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Thread: Help please with Studio Backgrounds

  1. #1

    Help please with Studio Backgrounds

    Hi,
    I have not been in a studio for some years but I am now setting up a portable studio as part of my business. I don't know what background to buy though. I would really appreciate some ideas. Like I say it needs to be quite portable. Ive been looking at Lasolites http://www.warehouseexpress.com/buy-...-feet/p1016777 - does anyone have any experience with these? Are they better than a support and vinyl roll? Does anyone have a background system they swear by?
    Thank you in advance!

  2. #2

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    Re: Help please with Studio Backgrounds

    Hi Pippa,

    The one you mentioned works well from what I've heard - but - of course it's only a "white" background, and I imagine this would get pretty boring pretty quickly. I've got about a dozen or so that I use in my studio, but they're based on a 3m wide holder, which is probably too long for portable use. The other issue you'll face with patterned backdrops is you really need distance between subject and backdrop (to throw it out of focus and to avoid shadows from key and fill lights) ... and the greater the distance, the greater the field of view ... the the greater the FoV, the wider the backdrop.

    I'd suggest grapping a couple of cheap light stands - get a poll to go between them (preferably a multi-segment pole so you can have a wider backdrop without needing something as long as a bus to transport it), and then build up a selection of your own backdrops by simply sewing a loop along one edge of any appropriate fabric that you can purchase from any fabric store.

    The other question though is, how are you planning to light the backdrops ... you're probably going to need a couple of battery-powered flashes, or at least one studio head (I use a couple of Elinchrom 1200RX heads to light mine, but then again, mine's isn't a postable setup).

    Does this help?

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    Martyn

    Re: Help please with Studio Backgrounds

    i was looking at those in a local studio, i would ask the question does it tend to overexpose and leave traces of bleedover onto the subjects ? i visited a local studio before embarking on a course a while back, the studio said blow the background to get the high key effect, but the course said expose the background correctly so you dont get bleedover from the highlights, then if you want to go overboard do it in photoshop,
    well i am pretty naff in photoshop so that didnt help me. heres a take from the blown BG, f22 on the background, f8 on the subject, ignore the expression, we were just looking at the results, there doesnt look hardly any bleedover to me, cheers martyn ps the background on this shot was quite a way from the model, most of the lastolite BG seems to placed right behind the models,
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    Last edited by Nomadr; 3rd October 2010 at 02:31 AM.

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    Re: Help please with Studio Backgrounds

    Quote Originally Posted by nomadr View Post
    i was looking at those in a local studio, i would ask the question does it tend to overexpose and leave traces of bleedover onto the subjects ? i visited a local studio before embarking on a course a while back, the studio said blow the background to get the high key effect, but the course said expose the background correctly so you dont get bleedover from the highlights, then if you want to go overboard do it in photoshop,
    well i am pretty naff in photoshop so that didnt help me. heres a take from the blown BG, f22 on the background, f8 on the subject, ignore the expression, we were just looking at the results, there doesnt look hardly any bleedover to me, cheers martyn ps the background on this shot was quite a way from the model, most of the lastolite BG seems to placed right behind the models,
    Hi Martyn

    Bleedover can definately be a problem; the trick is to only over-expose it around 1/2 a stop - after all, it's a highlight anyway, so no need to go overboard. The possible exception to that is when you have the likes of a white sheet that you're trying to use -- in which case you may have to go up to 2 stops over to stop the crinkles showing.

    You won't be able to see the bleedover in an image the resolution that you posted; it becomes a problem with high-resolution shots being printed large though, and even then, it's only ever a problem with hair.

    Normally we like to have a bit of distance between the subject and background so that we can throw it out of focus, and not have too much interaction between the two light zones - but for white backgrounds that are backlit, it doesn't make any difference, and you can essentially get as close as you like.

    For what it's worth, we often use things called "kicker" lights to help seperate the subject from a background, but they don't really apply with white backgrounds.
    Last edited by Colin Southern; 3rd October 2010 at 07:28 AM.

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