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.
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.
I was a little thrown off that it came folded up in an envelop, as this lead to some significant "creasing". However, I just laid the material flat, rolled it up and hung it vertically so gravity would pull the creases out. After a couple of days of hanging, it is pretty much wrinkle free. I had been a little concerned about other reviewers' comments about the image quality (digital printing) on the actual backdrop, but mine is perfectly fine. Again, my only "negative" is that the backdrop appears to have a greater "floor depth" than what I currently have.
I ordered this backdrop, because I've been recently getting into some basic photography and needed a backdrop in a standard, simple color. Please note that included with your purchase is ONLY the backdrop and clamps for it. The stand is sold separately. It came shipped to me in a smaller flat box. The backdrop itself was wrapped in a cellophane bag inside the box. The five spring clamps were in a smaller cellophane bag inside the box as well. The clamps were very good quality-they stayed closed without any slipping. The stitching and fabric quality looked very good, especially for the price. It's not thick enough to completely block out any light behind so be prepared to plan accordingly. It is not too thin either though in my opinion. The thinner material makes for easier storage. And yes it does have wrinkles when you unfold it, but that is easy ... full review
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