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Old Mar 7, 2005, 5:15 AM   #1
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I'm trying to set up a small studio for doing photos on my products for my website. I don't want to have to tediously cut them out of the background in photoshop or gimp. So I want to have a background that while be white and i can then just easily use an automatic select tool. Could someone suggest me a fabric that will be suitable for this backdrop? I'm planning to just use the flash on my camera, a Canon A75(well that's my only option with that camera anyway). Thanks,

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Old Mar 7, 2005, 9:56 AM   #2
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A white sheet or white plexi will work.

Chromakey material is really nice, very easy to knock out, and replace with anything else you want.

But your main problem will be the flash, the direct light from the on camera flash will produce terrible results, and bad shadows.

Using a http://www.boothphoto.com/prod_detai...etail_data.cfmand a couple of halogen or florescent lights will make for much better results. (this is Canadian, there is a US maker of similar tents but I can't remember their name)

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Old Mar 7, 2005, 11:46 AM   #3
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I went to a local photography shop and purchased a $25 roll of white seamless paper. Shoved a piece of PVC pipe through the center and hung it on adjustable shelf brackets on the wall. Now, I just pull out however much I need and clamp it to the front edge of a card table. Makes a fantastic backdrop for such photos.

Oh yeah ... I'm also using two studio strobes nearly straight above the product, and a little fill flash on the camera to help lighten the front.

Here's a couple of examples:

And here's how I have the paper hanging ...
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Old Mar 14, 2005, 8:55 PM   #4
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Even with a white paper background, your problem will be s shadow cast by your on-camera flash. I think your best bet is to use a well ironed white sheet (or white paper) as your backdrop, put yor camera on a tripod, and use 200 watt lamps for your light. A bare bulb over the product might just do it.
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Old Mar 16, 2005, 12:50 AM   #5
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As a commercial photographer with over 45 years experience I've gotta extend some hints to you:

Don't leave the paper hung horizontally like that. After a while, gravity will take over and cause a sag in the roll. Then when you unroll it there will be a wave in the paper. It's almost impossible to get the wave out. It causes shadows due to the nowuneven surface.

Instead, make a vertical storage rack near your background rig. When you are finished shooting with a particular roll, unhook it and stand it on it's end in the rack. A bit of drafting tape or a strip of Velcro can be used to keep the roll tightly wound. Or some folks use a small clamp on the top end of the roll to achieve the same result. Small cheap black plastic clamps can be found at most hardware stores, dollar stores or even Big Lots. Make the base of the unit a bit away from the wall and on an angle so the paper leans against the wall. To keep the paper organized use large dowels cut to an inch or two. Then up on the wall at about 9 or10 feet have a board with a mechanism to keep the rolls from sliding sideways. Some folks use another chunk of dowel others have a scalloped piece of wood "U_U_U_U_U_U_U_U_U" to hold the rolls. Be creative!

On E-Bay Steve Kaeser & Co. offer a super white washable cotton/poly fabric whichthey claim is good for dropping out backgrounds, like you want to do. (Disclaimer: I haven't purchased any of this kind of fabric but have delt with them twice and they are OK to buy from.)

If you go with white, black, frosted or clear Plexiglas be prepared to keep it clean as it attracts fingerprints and sometimes develops a static electricity field which sucks dust to it's surface from miles around. The Plex supplier will have cleaner. A 50/50 solution of distilled water & fabric softener can help knock back the static. Distilled has no dissolved metals which, if present, will be left behind when the water dries.

See some of my recent commercial work on the set of the film "Psychopathia Sexualis" at http://www.psychopathia.com

Terry Thomas
Atlanta, Georgia USA

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