Football season is nearly upon us and Backdrop Express’s sports and stadium-themed printed backdrops are a great way to capitalize on the bone crunching. They’re available in poly paper or vinyl in either 4 x 5-foot or 5 x 6-foot sizes, or a fabric with sizes ranging from 5 x 6.5 feet up to 10 x 10 feet in a choice of light or heavyweight. The poly paper version is water resistant and has a matte finish. If you opt for vinyl, you’ll get a more durable backdrop that’s also water resistant and has a matte finish. The heavyweight fabric is a polyester/cotton knot that’s washable and wrinkle resistant with a sewn-in rod pocket. The lightweight fabric is a 100 percent polyester weave that Backdrop Express likens to a tablecloth. It, too, is wrinkle resistant, though less than the heavyweight fabric. On the plus side, Backdrop Express says the printed design is “slightly clearer” on the lightweight version. Decisions, decisions.
One of the advantages of using a chroma key background is that it can shorten production time by doing away with the need to change from one background to another. This kind of photo backdrop allows the photographer to freely take pictures without thinking of what background will best fit the image, as they can decide on that part later in the post-processing stage.
This project is simple and doesn’t take very long at all, maybe about an hour from start to finish. After you’re finished, you will want to roll up the fabric and lights for storage until the wedding. Consider covering it as well, to keep and dirt or dust from settling on it. We covered ours with garbage bags since black dog fur and white curtains are not exactly friends.
There are a few things to consider when choosing a backdrop size, including the size of your studio and the size of your subject. Portrait subjects should typically be pulled at least 3’ away from your backdrop to prevent shadows and allow for easy lighting. Of course, this distance your subject will be from the backdrop will be altered when taking overhead or backlit/high key shots. Below, we’ll discuss both the length and width restrictions of common backdrops.
This is a durable and well made photography back drop. All stitching is tight with no loose threads. It includes 5 spring clamps for hanging, or it can be hung using the sewn in rod pockets. It's made of 100% cotton and is a nice weight without being too heavy. Overall I'm very happy with this backdrop and recommend it to anyone looking for a nice white one.
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:
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.