability. Developed and produced in the UK following strict quality standards, Lastolite by Manfrotto offers the ultimate lighting solution for all photographers, whether in the studio or outdoors.
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The main cause of this working is distance. Notice how close the subject is standing to the background and how far away the main light is from the subject. In this example, the subject is approximately 2 feet from the backdrop and the main light is approximately 4 feet from the subject. If you're new to this, I would recommend starting with your main light a bit further back to make it a little less challenging. You will see why in a second.
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When it comes to special effect backgrounds, the chroma key backdrops are the most common used in tandem with special effects. The chroma key or key backgrounds are usually set to perfect blue or green helping a computer differentiate the background from the subject easily. This background can be used to superimpose a second image over the first one to show the chroma key color section.
Some canvas backdrops include subtle patterns that provide an interesting but neutral background that doesn’t compete with a portrait subject for attention. Darker backgrounds can be used for low-key lighting, while a lighter, well-lit photo background can create a completely different high-key mood. Canvas backdrops at Adorama range in price from around $135.00 for a 5×7 to $270.00 for an 8×8-foot cloth.
I am helping a friend’s daughter with her wedding planning and want to make a backdrop like this for the wedding ceremony. Can you elaborate on how the strings of lights were plugged in and whether they all “hung” versus the string light hanging down and then looping back up, if that makes sense? I like the look of them just hanging but it seems like plugging a bunch of individual ones would be hard. Am I making this too complicated?!
Cheryl Woods is an accomplished photographer, designer and branding consultant with a career spanning 20+ years. Her photographic work includes editorial, fashion, portraiture and product photography for major companies in the consumer products field including QVC and Hanover Direct. She received a B.F.A. in Photography from the University of the Arts and an M.F.A. in Media Design from Full Sail University. Cheryl's work has been exhibited at the Lowes Museum of Art in Coral Gables, FL, The New York Independent Film Festival and the Rosenwald Wolf Gallery in Philadelphia, PA. Check out her website here!
Canvas backgrounds are made of a moderately thick, heavy fabric. These backdrops are mostly painted to look like classic paintings or have imagery of scenic realism. They are also known as roll drops or scenics and need a suspension system. Usually, photographers use motorized backdrop stands though background rollers can also be used to clamp the canvas. A good canvas backdrop can provide an amazing look to the photographers scenes and can even last for a longer span of time. These backdrops are also available with subtle patterns or even neutral backgrounds which highlights the portrait subject.
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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.
We used this backdrop for an at-home photo shoot with a newborn. It worked great for us, the only downside is that it is folded when it comes and came with instructions to get the creases out adding some more work than just opening the package and taking pictures. Regardless, it flattened perfectly fine in about 10 minutes and we’ll be using it again so it was definitely worth it for the price and effort.
Vinyl backdrops are thick, rolled and durable, and are recommended for professional studio work. They generally come in solids, but there are a few with printed patterns that can be very inexpensive. While most vinyl backgrounds have a glossy sheen, there are some (including a recently announced line by Savage, which includes the Savage Matte Finish Gray Infinity Series vinyl background) that have a matte finish to eliminate glare and reflections.