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Backdrop advice

Discussion in 'Studio Equipment and Lighting' started by twig, Jun 5, 2005.

  1. twig


    May 23, 2005
    Looking for recommended vendors/products for back drops.
    I need two portable back drops to use for photographing pets (so basically all hair colors from white-red-blond-black-etc.).
    My book says that reds are nice, and I suppose a second color like gray or off white or light blue might be a good compliment for those that red will not work for.

    Suggestions, ideas, comments? I am new to this, I need something machine washable, and that can be hung on a back wall, but also draped over a posing table the animals will stand on (so it has to look good wrinkled, no ironing will keep it flat).

    I have a shoot coming up in July using a grooming salon, and I would like to use a posing table with this backdrop and some SB800's to do the photo sessions.

    I have no experience with portrait photography like this, or studio back drops, so any leads/advice are really appreciated.
  2. I can recommend an eBay vendor called Photo4u. His backdrops are very nice quality and he has some interesting color combinations. He's maintained a fairly high feedback rating as well. I've been happy with the ones I've ordered from him. Watch the auctions, you usually can get it very cheap.
  3. be careful about what the backdrop's made of

    I just shot my two dogs on a white muslin backdrop, and one of them was "blowing his coat" which is a dog lover's euphemism for letting go with enormous tumbleweeds of undercoat at a time. Five minutes on the muslin and I had to stop and do extensive hair removal, because it had a surface texture to it, the hair gripped on. Bad, very bad. And the retouching...three pictures in, there was already hair on the backdrop and on the floor drop.

    For high key animal portraits, I'll be looking for something vinyl or plastic that will blow off, and that can be sponged off. (We clicker trained our dogs, so make liberal use of treats when demanding perfect control of the dog...I have one dog who poses on command, and knows to hold until after the flash. But drooled treat crumbs are hard to get out of muslin...)
  4. twig


    May 23, 2005
    Thanks for your comments.
    The best (and cleanest) methos I have found so far is to use a white screen behind subjects and shoot a flash with a colored gel on it to make it interesting. This would work if I knelt down and did head shots, but if people want ot see the full body, I will have to find something to put underneath the subjects on the posing table. Your suggesting of something easily cleaned is quite good- thanks.
  5. Twig,

    Save yourself some money and go to a fabric store and by good polyester fabric and hang it from the wall over the posing table. I learned this in a photography class and it works perfectly.

    I bought a black piece and now I want to get white and some other colors. Just tell the employee what size you what in inches and she will tell you how many yards you need

    Hope this helps you,
  6. twig


    May 23, 2005
    Thanks MElissa,
    Do you think that could also be draped over the posing table- ie is it so slick that it would make an animal nervous or uncomfy sitting on it, or could it be used as a table cloth as well?
  7. If you get enough material, it will fit over the posing table. I use mine over a which wicker bench and it works.
  8. twig


    May 23, 2005
    Thanks for your excellent advice.
    Went to the fabric store, picked up some polyester in black, red and tan, makes excellent backdrops! Cheap, washable, doesn't wrinkle, can be hung with masking tape, what more could you want!

    Thanks for the excellent suggestion.

  9. Hi Twig,

    You are very welcome. I am happy I could help. Glad it worked out for you. I learned about this from a photography class. I want to pick up some other colors too including white.

    Nice job on the pictures too!
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