Backdrop and gel recommendations?

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by jusejuse, Feb 9, 2012.

  1. jusejuse

    jusejuse TPF Noob!

    May 2, 2008
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    I would like to achieve a soft infinite white background for baby pictures, but I'm overwhelmed in trying to choose what to get.

    This is an example of what I'm aiming for.

    I'm thinking about ordering this backdrop and stand. Would this be okay to shoot whole body pictures i.e. fashion shots later?

    My current gear:
    Canon 60D
    Canon speedlite 580 ex ii
    Canon 50mm and 85mm lenses
    Westcott 28" softbox
    2 - Yongnuo 560 flashes
    2 - Yongnuo 503 triggers
    2 - PBL photo studio 42" reflective umbrella softbox
    (Btw, I haven't tried out my Yongnuo flashes/triggers, or PBL softboxes)

    So basically I want to know if I need any additional gear besides backdrops and gels? Is the link above a good choice? And can anybody recommend me some gels to color my white backdrop?

    Thank you!

  2. Buckster

    Buckster In memoriam

    Sep 14, 2009
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    Way up North in Michigan
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    The stand is fine. I've got that stand and haven't had any issues with it at all. For the background, per what you showed, you'll want a paper roll.

    Gels are easy - they're all over Amazon, ebay and other sources and not terribly expensive. For speedlights, you can get a set of Strobist-sized gels for next to nothing. Rosco is the go-to brand, but don't feel like you need to limit yourself to them - they'll all work for you. Heck, you can use any old colored cellophane, for that matter, just to throw a splash of color at your background.

    Just keep your subjects as far from the colored background as possible so that the color doesn't bleed all over your subjects. Depending on where you set up your background light, you may need to flag it as well, for the same reason.
  3. Big Mike

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

    Dec 16, 2003
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    I agree with Buckster. For a smooth seamless (infinite looking) backdrop, you don't want cloth. Paper rolls are common and very easy. Another option is vinyl, basically the same but it's more durable than paper. But paper is nice because you can just roll out more when it gets dirty (but of course, it's a disposable product, and you'll have to buy it again when it runs out.)

    For full body/fashion shoots, you'll want a really long backdrop. It will need to be tall enough, yet cover enough floor to give you a good working 'studio' space. 20 feet long is probably good, any shorter and you'll run into problems.

    The site seams to be down at the moment, but here is an often recommended turorial for how to properly shoot on a white backdrop.

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