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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre People Talk 
Thread started 07 Nov 2018 (Wednesday) 12:11
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Mostly Lurking
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Joined Oct 2018
Location: Sterling Heights, MI
Nov 07, 2018 12:11 |  #1

Hey guys! I'm looking into starting a studio at home. What kind of backdrops do you recommend and from where?

Thanks in advance!

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Title Fairy still hasn't visited me!
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Joined Apr 2007
Location: Atlanta, GA
Nov 07, 2018 21:03 |  #2

For a backdrop stand, I've had no problems with an Impact kit I bought from B&H. As for backdrop itself, I'd recommend roll paper or microfiber (my most recent back ground is a micro fiber from Amazon brand "Kate"). I did get white and grey muslin back grounds with the Impact, but the main problem with them is that they wrinkle so easily (and the wrinkles still show even with blurred background and moderate ironing).

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Cream of the Crop
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Post edited over 2 years ago by nathancarter.
Nov 16, 2018 10:23 |  #3

Paper rolls, in white and medium-gray. The latter can be easily changed to any solid color you like, with a background light and gel. Get them as wide as your studio space can manage - make room for the 10-foot wide ones, even if it means moving all the furniture when you need to shoot.

Like davesrose said, muslins are often more trouble than they're worth; they get creased and wrinkled if you so much as look at them funny.

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Dec 01, 2018 13:09 |  #4

Be careful because stylized backgrounds are very trendy. It's hard to beat a roll of white or light gray seamless paper. If you have a C-stand with an arm you can support the 53" paper with that and a small sandbag. Or you can gaffer tape the paper up. Alternatively you can use light duty light stands and a cross bar. I'm a headshot photographer, I've tried a number of solutions. So far the most used are the Savage collapsable: https://www.bhphotovid​ …apsible_Stand_K​it_60.html (external link) and just paper gaffer taped to a wall.
My one piece of advice on backgrounds, as I sit staring at a rack of them above me, don't buy it until you need it. Just use paper until you're sure you're going to use a more expensive background.
The other thing is that if you have some skill at masking in photoshop you can add texture to any paper. it doesn't even have to be a perfect mask either. Check out Sean Archer in 500px. Most of his backgrounds are done in post.

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Joined Nov 2018
Dec 01, 2018 13:13 as a reply to  @ nathancarter's post |  #5

They are making shorter rolls now. It use to be a 107" roll shipped for under $30 shipping. Now a roll of 107" costs as much to ship as to purchase. For that reason Savage has started producing 86" paper which saves a ton of shipping costs. I'm in Atlanta, we no longer have a local camera store that sells seamless.

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Joined Aug 2006
Location: West Tennessee, USA
Post edited over 2 years ago by bob_r.
Dec 04, 2018 14:52 |  #6

I bought most of mine from Adorama or B&H, but have also bought some from Amazon. If you get paper backdrops and are an Amazon Prime customer, you can save quite a bit on shipping. Others have mentioned wrinkles in muslin fabric backdrops and they can be bothersome, but are not too difficult to remove. If you get muslin, don't fold them, just stuff them in whatever you're using for a storage container. This will create a lot of tiny wrinkles that are much easier to remove than creases where they were folded. I have a handheld steamer that removes the tiny wrinkles rather quickly. If you don't want to invest in a steamer, you can use a spray bottle or even a garden sprayer to apply a mist to the backdrops to remove the wrinkles.

As NathanCarter mentioned, gels come in very handy for getting additional colors. You can also use a chroma key background to get a wide variety of backgrounds, especially if you buy some digital backgrounds on disc. You can get a lot of digital options for less than the cost of a single regular background.

Hope this helps.

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2,653 posts
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Joined Dec 2010
Location: Southen Arizona
Dec 26, 2018 15:41 |  #7

What nathancarter and steveglass said about seamless plus, if you are interested in compositing, a roll of photogreen would be a useful addition.

I strongly suggest, based on a past mistake, that you do some research and decide on how you will store your seamless rolls the right way before ordering them and have a nice roll of gaffer tape on hand.

Googling storing seamless paper backdrops offers options to fit most situations.

Democracy Dies in Darkness

Senior Member
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Joined Jul 2016
Dec 31, 2018 02:01 |  #8

I'm about to purchase some thunder grey from Savage. They have a nice selection of paper BG. All I have ever used is the muslin and got those from cowboy studios and yes the wrinkle struggle is real. I have had luck with hanging them and spraying with warm water.
I would LOVE to have one of those canvas ones but I can't bring myself to pay that much.

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