Options with backgrounds

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by kdabbagh, Jan 6, 2008.

  1. kdabbagh

    kdabbagh TPF Noob!

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    Alright peeps, I am in a real dilemma right now.
    I am supposed to start working with models real soon - female models looking to enhance their portfolio in fashion and glamour photography. Those models are mostly friends of mine that I am experimenting with until I get used to life with DSLRs.

    My dilemma is that I can't shoot outdoors all the time because of the brutal Canadian winter, so I have to do some indoor shoots and will rarely have the funds to rent a studio. I want to achieve backgrounds like in this picture, which I believe is a backdrop?

    [​IMG]

    Are there alternatives I can use to achieve the same solid background color effect? Maybe through photoshop or something and still make it look real? Or do I have no way out but to buy backdrops and rent studio space. Any help would be appreciated and thank you
     
  2. dbrandon

    dbrandon TPF Noob!

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    Photoshopping backgrounds isn't unheard of, but the problem is that you need something there to photoshop. Usually people would use professional masking software based on a green backdrop etc.

    You're going to find it very hard to acchieve a realistic look (especially with shadows) if you're not shooting against a solid colour backdrop originally.

    If you are shooting against something solid colour, and you're just wanting to change the colour of it, that is easier.

    Your best bet IMO is to get some material or something to serve as a backdrop. People will probably have better ideas than me though !
     
  3. Sideburns

    Sideburns TPF Noob!

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    fabric store. Get whatever is nice and cheap for now.
     
  4. Dominic

    Dominic TPF Noob!

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    My backdrops consist of a few yards of each: black velvet, wedding dress material for my white, and an off-white linen drape. The fabric I bought from a local fabric store and cost me around $35 (total). The drape I found at a bedding/bath store for $20. With my subject a few feet away, and a good DoF set, they backdrops look professional.
     
  5. dpolston

    dpolston TPF Noob!

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  6. dpolston

    dpolston TPF Noob!

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    (I had to dig for this shot which needs some explanation. This was from my portfolio back in 1991 when I shot full time studio sessions. This is a bad scan and a dirty shot that has been cropped to a 4x6 from a square photo. PLEASE do not critique this. I know its a bad scan. But it is from my early portfolio for the posters question.)

    Okay: This is a black paper background with a blue gel added to the background light. There is a hair light and a main umbrella off to the camera right that is set off by the on camera Sunpak. It was shot with a Mamiya C300 (medium format camera). But you can see that the black drop can be manipulated nicely.

    $Expresseions Shot.jpg
     
  7. kdabbagh

    kdabbagh TPF Noob!

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    Excuse my ignorance but I don't have a clue what you're talking about. You mean this whole backdrop was black? How do you apply these gels? I don't have lights or anything I dont even know what a hair light is...:S
     
  8. dpolston

    dpolston TPF Noob!

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    (I don't want to hijack your thread but this is another example. Again: don't crank on me for the quality of the shot. It's dirt on the photo and probably the scanner too. I need to clean them!)

    This is on a white background with a similar setup. I cant remember (although I don't think I had them on) but usually on a high ket shot like this, we used a 6 light setup (Hairlight, 2 background - shot from each side, main umbrella, on camera and the window that you see was a home made gobo with a window cutout). I hope this helps... or at least, inspires.

    $expressions 2.jpg
     
  9. dpolston

    dpolston TPF Noob!

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    Well... you might want to start googling! These are basic studio terms. If you want to achieve the photo in the first post... these terms might become helpful.

    And you will need some kind of lighting even if it's a clip on utility light you buy at the local hardware store.

    A hair light us a small strobe (usually snooted [ have a cone put over it to just light up the hair]) hung above and behind the head for illumination from behind (cutting down shadows).

    A gel is a colored plastic sheet that you can attach (I use a clothespin) to the front of a light cover to make a white light blue (or green or red... whatever).

    Pick up a book on studio lighting. These terms will make more sense.
     

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