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?!
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.
With a 20 or 24-foot long backdrop you’ll be able to cover just about every style of portraiture and product photography. These backdrops are great if you want to photograph a larger family full-length, or have a video shoot that requires movement. These long backdrops are great for when you want to pull your subjects far from your backdrop as well.
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.
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.
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.
In summary, the key factors to getting the backdrop and subject lit in a similar exposure zone is distance; The distance of the subject to the background and the distance of the light source to the subject. Decrease the distance of the subject to background and increase the distance of the main light to the subject to make this easier. The key factor for getting a soft and directional quality to the light is also distance, but it's the opposite. By getting the light closer to the subject, we can create a softer light with more directional qualities. Also remember that these qualities of the light are relative to the size of the light source. If you are using a smaller light source, you will need to get it in closer to hold those transitional values. If you are using a larger light source, you may be able to get your light further back and still hold those soft-light qualities. Also, if the examples and basic principles here make sense to you, you have kind of just learned the inverse square law!
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.
This kind of fabric has an amazing quality that absorbs light from flashes around the studio. It enables you to have a pitch-black (if using black velour) portrait background that will not reflect the light from your flash or lighting equipment. This way, you don’t have to worry about the direction of light affecting the background because it leaves no detail.
Create the ideal setting for your photo shoots with photo backdrops and backdrop equipment. To accommodate a variety of client needs, consider stocking up on a selection of solid color and printed photo backdrops. Whether you own a collection of seamless background paper or you're just starting out in the business, you can choose from numerous designs and accessories suitable for headshots, family portraits, and product photography.