Made of moderately thick, heavy material, canvas used to be the most popular among photography backdrops. However, due to its bulk and cost, it has been overshadowed by muslin backdrops in terms of popularity. Nevertheless, a good canvas backdrop will last a long time and provide a classy look to your shots. While you can bring canvas photo backdrops with you, they’re best suited for studio work since they easily wrinkle when stored in a duffel bag.
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!
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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.
No space? No problem. The 42 x 42 x 42-inch Little Studio unfolds to deliver a corner studio setting in any location. Its metal frame is shrouded in white diffusion fabric and has hook-and-loop edges so you can mount backdrops and floor mats with ease. When the shoot is over, the Little Studio folds down and slips into an included nylon carrying case. You can completely disassemble the studio if you really need to pack it down.
What can I say? This background is flimsy and cheap and you can see right through it and it's packed folded and the creases never come out. It arrived with a few runs which is frustrating but you get what you pay for. All of that being said, under the right conditions the backdrop does photograph well, if you know what your doing. Shallow DOF and creative lighting and it did what it was needed for, which in my case was a quick set up for a baby holiday portrait.
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!
Once I got the equipment out of the box, the entire kit took about 20-30 minutes to set up and break down. I'm expecting it'll be quicker once I've gotten used to it, but the kit's otherwise simple enough to handle. The backdrops are rather thin, but enough for my current needs. I'll need to be more aware of what's behind the muslin, and the sheets can be easily replaced by thicker material when necessary. The metal supports on the umbrellas are enough to keep the things open, but aren't very tolerant of, say, a klutz who knocks the stand over while setting up. (Nothing's broken, and everything's still useful, but... yeah, that bend wasn't there in the umbrella before.) The bag is sturdy enough for lugging things around, but it isn't padded - I've been using the muslins for that purpose. I'm keeping all the equipment boxes and plastic baggies to make sure things stay tidy, but if you wanted to, you could cut it down to just the containers for the light bulbs. Overall, pretty chuffed with this kit.
Our full line of photo props and accessories will help you create the perfect portrait. From props that interact wonderfully with subjects to those that simply give your photos a little more interest. Our props are sure to help with creating magical photographs each and every time. Our realistic prop designs are often used in theatrical settings, special events, portraits, and even the motion picture industry.
When I want new portraits of my kids, I never head to the photography studio. Instead, I head to the kitchen or front room, where I get great window light. I’m willing to spend a lot more time than most photographers would with my kids to get just the photo I want, and I often photograph them right in front of a blank wall for an easy background. This can get old pretty quickly, though, so I’ve collected 20 different options for easy DIY backdrops you can use in your home.
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.
For gear, I used my Canon 50mm 1.4 lens. My camera settings for most of the shots you saw were f1.8, ISO 640 and shutter speed around 250. No flash. Just natural light. You really just need to play around with it a bit depending on your lighting situation and what not. Be brave and use that manual mode on your camera or at least the aperture priority setting. I did test shots using stuffed toys while the little guy was napping so as not to “waste” any precious time with him and risk missing any good shots. If you have older kids that will sit still you can get some really cool shots! If only Mr. C was old enough for an M&M bribe. Mr Moose did well though…. Here’s a test shot…..
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