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Photography Question 
Ziyaad Khoja
 

Which Backdrop Should I Use?


I need to know what to buy for a backdrop when shooting products. Right now I am using black and white bristol boards. Is that good enough? And when is it proper to use black instead of white (or vice-versa)?


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3/12/2004 9:12:19 AM

 
Bob Cammarata
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/17/2003
  For small product photography, poster boards, sold at any craft shop or art supply store, make great backgrounds. They are inexpensive and come in a variety of colors. (I like to use color backgrounds as an "attention grabber" for products I'm selling.)

Either black or white can also be good choices, because they focus the attention on the products themselves, especially if they have color of their own. When using black boards, try shining extra light on them. They will be rendered as a muted gray, which is a desirable effect for many subjects.


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3/12/2004 4:31:08 PM

 
Ziyaad Khoja   Does it depend on what I will be doing with these photos? I would either be doing some black-and-white prints or full colour on the net. Does white or black work better when removing it as the background in Photoshop?


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3/15/2004 6:44:32 AM

 
Ryan Chai   I bought my first backdrop as a neutral gray with splashes of other colors that looks quite good with many different subjects.


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3/15/2004 9:30:13 AM

 
Buddy Purugganan   Take the time to check Denny Manufacturing Co.'s official web site (www.dennymfg.com) or call 1-800-844-5616. (You can request a FREE 2004 catalog.) Or try Backdrop Outlet ( www.backdropoutlet.com) at 1-800-466-1755. (Request a 2004 free catalog too.)


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3/19/2004 6:10:08 PM

 
Anoop Shah   If you want to eventually remove the background in Photoshop it would be easier to use an off the wall color like Lime Green...yes lime green. In the video world they call them "Green Screens." It's best to pick a background color that doesn't appear in the product. The off the wall color will be easy to identify in photoshop and make the editing process a little smoother. The Magic Selection Tool does really well with the "Green Screen" concept. You wont have to ask yourself is this part of the product or not.


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3/23/2004 2:21:15 PM

 
W.    Here's a cheap tip, Ziyaad:

If you get one light-grey background, you can make that appear to be an endless variety of pastel colors by using colored gels on the background light(s).


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2/11/2007 12:15:35 PM

 
John Rhodes
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/24/2005
 
 
 
Ziyaad, I have done product photography (actually the art in a local gallery) and I used the graduated background from Porter's Camera Store--see the link:

http://porters.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=PCS&Product_Code=450271&Product_Count=&Category_Code=

I'll attach an image taken using this background.

John


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2/12/2007 6:06:22 AM

 
John H. Siskin
BetterPhoto Member
John-Siskin.com
John's Photo Courses:
4-Week Short Course: An Introduction to Photographic Lighting
  Get white seamless paper from one of the large photo retailers. Come in widths of 4.5 and 9 and 12 feet, by 30 or 150 feet. Shoot on white whenever possible so that you do not have off color reflections in your product. Most of the stuff I shoot is cut out of the background and white reduces the problems with clipping out the image.
Thanks,
John Siskin


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2/13/2007 2:30:17 PM

 
W.    Is there an advantage of that over using a 'bluescreen' or 'greenscreen', John?


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2/15/2007 1:39:14 PM

 
John H. Siskin
BetterPhoto Member
John-Siskin.com
John's Photo Courses:
4-Week Short Course: An Introduction to Photographic Lighting
  Yes a blue or green screen has a good chance of reflecting blue or green back into the subject. While this works great for the movies it doesn’t work as well for still, note that I said as well rather than at all. A white background does the best job for lighting your subject if you want to do a clipping path. Keep in mind that the clipping path is annoying to make. Also you need to remeber that a still image, particularly if used in print, shows more detail than a movie frame. Thanks, John


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2/15/2007 3:21:46 PM

 
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