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Photography Question 
Pat Harry
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/26/2006
 

Backdrops and Backdrop Stands


Can anyone recommend a reasonably-priced backdrop stand? And a starting backdrop? I've been using a scrim I built in John Siskin's lighting class, with fabric draped over it. I have family coming up and my current approach isn't wide enough for a family portrait - which my sister has requested. Our temps are above 100, so no one is too enthusiastic about an outside portrait.


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7/16/2011 5:39:02 AM

 
Lynn R. Powers   A lot of this depends on how large the family is. When I go to a family reunion, it covers people born from 1919 to 2011. That is a lot of people. If it is you, your sister, as well as both of your husbands and children, plus your parents, that too can be a considerable amount of people.
It then sounds like it is time for a photo of everyone on the patio and taken with a P&S mounted on a tripod set with the shutter delayed 10 seconds.
Does your sister know that you are not set up for this kind of photo? Is she aware that it will cost you a considerable amount to make it look like a commercial photo?


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7/16/2011 11:27:11 AM

 
Pat Harry
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/26/2006
  Thanks for responding, Lynn. We have reunions like you mention - sometimes it seems like we could fill a stadium! But this is not one of those, thank goodness. My two sisters will be here with their two girls each, and they want a "generations of the women" photo. There will be 10 of us, including me. I've been wanting to get a backdrop stand and at least one backdrop - so I'm just using this as an excuse. :)
I have the camera, lenses, studio lights, etc. I just don't have a wide enough backdrop for 10 people.
And to answer your question about my sister being aware of the cost, etc. She didn't ask for this - she just asked if I would take the photo. We'll probably end up outside, but maybe not with a P&S. :)


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7/16/2011 12:19:10 PM

 
Lynn R. Powers   Background stands are available from B&H for $100 and more. I recommend that you purchase seamless background paper over muslin. There are no wrinkles to worry about, and they cost considerably less. Get either white or a light grey. The 107" by 12' size is only around $25. Calumet is also another good source.
Lighting that many people can be problematic, so I wish you much luck.


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7/16/2011 8:38:26 PM

 
Pat Harry
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/26/2006
  Thank you, Lynn! I'll look at the stands and the seamless. I appreciate the suggestions.


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7/17/2011 8:52:56 PM

 
Greg McCroskery
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/27/2003
imagismphotos.com
 
 
 
Pat,

For that many people you will need at least a 10X20 backdrop. I personally prefer muslin over seemless paper for portraits, unless I'm shooting high key portraits.

I have purchased numerous muslin backdrops from several Ebay merchants, as well as background stands and have been very pleased with the quality. The big issue is that the price will be quite a bit less than what you would pay from a storefront camera shop or a backdrop company such as Denny's. I've attached a photo of one of those backdrops -- a 10X20 painted muslin that I got for about $70 (It photographs beautifully.)

Another possibility to consider using an area of your home, such as a den/fireplace area. With a few plants and non-competing furniture, you can do some very nice groupings -- without the expense of backdrops and stands.


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8/2/2011 9:43:12 AM

 
Greg McCroskery
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/27/2003
imagismphotos.com
 
 
 
Pat,

For that many people you will need at least a 10X20 backdrop. I personally prefer muslin over seemless paper for portraits, unless I'm shooting high key portraits.

I have purchased numerous muslin backdrops from several Ebay merchants, as well as background stands and have been very pleased with the quality. The big issue is that the price will be quite a bit less than what you would pay from a storefront camera shop or a backdrop company such as Denny's. I've attached a photo of one of those backdrops -- a 10X20 painted muslin that I got for about $70 (It photographs beautifully.)

Another possibility to consider using an area of your home, such as a den/fireplace area. With a few plants and non-competing furniture, you can do some very nice groupings -- without the expense of backdrops and stands.

God Bless,
Greg


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8/2/2011 9:43:28 AM

 
Greg McCroskery
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/27/2003
imagismphotos.com
 
 
  Muslin Backdrop
Muslin Backdrop
© Greg McCroskery
imagismphotos.com
Olympus Evolt E-3 ...
 
 
Pat,

For that many people you will need at least a 10X20 backdrop. I personally prefer muslin over seemless paper for portraits, unless I'm shooting high key portraits.

I have purchased numerous muslin backdrops from several Ebay merchants, as well as background stands and have been very pleased with the quality. The big issue is that the price will be quite a bit less than what you would pay from a storefront camera shop or a backdrop company such as Denny's. I've attached a photo of one of those backdrops -- a 10X20 painted muslin that I got for about $70 (It photographs beautifully.)

Another possibility to consider using an area of your home, such as a den/fireplace area. With a few plants and non-competing furniture, you can do some very nice groupings -- without the expense of backdrops and stands.

God Bless,
Greg


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8/2/2011 9:45:38 AM

 
Chuck    Pat,
Have you thought about using the backdrop you already have and shooting each family individually and then stitching them together in Photoshop. This would give you a portrait of each family as well as a panorama of the entire group.


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8/3/2011 11:23:01 AM

 
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