Problem with Background Wrinkles

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by mcnewby, Jan 4, 2009.

  1. mcnewby
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    mcnewby New Member

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    Hope this is the right place to post this, but anyway here goes.

    I've been gearing up to do some portrait shoots in a home studio setting and have some backgrounds that I've got to use. My problem is that the backrounds are something like 10 feet x 12 feet and aren't exactly iron friendly. I've tried using a clothes steamer and have had no luck getting the wrinkles out hence my shots are wrinkled (see the attachment in this post).

    Has anyone out there had this or a similar problem and if so what did you do to solve it? Is there some kind of professional that will press a huge canvas sheet like this?

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    Last edited: Jan 4, 2009
  2. tron
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    tron New Member

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    i think you just need a lot more light since your background is wrinkled. like with a lot more light, itll smooth out the wrinkles in the plain white background.

    plus some editing in photoshop should help :) if you go to image>adjustments>selective color, and bring the whites down a little, that will make the background 'whiter' without totally ruining hilights

    if you really cant stand the wrinkles, you could try hanging the sheet in the bathroom where it can get smoothed out by the steam if someone takes a shower

    heres a couple i did with a very similar problem. i have a ghetto rigged studio with a white bedsheet, worklamps, and then i just bounce my sb600 flash

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
  3. chrisburke
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    chrisburke New Member

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    im sure your local dry cleaner will do this... the key to preventing it is proper storage.. roll it up nice and tight and it wont wrinkle... i use a thick material for my back drop, its the same thing that is use to make the fancy table cloths in fancy resturants.. it doesnt wrinkle.. ate least i havent been able to get it to yet
  4. Happy Hour
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    Happy Hour New Member

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    Do you have PhotoShop? You can easily go in and eliminate wrinkles in photoshop.
  5. JerryPH
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    JerryPH New Member

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    - You could go in with photoshop and get rid of the wrinkles using layers

    - Another way is to increase your distance from the subject to the background and use a shallow DOF. This is the way I would do it, room permitting.
  6. jlykins
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    jlykins New Member

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    I had the same problem with a 10X30 ft. piece of muslin that I was using. I got the wrinkles out by hanging it in the bathroom like stated above, and then rolled it tightly on a piece of pvc pipe.
  7. chrisburke
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    chrisburke New Member

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    thats what i use too!
  8. Big Mike
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    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member

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    Here's a tip I learned. Gently spray the fabric with water (a misting spray bottle). As it drys, the wrinkles should release. Of course, you could just toss it into the dryer with a damp towel and then take it out and hang it up right away.

    If you think about why the wrinkles show up in the photo...what we see is actually the shadow of the wrinkle...and shadows are caused by light. So if the light hitting the background is hitting it straight on, the camera won't see the shadows. Or, you could add another light to hit the background from the other side and fill in those shadows.
    Or you could blast the background with enough light to blow it out...but you might still need to fill in the wrinkle shadows.
    Either way, a wrinkle free backdrop is the best scenario.

    As mentioned, it should help if you can move the subject away from the backdrop and use a shallow DOF to blur it. You can also use Photoshop to clean up and/or blur the backdrop. But believe me, this is one thing that is easier to fix before you shoot, rather than in Photoshop, especially if you want to use several of the photos.
  9. gsgary
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    gsgary Well-Known Member

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    Stretch it out and gaffer tape it
  10. mcnewby
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    mcnewby New Member

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    Thanks for all of the help in the replies. I'm keen on getting the wrinkles out before shooting since it will save time later in Photoshop. Worst case then I will move the subject out/away from the fabric and use the smaller DOF.

    Thought I had the lighting such that it would keep the wrinkles from showing up but obviously not. Had a 1000w work light on the left, and two SB800s with shoot through umbrellas, one to the right and the other in front of the subject.

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