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.
As with lighting systems and camera equipment, backdrops require some kind of support to keep them in place. Background supports can be simple or sophisticated systems. The simple ones are easy to set up and break down and are well suited for location work, while sophisticated, permanent studio systems can hold multiple backgrounds that can be raised or lowered either manually or at the flip of a switch.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The key to getting those gorgeous big bubbles of light in the background is to locate your subject a decent distance from the lights while at the same time positioning yourself as close to your subject as you can be to get the shot you want and setting the aperture on your camera just about as wide open as you can. The further away your subject is from the lights, the closer your are to your subject and the wider the aperture…..the bigger the lights.
Please keep your expectations realistic: this is a $30 backdrop that will be delivered to your door. This is not fancy. This isn't printed on the best of materials, but do you need it to be? If you're a professional photographer who has worked with backdrops that are $200 a pop, you shouldn't waste your time with this one. But if you're like me, just cutting my teeth out on this business, this is a fine investment that is fun and easy.
Stock up on extra drive components such as chains, switches, and weights, so you can quickly replace broken or missing parts. Be sure to keep plenty of spare clips, hooks, and brackets on hand so portrait backgrounds and video backdrops stay in place during shoots. Maintain clean and organized work spaces by storing paper rolls and mounting poles on wall-mounted and freestanding storage racks.