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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre General Photography Talk 
Thread started 15 Mar 2017 (Wednesday) 11:01
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Backdrops for larger groups....

 
jra
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Mar 15, 2017 11:01 |  #1

I've tried searching via google and amazon but I'm overwhelmed with results of what I'm not looking for. What I would like is a preferably muslin backdrop that is roughly 20'x20' and capable of working with larger groups. I've found 20' wide backdrops but the longest length I could find is 9' (I guess I could use two of them but would rather have a single piece). It would be much appreciated if anyone could suggest a link to a place that sells such an item in the USA plus any suggestions for a sturdy stand capable of holding a backdrop this large. Thanks!




  
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BigAl007
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Mar 16, 2017 06:49 |  #2

Are you sure you have your dimensions the correct way round? Every large backdrop I have had experience with has been either 2.5m or 3m wide by five or six meters long, the 2.5×6m would be pretty close to your 9'×20'. In these big backdrops the stitched over hanging loop for the pole is always stitched on the shorter edge. To be honest it doesn't surprise me, since given the weight of fabric involved, running a single support pole longer than about 3m (13') seems like a recipe for equipment failure.

Actually I don't think you are too likely to find a single length of cloth that will be wider than 3m/13' since the width is going to be limited by the loom, and the ability to handle the roll of finished cloth, there just aren't very many uses for a single piece of cloth that is larger than that. Without demand from another source it wouldn't be viable to manufacture for the very small number of photographers who might want an oversize backdrop.

Also a single 3×6m cloth backdrop is quite hard to work with, trying to keep the wrinkles out is a bit of a nightmare, I know I have a white one for large product photography. Oh and I don't know about US washing machines, but here in the UK that single 3×6m cloth is about the maximum load size of our average washing machine. So keeping it clean might be an issue. Ideally once washed and ironed you would want to put it on a core to roll it, just to keep it from creasing. Personally I think that you will be better off using two drops, just overlap the two supports and bring one over the top of the other.

Actually at the moment I am looking at replacing my white muslin with a roll of PVC instead, since I need to fix the cloth on a roll anyway, so ease of transport will be the same. I have found 2.5×5m and 3×6m white PVC fixed to a core for around £100 to £120 on Amazon, which seems like a really good price. It has the distinct advantage that it doesn't crease like the muslin does, very useful for product shots, and is easy to keep clean, just give it a wipe over. It seems to be recommended for "Cake Smash" photography because of the ease of cleaning. Two rolls with a 150mm/6" overlap should make for a very good seamless background. One other advantage of PVC is it is waterproof, if you are using it outside.

Alan


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jra
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Mar 16, 2017 09:18 as a reply to  @ BigAl007's post |  #3

Thanks for the response. I'm sure on the dimensions. I did find one site that sells large backdrops here>>> http://photographyback​drop.com/ (external link) but their prices seem to be on the higher side (even for their more conventional sizes). I believe you are correct, it would be more difficult to handle, wash and keep fairly wrinkle free but the time it would save me on PP would be substantial. If anyone can provide any other options, it would be appreciated.




  
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nathancarter
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Post edited over 1 year ago by nathancarter. (3 edits in all)
     
Mar 16, 2017 09:47 |  #4

If you don't need a long sweep, your options are greatly expanded.

I cobbled together an on-the-cheap 15-foot-wide backdrop from five 3-yard-long panels of inexpensive panne faux-velvet from the fabric store. Instead of a loop at the top, I use ring clips from Ikea, clipping it into pleats every foot so that the joints between the panels don't stand out. It doesn't weigh much - not nearly as much as a canvas - and I can just toss it into a big blue IKEA bag, no worries about wrinkles. Total cost was under $50, I'm sure, and you could go a lot wider just by adding more panels of fabric. This cheap crushed panne comes in a variety of colors - black, red, blue, white, cream, probably more.

This is attached to a horizontal pole (IKEA curtain rod) which is temporarily wired to the drop ceiling. When it's free-standing, I use a stand on each end to support the horizontal pole, plus an additional stand and hook every 5 or 8 feet to give it support from sagging. The bases of any additional stands are hidden behind the fabric and the subjects.

Disclaimers: In this photo, we were limited by the 8-foot-high ceiling and a 6-inch stage, so only 7.5 feet of heigh to work with. The bottom edge of the fabric is puddled behind the back edge of the little raised stage.

Disclaimer 2: And this is still just a basic proof, I haven't done any retouching or serious edits yet, I should have fixed the rings in the top left before taking the photo.

IMAGE: https://c1.staticflickr.com/4/3909/33091080680_9a0728464b_c.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/Sq9r​pN  (external link) Moxie_20170220_4048 (external link) by Nathan Carter (external link), on Flickr

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jra
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Mar 17, 2017 12:02 as a reply to  @ nathancarter's post |  #5

Great idea that may work for some situations. Other situations though, I need the floor covered also.




  
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ThreeHounds
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Mar 17, 2017 13:12 as a reply to  @ jra's post |  #6

I'm using a couple of 10x24 hand painted muslins. I'll see if I can find you a link.
BTW, how large of a group do you anticipate?


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ThreeHounds
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Mar 17, 2017 13:32 |  #7

Here it is.. From Savage. It's actually 10x20. They have a pretty good selection of colors/patterns. I like this one and use it often. It is pretty heavy.
https://www.adorama.co​m/sabgp102018.html (external link)

I also use several 9x24 muslins. I believe they are from Interfit.


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Backdrops for larger groups....
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