All white background and reflection?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by natural.disaster, Jul 23, 2010.

  1. natural.disaster

    natural.disaster TPF Noob!

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    How is this done?
    I read about some people using plexiglass and just a white backdrop...Does that really work?
    Ive ordered 2 white backdrops and both are so thin i can see right through them and i cant get them to look nice and smoother and super white like this....
    So my next question is...whats the best material for backdrops?

    (hope im allowed to link to others photos)
    Example:
    Ôîòîàãåíòñòâî «Ôîòî ÑÀ», ôîòîáàíê: Ñòîêîâàÿ ôîòîãðàôèÿ - Ðåçóëüòàòû ïîèñêà :
     
  2. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Plexi over seamless white paper will give you that effect, as will shiny vinyl flooring. There are two "best" choices for backdrops: Seamless paper and muslin; paper is pretty much a single-use material, avaiable in a wide range of colours and widths. It has the advantage of being always clean, fresh and wrinkle-free (assuming you use a fresh piece each time). Muslin can be had in a huge variety of colurs and tones, with different patterns and even scenes painted on it. It's pricier initially, but will (with care) last virtually forever. Both materials require some sort of support.

    Muslin is generally best for seated or standing portraits, and paper for those shots where you don't want to see any transition from floor to background.

    To achieve the look of the linked image, I would use a piece of 1/4" clear plexi or similar over seamless paper
     
  3. misstwinklytoes

    misstwinklytoes TPF Noob!

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    Interesting. Know of any places to buy muslin at a good deal?
     
  4. natural.disaster

    natural.disaster TPF Noob!

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    Thanks! I thought about the seamless paper but just seems like trying to walk on it to get the subject situated would mess it up. Especially if your shooting kids who can move around.

    Im assuming editing gets rid of any flaws to make it look so perfect.....
     
  5. natural.disaster

    natural.disaster TPF Noob!

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    Well my muslins are thin as heck and wrinkle up horribly bad! Is that normal? I paid around $60 for each of them.....2 came from the same site...and 2 came from a different site. The only one thats thicker is the chroma key green.
     
  6. misstwinklytoes

    misstwinklytoes TPF Noob!

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    I just started looking at the prices. They don't look TOO bad.
     
  7. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    They are thin and wrinkle easy because they are low quality, inexpensive muslin backdrops.

    Top quality 10x20 muslin backdrops cost several hundred dollars each, $300 - $500:

    The less expensive hand-painted muslin backdrops start at about $150 ea.

    Denny Manufacturing Company: Muslin Backdrops

    Muslin Backgrounds, Backdrops and Photography Studio Equipment by Silverlake Photo Accessories

    Be careful that you keep your subject far enough away from both the white and the green that spill doesn't show on your subject's skin.

    Seamless paper rolls, 8' 11" wide (107") and 12 yards long, cost about $45 a roll (plus shipping ($17.50 each or $57.35 for 4 rolls), NYC to central Iowa by UPS Ground).

    One of the reasons I am a NAPP member is all NAPP members get free UPS Ground shipping from B&H photo video, so I don't pay shipping for my seamless paper rolls. I go through about 40 rolls of seamless a year, so I save about 6 times the $99 yearly cost of my NAPP membership just in seamless shipping cost savings. (My UPS guy hates those rolls of seamless)
     
  8. Breaux

    Breaux TPF Noob!

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    Also light the background a couple of stops brighter than the subject. It'll help wash-out the imperfections in the backdrop.
     
  9. natural.disaster

    natural.disaster TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the tips...
    I figured i got screwed on the backdrops...I rushed and bought them right after i bought my camera thinking i was gonna really do something lol.
     
  10. JasonLambert

    JasonLambert TPF Noob!

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    Good way to start and not have to spend an arm and a leg is get your muslin at Joann Fabrics. Works great and the price isn't bad. I just bought 3yds of the 108" while it was on sale and clamp it to my home made PVC backdrop holder with alligator clamps.
     
  11. gsgary

    gsgary Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    No good lighting does, you will need 3 lights to get it perfect, 2 on the background flagged 1 stop above your key light
     
  12. natural.disaster

    natural.disaster TPF Noob!

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    Yeah i experimented using some work lights and it didnt go so well...Too many shadows..the lights were so harsh.....it was horrible. I had no clue what i was doing really.
    I have two umbrella lights.....But havent used them yet. Thats my next step.
    If i have a well lit room and the two umbrellas with one light behind the subject like on the floor angled up at the backdrop...would that work?

    Everything im learning goes completely against what ive always seen in photography studios around my town. Most of them just have one umbrella light, and sit the subject almost right against the backdrop...and the pictures turn out pretty darn good. Up until now ive mostly been doing nature, landscape, and some quick shots of people outside or not in a studio type setting...Now i really really want to start doing portriats!
     

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