Faux Bokeh Backdrop - Wacky Idea?

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by hedonia, May 7, 2008.

  1. hedonia

    hedonia TPF Noob!

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    [​IMG]I have a kind of weird idea floating around in my head, and I'd like to know what you all think of it - feasibility, ideas for making it, reasons why its stupid, etc.

    I'm a portrait photographer, and I don't have a studio. I typically travel to the client's home with my portable studio. I specialize in low-key baby photography, and usually do 1/2 hour studio work in front of a black backdrop, and I like to do the other half outside, with a very shallow DOF.

    Now, I live in NY, and for a good chunk of the year it is too cold for outdoor portraits. When it finally warms up enough, it tends to be too drab to get a nice bright green bokeh.

    Here's the crazy idea:
    What if I bought some heavy fabric, and using green, yellow and white paint, painted a backdrop that recreated a bokeh pattern? I googled this and looked through various backdrop sellers, but didn't find anything even close. My idea is to make smudgy circles of the various colors, using a few photographs with a nice green bokeh as a guide. In order for it to not look too fake, I would #1 use a backdrop light, and #2 really knock down the strobes and shoot with a shallow DOF, with the family a good distance from the backdrop.

    Now, does this sound nuts? Will it look crummy? Will it be too hard to make? Are there any pitfalls to painting your own backdrop? (I know that cracking and flaking can be a problem). Any input you guys have would be immensely helpful. I don't want to spend a lot of time making this, only for it to be a total bust.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  2. JimmyO

    JimmyO TPF Noob!

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    When you say bokeh what exactly do you mean? Like general bluriness or like the circles. If its just blurryness you can do that in PP.
     
  3. Apex

    Apex TPF Noob!

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    you could zoom in and just purposely shoot out of focus kinda like a panoramic and then stitch em together and get a huge print, just an idea.. now that i think about it, that would be VERY expensive lol
     
  4. hedonia

    hedonia TPF Noob!

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    Yeah I actually thought about that at first, and then realized that I must be insane! Especially having that around kids, I know some five year old will spill ice cream on it immediately, lol.

    As far as what kind of bokeh, yeah I guess something kind of creamy but with a good impression of circles. Just blurring a backdrop definitely won't do it for me, as pp blur never really looks like bokeh.

    I googled "bokeh" so I could show you a few examples of what I'm envisioning. (I'm not posting pictures, just links, because the photos aren't mine).

    http://www.luminous-landscape.com/images18/bokehinpics.jpg
    http://www.shotaddict.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2007/04/faux-bokeh-final.png.~.jpg
     
  5. Margie28

    Margie28 TPF Noob!

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    Hi,

    Your idea to make it sounds very expensive, unless, you use fabirc instead of buy paint and paint it, there could be a fabric that has may be the pattern you're looking for and use it instead of paint it.

    Just an idea though. :)
     
  6. hedonia

    hedonia TPF Noob!

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    Its a great idea! I did a very brief search of online fabric stores, but I guess I'm not sure what to call it. That would probably be the best idea, especially because if its just fabric I could toss it in the wash. Maybe I should just skulk around the local fabric stores and see what I can find!
     
  7. JCleveland

    JCleveland TPF Noob!

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    What about getting something printed on a plastic type(roll-able) background... and backlight it?
    We have this 'spring' program for work and basically it's just an OOF large screen with a tree\bush type photo on it (maybe 4 feet by 8 feet or so). I'm not sure where you could get such a thing printed, I know locally in Saskatoon there's foresure one place that prints photos on really 'random' objects. So perhaps there's a store like that near you?
     
  8. hedonia

    hedonia TPF Noob!

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    That's a really great idea! I'll try looking around for a place that will print something like that. Does the store that you mention have a website?
     
  9. Margie28

    Margie28 TPF Noob!

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    That's a wonderufl idea!! I have the Xerox copy center here in my country that does that type of big print outs too!

    You can buy some pices of wood 4 pieces and adjust it to the frame, that way the background lighting will give a nice look too!!

    You've got me thinking about this idea, to create another kind of background and with this framed backdrop create a great look for portraits.

    One more thing, instead of adhereing the backdrop in the frame, make it larger to than the frame and let the frame be at the back. The light will "shine" through creating a wow look! :wink:

    Fabric can create the same look too, it depends on the thickness of the fabric. You've to evaluate the costs.

    Printed Fabric can create that look too, it depends on the costs, a big print out or let's say 5 meters of fabric. I would go to the fabric store where I can go through all the fabric and see the texture and the thickness in person and not rely on an internet description.
     
  10. Dubious Drewski

    Dubious Drewski TPF Noob!

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    Anyone else think "faux bokeh" is really fun to say?
     

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