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.
An additional piece to go in the kitchen! with some matching dish towels and foam dish drying mats,everything was pulled together nicely. The window in the kitchen is as big as the curtains here and when the sunlight shines in at the end of the day it looks like you are strolling through this valley, very beautiful. Wouldn't recommend this unless you have a very large window so the panels can open all the way so you can see the entire picture.
Overall I am very happy with this purchase. I wanted to get a decent lighting studio with backdrop without dropping a lot of cash in for now. I will say when ordering it I was very hesitant. I have found things that are priced cheap,are generally cheap quality. This I think was fair. Everything was in the bag, all lights worked, no bent poles, or broken lights. The fabric of the muslin is rather thin, but I had no problem with transparency on the white. My only complaints are that the bag's strap feels very frail in the stitching where it connects to the bag, which I can easily fix with a needle and thread, and the aluminum poles for the stands/poles are very light and tip with ease. I'm sure a few sandbags hanging would fix that though. Other than that I am very happy with my purchase. I have attached a photo from a quick shoot I did to test the kit out with my oldest husky. A good product for the price, and someone wanting to keep it cheap and simple for a while.
Backgrounds, also known as backdrops, are a standard feature used in a controlled setting such as a photography studio. The ability to change backgrounds adds versatility to portraits allowing you endless possibilities in truly crafting an image. Backdrops are available in various types and are categorized based on the size and materials they are made of. These can range from simple solids to subtle patterns and even custom-painted, photo-realistic scenes. To effectively use a backdrop you will need stands and other accessories.
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.
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.
These lights worked perfectly for what I purchased them for - as part of the backdrop for my Christmas pictures. They are a great, long length and width and shine brightly, but they are not overpowering. I had no issues stringing them up at all. They have a steady on mode as well as several different blinking modes. My only complaint is that the plug did not fit into my standard outlet - it was very loose and kept sliding out, so I had to tape it in to use it. Also, there is no off switch, so these have to be unplugged when not in use. Like I said, though, they worked great for my intended purpose.
I shoot videos and portraits of classical and acoustic guitarists and have a small collection of backdrops I carry around. The StudioPRO 5' x 7' Blue Collapsible Twist Muslin is one of my favorites: convenient to transport, fast to set up and easy on the eye. It's a blue muslin marbled with random patches of white and darker grayish blues, almost resembling the sky with popcorn clouds. I love how it photographs and my sample is a little darker and more attractive and than the product photos.
In this SOOC shot, you can see just how down and dirty this setup was. The backdrop is not pulled out very far and taped down only in a couple of spots. In the top left edge of the image you can see the corner of the 50 inch Apollo. This also shows that the right edge of the light is hitting the subject, allowing for a soft feathered look, but more importantly for this setup, it's allowing the rest of the box to light our background.
Cotton is a great photo background because it works well with the subject, especially if the lighting is properly set up. Also, if you want a backdrop that’s perfect for traveling, invest in a cotton fabric backdrop. It’s portable and easy to transport, set up, and collapse. It varies in size, too, so make sure to pick the right one before going to your location.
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!
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.