Keeping backgrounds clean?

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by wildmaven, Sep 18, 2007.

  1. wildmaven

    wildmaven TPF Noob!

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    Suggestions? Tips?

    I have brand new black muslin and it already has footprints on it.
     
  2. Digital Matt

    Digital Matt alter ego: Analog Matt

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    Don't let people walk on them with shoes? :p Black shouldn't be a problem. You should be keeping enough light off of it to keep it solid black anyway.
     
  3. wildmaven

    wildmaven TPF Noob!

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    But if I'm doing a group shot, I want them to be wearing shoes. :lol: I guess I should've worded my post better. When your muslin gets dirty, how do you clean it? Do you vaccuum it, throw it in the wash, steam clean it, what? Yes, the footprints shouldn't show in the actual picture, but would you want to walk on a filthy background when you come in for a photo shoot? ;)
     
  4. Mike Jordan

    Mike Jordan TPF Noob!

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    One hint... if you are going to shoot on a black muslin, don't go out picking up dog poop first. That goes for white also. ;)


    I've used a black muslin a lot and usually don't have any trouble with it getting dirty or showing foot prints. When it does get a bit dirty I just throw it in the washer and then into the drier to dry half way between damp and fully dry. Then I hang it up on my background stand so it dries wrinkle free. If all your edges are not hemed up, be sure and do that before you wash and dry it very many times. My muslin looks great after a lot of use but the two unfinished edges did start to fray... so I hemmed them up.

    If people are tracking onto your background, you could put a slightly damp towel down for them to walk on first before they walk on your background. Or tell them to bring their shooting shoes with them but don't have them put them on till you are ready to start setting them up. But really, there is nothing like a crowd of barefoot people to really set the mood for a group shot. :D


    Mike
     
  5. wildmaven

    wildmaven TPF Noob!

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    Dang. I thought I'd save some time there........


    Believe me, after being in the medical field for 20 years, I've seen some pretty NASTY feet! :confused:

    Thanks for the tips! The backgrounds I bought came with no washing instructions.
     
  6. Mike Jordan

    Mike Jordan TPF Noob!

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    I didn't say what kind of mood it would set. :D


    I should have asked what kind of muslin you have. Is it painted, dyed or one of the black ones where the threads were dyed before the muslin was made? I have a black muslin that is called Commando Cloth that I bought from Chicago Canvas. The threads are dyed black before the muslin is made so it doesn't fade, run or get splotchy. If you have a home made type dyed one, then you have to be careful washing it so it doesn't run on anything. And of course you don't want to wash a painted muslin as the paint will usually run.

    Mike
     
  7. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I have seen people use clear plexiglass over top of the muslin. It lets the color come through but won't get dirty...although it would eventually get scratched up a bit...and reflections may be a problem at certain angles.
     

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