Stands often come with crossbars that can support a cloth, vinyl, muslin, or paper backdrop and are secured by either slipping it through a pole pocket or by clamps. For many stands, a crossbar is not needed if the backdrop is canvas or vinyl and has a wooden mounting. Single portable backdrop stands are also available. Portable photography stands are easy to set up, break down, and transport to locations.
Another buyer mentions that it’s easy to adjust the portable backdrop stand and that it’s perfect for light-weight backdrops. He highly recommends it as one of the best background stands available. However, a couple of users have noted that the product is flimsy and breaks because the plastic is of poor quality. Some also complain that they received a damaged unit.
Made from styrene, a wrinkle-free plastic, this versatile backdrop can be used as a light table, prop setup or a seamless background. Props or people on the other side of the backdrop are seen as shapes and eerie silhouettes. Placed in front of a light, it delivers a frosted glass effect. You can cut Translum with scissors, so you can whittle down a roll into any shape you desire. It’s available in three grades: lightweight, for a soft light effect with a 3/4-stop light loss, medium grade that eliminates most of the shadows and delivers a 1.5-stop light loss and a heavy grade that knocks back two stops of light (this grade is recommended for shooting tables and is cleanable). Medium and lightweight grades are sold in 60-inch x 18-foot rolls while the heavyweight grade is available in 54-inch x 18-foot rolls.
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.
Among a raft of new products, Denny’s Fair Tale Trail puts your subject in a whimsical (dare we say Hobbit-esque) setting. The backdrop is available in your choice of three materials: Freedom Cloth, which is a wrinkle-free polyster that’s washable and dryer safe; Twist Flex, which uses the Freedom Cloth material but mounts it to a wire frame that can be folded down tight if you envision travelling a lot with the backdrop. Lastly, it’s available in canvas, which is a more delicate backdrop that ships with a wood mounting and Velcro straps. Sizes vary with Freedom Cloth, giving you the widest selection of size options.
You don’t have to browse Instagram long before you see images of people in dangerous places. You can satisfy the thrill-seeking selfie shooter with PhotoPie’s vertigo-inducing Bird’s Eye View floor mat. The bottom is made of non-slip rubber that will stay in place once it’s on the floor. The top material is felt and is imaged using a fade-resistant dye-sublimation process. Sizes range from 4 x 5 to 8 x 10 feet.
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?!
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!
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.
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.
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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