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.
Summer may be drawing to a close soon, but ice cream is everyone’s year-round fave. Unlike the real stuff, Ink & Elm’s Dip n Dots backdrop won’t melt on you and its matte vinyl is tear resistant, so you can use it as a floor drop, too. It’s water resistant in case some real ice cream spills from your subject’s hands (or yours, we’re not judging). You can order the backdrop with grommets along the top for an extra $8, or spend $15 to get a pole pocket along the top. Sizes range from 3 x 2 feet up to 10 x 6 feet. Yum.
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.
Velour backgrounds are a relatively thick but lightweight material that is available in 40x5 to 8x12 inches. They give you the look of seamless without the hassle of getting crumpled up and ruined. Most are made of wrinkle-resistant fabric and can be reused again and again. Even though these backdrops are not available in a wide range of patterns and colors, they are perfect for those looking for low maintenance backdrops.
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!
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.
No more wasting your money on cheap vinyl. We've got just what you're looking for in a professional fabric photo backdrop. We print on high quality, matte finish, non-glare cloth with a dye sublimation process that exceeds expectations. We even have three different fabrics to choose from, allowing for further individualization! Other companies either print on subpar materials (like vinyl, muslin, or even paper!) or they print direct to fabric, which lessens the resolution and leaves you wanting more. Here at Photo Pie, we pride ourselves on providing excellent customer service through your entire ordering process. Whether you're needing a one time backdrop for a party or needing durable, wrinkle free backdrops for your photography studio, we've got professionally sublimated backdrops just for you!