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FORUMS General Gear Talk Flash and Studio Lighting 
Thread started 05 Dec 2008 (Friday) 16:13
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Background Color Choice/type?

Senior Member
469 posts
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Joined May 2007
Location: Washington DC
Dec 05, 2008 16:13 |  #1

Hey everyone,

I'm looking at starting to setup my own little studio. I was wondering what is the best background color to start with? (Black, white, Gentian blue, ect..)
This can go for paper or Muslin or whatever.

Basically if you were going to buy a background what would you buy if you didn't already have any? I do plan to eventually get more but you've gotta start somewhere.

Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks

Kevin: 5D Mark III, Canon 7D
Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L IS, Canon 50mm 1.4, Tamron 28-75mm 2.8, Canon 100mm 2.8L IS Sigma 10-20mm,Kenko Tubes, 430ex
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2,205 posts
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Joined Jan 2006
Location: North east Indiana
Dec 05, 2008 16:24 |  #2

It will depend on what you plan on photographing. If you will be doing babies and young children a white, pink, and light blue background would be a good choice, but if you are shooting adults a mottled blue background is real popular. I would buy muslins in 10 x 20size, that way you never have to contend with a too small background.


Karl ­ Johnston
Cream of the Crop
9,334 posts
Likes: 5
Joined Jul 2008
Dec 05, 2008 16:25 |  #3
bannedPermanent ban

White is generally good for high-contrast or high key shooting. If your style reflects this or you're interested in that kind of photography, it's a great place to start. Also makes it relatively easy to switch out in photoshop if you want to replace it with something else, and your PP skills are that good.

Black is also v. good, and is pretty standard in any kit, my only thing with black is it attracts dust easily and it shows up on cam if you don't keep it clean regularily. I see a lot of people using black blankets or cloth, which aren't too appeasing to look at as the folds and the creases are distracting (some are grayish, stands out as distracting in light) and they attract dust. Don't use a blanket as a background.

I use a lastolite collapsible muslin/background. They're pretty cool. You fold them sort of like reflectors, and they spring up fairly easily; light and transportable. Mine is white, as I can use gel lights to color it if necessary. I'm cheap like that, try googling Lastolite collapsible backgrounds

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Background Color Choice/type?
FORUMS General Gear Talk Flash and Studio Lighting 
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