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Old Jan 12, 2010, 1:43 AM   #1
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Default Portrait Shoot

Hi All,
I have a shoot coming up January 30 for a 90th birthday party. Will be walking around shooting the guest, party games (not sure what kind of party games they play at a 90th birthday) and speeches. That part is not a problem will be using a Canon 40D with the flash off camera on an L bracket with a diffuser (mini softbox) on the flash. Also have the wife shooting with her Canon T1i and a Canon 270 flash (have to justify buying that camera somehow) for backup.
This is where I can use some suggestions as the client (a boss at work, don’t ask) also wants portraits taken of most the guests. Think I have enough gear to shoot the portraits except for a backdrop. Checked out the hall and there is no place that will work for a natural backdrop such as a big fireplace or fountain. So I will be bringing my own (as soon as I buy or make one) backdrop. Just not sure what color the backdrop should be black, white or in between? Can use my two monolites (250 w/s each) one with a softbox the other is a white umbrella and one flash. So light shouldn’t be a problem but the back drop color is still in question. If I use a white backdrop and the subject is wearing white will that work and the same thing with black? Any suggestions?
Thanks,
Craig
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Old Jan 12, 2010, 4:19 AM   #2
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I would go for a darker multi coloured backdrop. I use one when not shooting with white paper (which I like best). If you are shooting white then you need extra lights to blow out the background and I'm not a fan of using white unlit and getting grey, but that's just me. I think my background is a little too dark and when I took this shot (2.5 years ago when I was very green with this sort of thing).



Another option is to use pure black which as long as you have them far enough from the background and the lighting is set correctly will remain pure black and look great.
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Old Jan 13, 2010, 1:12 PM   #3
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Mark
Thanks for the suggestion, will have to make a run down to the local camera store and see what is in stock. By local camera store I mean 90 miles (145 Kilometers) away so it may take me a couple a days to get there to look around.

Thanks,
Craig
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Old Jan 13, 2010, 1:13 PM   #4
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I got mine from eBay and was pleased I did. I'm not a big eBay fan but I picked up my backgrounds (not my paper ones just the fabric) and the background stand for a great price and they are doing very well.
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Old Jan 13, 2010, 1:23 PM   #5
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I would suggest NOT going with black - the reason being if people are wearing black they blend in too much and you get too much of a 'floating head' thing going on. Black looks great in a lot of cases, but when you can't control the outfits I think black is too much of a choice of color in many outfits. Just my opinion on that front.
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Old Jan 13, 2010, 3:24 PM   #6
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Buddy at work offered to loan me his backdrop, it's a sky blue, darker on the outside and gets lighter moving inward. Or I have the guy giving this party e-mail everyone and tell them to all wear the same color. Well no matter what happens it should be an interesting day. One more question, how far from the backdrop do you usually place the subjects?

Side note: just hooked up the laptop to the 40D so I can view each picture on the 16 inch screen right as the picture is taken. Never could have done that in my film days, how cool.
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Old Jan 13, 2010, 3:27 PM   #7
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Best of luck with the shoot Craig. Look forward to hearing how it worked out for you.
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Old Jan 13, 2010, 3:37 PM   #8
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Thanks,
It been a long time since I have done anything like this, the last shoot (wedding) I did using a C330 2 1/4 x 2 1/4 film camera and photo editing was done by the film lab.
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Old Jan 13, 2010, 4:08 PM   #9
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Heck, I'd go with a white background and pump up the power on the background flash to blow it out. It's a bit of a cliche, but at least it's controllable and predictable.
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Old Jan 13, 2010, 4:47 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peripatetic View Post
Heck, I'd go with a white background and pump up the power on the background flash to blow it out. It's a bit of a cliche, but at least it's controllable and predictable.
That a good thought, just wonder if a group of people ranging from 60 to 90 years of age would be into something that new look looking.
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