The folks at the slanted lens are anything but low value so it was kinda surprising to see that many of their setups are actually low-budget DIYs. The short below shows six of those tricks including a plumbing backdrop hanger, a ton of budgety lighting solutions (some of which we have covered in the past, but their softbox is pure budget geniusity) and my favorite, another use for a tarp.
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!
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.
Canvas backgrounds are made of a moderately thick, heavy fabric. These backdrops are mostly painted to look like classic paintings or have imagery of scenic realism. They are also known as roll drops or scenics and need a suspension system. Usually, photographers use motorized backdrop stands though background rollers can also be used to clamp the canvas. A good canvas backdrop can provide an amazing look to the photographers scenes and can even last for a longer span of time. These backdrops are also available with subtle patterns or even neutral backgrounds which highlights the portrait subject.
Muslin is a cotton weave fabric that holds dyes and paints with ease. These backgrounds are made of lightweight material and are clamped to a background stand or even draped over anything to transform the look of a picture. As the muslin is made of thinner and lighter material, it does not show wrinkles and can be used as a neutral background or as a dramatic one. It comes in many different sizes and pattern that range from 5x8 to 30x30 feet and solid color backdrop or designer series patterned design. Muslin backgrounds can feature replicas of old master paintings, abstract patterns or marbleized patterns. This material is very portable and fairly inexpensive making it a favorite with photographers.
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.
Package Included： 1 x 2x3m Backdrop Crossbar Kit 1 x Carry CASE 4x Background Clamps(FREE GIFT) Description: This brand new portable background/backdrop support stand kit is extremely suitable for all level photographers from amateurs to professionals. It is a perfect solution to produce photo and video for web retailers and commercial product catalog, especially for costume and portrait. Very easy to use and set up in minutes.
Yes all the "bad" stuff they say about this product is true, it's essentially a very long roll of wrapping paper, thin, wrinkles easily. BUT that being said, if you treat it with just a little TLC this stuff performs beautifully. Photographs extremely well. Perfect for the beginner photographer on a limited budget, or like myself a more seasoned photographer with a small studio, I highly recommend this product. For the price it can't be beat! This photo was taken on the "barn wood" version.
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Nice strong clamp. Seems well made for an inexpensive gadget. Very handy addition to the things you can mount a camera to when either you don't have a tripod or the tripod just won't work. I have not tried it with the SLR but should hold well unless the camera is quite large or with a long heavy lens. Probably best with P&S or the smaller SLR & lenses.
Chromakey gives you the ability to insert your photography client into a background of your choosing by having them pose in front of a vibrantly colored screen. You can do this in post-processing programs by removing and replacing the chromakeyed color with the background of your choosing. While you can technically chromakey any color, opting for a very exaggerated color, neon green or blue, will reduce the chance of your client accidentally looking like a floating head without a body because you chromakeyed the color of their dress.
Look no further! This is an awesome kit. I was very impressed with the weight and quality of the hardware. The poles are thick and sturdy, and it includes a brochure with basic instructions. The set comes with multiple bags: the large primary bag that holds everything, and smaller "set" bags (two for the umbrellas/softboxes and one for the back muslin stand). Overall I am very satisfied with this purchase and highly recommend this set. Also, the seller was great with communication.
Overall a beautiful backdrop. More yellow than I was expecting though. The yellowish center on mine is very large and bright, with much less brown/green than the one pictured. I used it for a dance troupe portrait and the yellow wasn’t flattering with everyone’s skin tone. Too bland. However, I changed the color in post and I LOVE the result. The yellow center became a natural bright spot under whatever color I painted with, and is a lovely effect. I have included pictures. The first one is mostly unaltered in color, just darkened a little. I am keeping the backdrop, knowing that I’ll have to be careful with subject/lighting or paint it in post-processing.
A 5 or 6-foot wide backdrop is a great size for headshots and ¾-length portraits. These backdrops are easy to manage and still only requires minimal space to set up. These backgrounds are ideal for event photographers who often work in busy spaces or for photographers working in a small home studio. While 5 to 6-foot backdrops offer more flexibility than 3.5-foot backdrops, they still become a bit tight if when photographing a couple or full-length portrait.