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.
A. Many photographers choose a continuous lighting set as a introductory set because of its low starting price. Additionally, continuous lighting allows you to control shadows, and to take the time to figure out the exact camera settings to use. However, continuous light generates heat, so if you’re shooting portrait photos, your subjects could grow uncomfortable.

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What this tells us is that the further away the light source is from the subject and backdrop, the more likely we are to get an equal exposure from one to the other. The quality of the light source can also change with distance. You will notice that as the light gets further away it becomes a harder light with less transitional values. Also, if the subject appears to be further away from the backdrop in the last image, it's due to me needing to use a shorter focal length (zoom out) to avoid getting the softbox in the shot. The shorter focal length exaggerates perspective.

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I love this backdrop for photos; I used it for my daughters pictures to use on her first birthday card. However, as other reviewers stated, getting the creases out is nearly impossible. I took another persons idea of wrapping it around a pole (one of those long, skinny paint rollers meant for painting ceilings - so very skinny). I wrapped it around the pole and used tape to hold it in place for TWO WEEKS. While it helped with the creases a little bit, they were still pretty visible. I would love to purchase more of these for future use but am hesitant; I wish the supplier would ship them rolled in tubes as opposed to folding them.
This is the Meking background support system with a crossbar that telescopes from 77cm to 200cm. It can hold paper or cloth backgrounds to a maximum of almost 200cm.   Item features: Heavy duty 18mm,22mm and 25mm diameter tubes holds the heavy backdrop or drapes light background stand convenient for on-location work where portability is required The three legs spread out quickly and are freestanding Special locking system and the power clamp designed for stability and secure the backdrop usage   Item features: The lowest height of tripod: 77cm The highest height of tripod:200cm Crossbar length: 3 segments about 200cm Crossbar diameter:25mm.
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.
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?!
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