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Old Apr 9, 2004, 10:42 AM   #1
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Default Advice on backgrounds/backdrops...

I already know about backdropoutlet and amvona. Are there other good places for a backdrop? I finally got my alien bees flash units in and I'm gonna get them up and running sometime this weekend. I know I could probably use a sheet for now, but that seems so one dimensional. I also checked out fabric prices for muslin and it's not THAT much cheaper to make one yourself. Any other homemade suggestions? Also, I'm just wanting to photography my boys for now. What do you think is an appropriate size? Would 10 X 12 be OK for me at this time? Also what would be a good way to hang them if I don't have a backdrop stand? Thanks in advance for any help you can me! I'm so excited to get started!

Amy
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Old Apr 11, 2004, 7:07 PM   #2
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Default Backgrounds

Go to B&H and look for the" background in a bag" They are A great product. Mine are around 7 X 10 or so and I use them for great portraits. They are made by a company called "PHOTEK" they may have a web site.
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Old Apr 11, 2004, 8:00 PM   #3
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They are slightly expensive but I now prefer ChromaKey Backgrounds

They are either blue or green, and using them you can digitaly drop in any background image you want behind your subject.

About the muslin, go to a paint store(house paint) and look for a cloth drop-cloth, some are still made of muslin though most seem to be a sheet of plastic now. I got a 12' *12' for 6$ but it has a seam down the middle. The smaller sizes don't seem to have a seam.
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Old Apr 11, 2004, 10:42 PM   #4
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If you have a large area in which to shoot and a large enough background (white), you can actually make the background black (or almost so) by having your subjects far enough from the background so light from the strobes register a large stop difference between subject and background (ie. f/18 on subject, f/4 on background). You can also use gels and cookies to make the background different colors and/or have interesting light patters while maintaining your subject lit by a regular strobe. Just something I learned from a friend of mine, but I can't put it to use since the studio I work at is a small.
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Old Apr 12, 2004, 4:24 PM   #5
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PhotoFlex calls ChromaKeys flexdrops

On their site they give a sample setup and the finished shot.
Although they successfully got the 4 images reversed to the accompaning 4 blocks of text.
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Old Apr 12, 2004, 9:36 PM   #6
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Peter,
Do you have a web site? Do you have any examples of the chroma key? Thanks!

Amy
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Old Apr 12, 2004, 10:00 PM   #7
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I have no direct experience with chroma key backgrounds, but I did save this link, for future reference. Maybe it will help you.

http://www.seanet.com/users/bradford/bluscrn.html
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Old Apr 13, 2004, 12:22 AM   #8
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No personal site yet, someday I'll have to get around to making one.

The PhotoFlex Flexdrops link in my previous post has a samples link that shows their green backdrop being used, droped out and replaced with a harbour scene.

They chose green because the model was wearing a blue top and it would have disapeared along with the background if they used blue.

Jawz link explains what it does quite well, Chromakey backdrops have been used in TV/movie for a long time. I think if they catch on for photography they will make a serious dent in the painted backdrop market .
Like those from Denny's

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Originally Posted by amytude
Peter,
Do you have a web site? Do you have any examples of the chroma key? Thanks!

Amy
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Old Apr 13, 2004, 10:00 AM   #9
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Thanks, jaws and peter. I'm gonna search the net a little more b/c I seem to find these scenic backgrounds with this system. I just like the traditional mottled muslin look.

Amy
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Old Apr 13, 2004, 5:09 PM   #10
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Wally World or Hobby Lobby have bolts of polartec fabric that is great for a backdrop. A 6'x9' piece is about $20.00. It's light weight, won't wrinkle and makes for a handy blanket if you're out in the cold.
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