Wrinkle resistan backdrops


Dec 12, 2012
871
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Singapore
#1
Hi all. Just wanna pick your brains a little. I've been helping to take several family photos at home and presently I use a white muselin backdrop.

The problem is that it creases up easily after being folded to move from one location to another. I've tried ironing, spraying water, blasting a speedlite directly at the backdrop too. Not very successful.

Post processing is a huge headache. I'm wondering if there is an anti crease /wrinkle free backdrop available for purchase. And the bigger question is that, are these truly wrinkle free? A quick search for winkle free backdrops directs me to site a on eBay and one from wescott. Anyone used these or similar ones before? How are the results?

Do advise.
Norman.

Wescott - > http://www.fjwestcott.com/backgrounds/wrinkle-resistant
 

Dec 12, 2012
871
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0
Singapore
#3
Ah... It needs a custom frame. That won't work unless it's a much larger one. Thanks for pointing that out, Kandinsky!
 

daredevil123

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Oct 25, 2005
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lil red dot
#4
You.can try vinyl bro... but damn heavy and not very mobile unless you have 3 to 4.assistants and a big.van or lorry
 

devilry

New Member
Feb 16, 2006
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#5
Instead of spending money on the backdrop, you can consider adjusting your shooting setup i.e. Most likely the manner you have setup the shoot is incorrect.

The correct way to shoot using backdrops is to place the subject > 2 metres away from the backdrop. (most likely in your case, the family members are just directly in front of the backdrop, which is incorrect placement).

In fact the further away the better. In this way, any crease in the backdrop would be "ironed out" and "eaten away" by the bokeh of the lens. Even if the backdrop is very very creased, as long as the color is still uniform (e.g. still all black, all white), the result on your camera should still be a perfectly smooth nice background.

In addition, you can try to shoot at a wider aperture. It may be tempting to use small apertures when shooting in studios, but frankly F/8 is good enough for family portraits.

So save yourself the money and re-adjust your shooting setup instead. Use the money on lenses instead (feel free to donate money to me for this tip!).


Addition:
Did a quick google search on your behalf:
- http://www.scantips.com/lights/setup/
- quote: "This background here is about 8 feet behind subject, ample, even feels luxurious. The larger distance keeps the muslin wrinkles out of sharp focus. "
 

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kandinsky

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Apr 26, 2008
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#6
Ah... It needs a custom frame. That won't work unless it's a much larger one. Thanks for pointing that out, Kandinsky!
I just realized that the review I read must have been for a different product (X-drop backdrop kit) in the same range.

Took another look at your link, it looks like they do have the standalone fabric designed for use with a stand/pole system.

This 9 x 20' Rich Black Wrinkle-Resistant Cotton Backdrop from Westcott is a must-have for studio photographers. The matte backdrop is constructed from heavy-duty wrinkle-resistant cotton that's machine washable in cold water. It has grommets on all sides and a 3" pole pocket that make it easy to hang. A heavy-duty cloth carry case is also supplied.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/755536-REG/Westcott_138_9x20_Wrinkle_Wresistant_Cotton.html
 

catchlights

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Sep 27, 2004
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#7
Said is so much easier than done, to get pure white b/g, you need space, lots of space, and flags, it is easier to get done this in studio.
On location, unless you want to use paper or vinyl background, else is nearly impossible.

If it is a very small group or individual, can consider the westcott highlife backdrop, which is super expensive, and I sold mine at a dirt cheap price not too long ago.
 

Dec 12, 2012
871
9
0
Singapore
#8
Instead of spending money on the backdrop, you can consider adjusting your shooting setup i.e. Most likely the manner you have setup the shoot is incorrect. The correct way to shoot using backdrops is to place the subject > 2 metres away from the backdrop. (most likely in your case, the family members are just directly in front of the backdrop, which is incorrect placement). In fact the further away the better. In this way, any crease in the backdrop would be "ironed out" and "eaten away" by the bokeh of the lens. Even if the backdrop is very very creased, as long as the color is still uniform (e.g. still all black, all white), the result on your camera should still be a perfectly smooth nice background. In addition, you can try to shoot at a wider aperture. It may be tempting to use small apertures when shooting in studios, but frankly F/8 is good enough for family portraits. So save yourself the money and re-adjust your shooting setup instead. Use the money on lenses instead (feel free to donate money to me for this tip!). Addition: Did a quick google search on your behalf: - http://www.scantips.com/lights/setup/ - quote: "This background here is about 8 feet behind subject, ample, even feels luxurious. The larger distance keeps the muslin wrinkles out of sharp focus. "
Hi devilry.

Thanks for your input. Space is often a luxury. Oftentimes I have to manage setting up a backdrop in confined space of no more than 4x3m. In this case it's hard to achieve what you have suggested. If I could. I would. But I can't. Hence I wish to rectify the issue by spending money on items that may help to solve the issue. Sorry. No donation to you! Haha.
 

Dec 12, 2012
871
9
0
Singapore
#9
Said is so much easier than done, to get pure white b/g, you need space, lots of space, and flags, it is easier to get done this in studio. On location, unless you want to use paper or vinyl background, else is nearly impossible. If it is a very small group or individual, can consider the westcott highlife backdrop, which is super expensive, and I sold mine at a dirt cheap price not too long ago.
Hi catchlights,

Paper backdrops are nearly impossible to transport even if I take a cab. The ones that I know of come in a roll of about 3m long.

Are vinyl backgrounds appropriate in this case? Can they be folded and then transported and then unpacked to show no creases?

Additionally, would you recommend the wescott backdrop?

Thanks in advance!
 

Dec 12, 2012
871
9
0
Singapore
#10
I just realized that the review I read must have been for a different product (X-drop backdrop kit) in the same range. Took another look at your link, it looks like they do have the standalone fabric designed for use with a stand/pole system.
Yup yup!! This is the one I was looking at. The "matte backdrop" seems to suggest it's some sort of thick, woven material like towels that don't crease so much. I wonder if this would work.
 

devilry

New Member
Feb 16, 2006
986
3
0
#11
Hi devilry.

Thanks for your input. Space is often a luxury. Oftentimes I have to manage setting up a backdrop in confined space of no more than 4x3m. In this case it's hard to achieve what you have suggested. If I could. I would. But I can't. Hence I wish to rectify the issue by spending money on items that may help to solve the issue. Sorry. No donation to you! Haha.
even when shooting in house, its not that difficult to find space, even a 3 rooms flat is more than sufficient. (2 rooms might be a challenge). My house is 4 room by the way.

If your living room is connected to your kitchen in a straight line, setup your camera on tripod in the kitchen, and shoot your family members which are placed in the living room.

For my house, the living room is about 4m x 4m, but my kitchen is directly connected in a straight line, so I have an effective 7m/8m of length to work with. In fact, I can push it to 10m if my camera is placed all the way to the edge of the kitchen.

In addition in my house, 2 rooms are facing each other, rooms are about 4m x 3m separated by a 1m x 1m doorway. I could setup my camera in one room, and place my subjects in the opposite room. Again when done this way, I have plenty of space to work with.

I could also setup camera in the room, place family members in the living room and shoot.

Try playing around in your house and shift things around, don't be confined by the limits of just one room. Look beyond the existing room.
 

Dec 12, 2012
871
9
0
Singapore
#12
even when shooting in house, its not that difficult to find space, even a 3 rooms flat is more than sufficient. (2 rooms might be a challenge). My house is 4 room by the way. If your living room is connected to your kitchen in a straight line, setup your camera on tripod in the kitchen, and shoot your family members which are placed in the living room. For my house, the living room is about 4m x 4m, but my kitchen is directly connected in a straight line, so I have an effective 7m/8m of length to work with. In fact, I can push it to 10m if my camera is placed all the way to the edge of the kitchen. In addition in my house, 2 rooms are facing each other, rooms are about 4m x 3m separated by a 1m x 1m doorway. I could setup my camera in one room, and place my subjects in the opposite room. Again when done this way, I have plenty of space to work with. I could also setup camera in the room, place family members in the living room and shoot. Try playing around in your house and shift things around, don't be confined by the limits of just one room. Look beyond the existing room.
You are fortunate to have a lighting friendly house. Thanks for sharing!
 

catchlights

Moderator
Staff member
Sep 27, 2004
21,903
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48
Punggol, Singapore
www.foto-u.com
#13
Hi catchlights,

Paper backdrops are nearly impossible to transport even if I take a cab. The ones that I know of come in a roll of about 3m long.

Are vinyl backgrounds appropriate in this case? Can they be folded and then transported and then unpacked to show no creases?

Additionally, would you recommend the wescott backdrop?

Thanks in advance!
No, you wouldn't want to fold the vinyl backdrops, it is cost 3 to 4 times more than 9foot paper backdrop and so are the weights, that's why Mod DD123 said unless you have three or more assistant s.....
 

catchlights

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Sep 27, 2004
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48
Punggol, Singapore
www.foto-u.com
#14
even when shooting in house, its not that difficult to find space, even a 3 rooms flat is more than sufficient. (2 rooms might be a challenge). My house is 4 room by the way.

If your living room is connected to your kitchen in a straight line, setup your camera on tripod in the kitchen, and shoot your family members which are placed in the living room.

For my house, the living room is about 4m x 4m, but my kitchen is directly connected in a straight line, so I have an effective 7m/8m of length to work with. In fact, I can push it to 10m if my camera is placed all the way to the edge of the kitchen.

In addition in my house, 2 rooms are facing each other, rooms are about 4m x 3m separated by a 1m x 1m doorway. I could setup my camera in one room, and place my subjects in the opposite room. Again when done this way, I have plenty of space to work with.

I could also setup camera in the room, place family members in the living room and shoot.

Try playing around in your house and shift things around, don't be confined by the limits of just one room. Look beyond the existing room.
You shoot with available light or studio strobes?
 

Dec 12, 2012
871
9
0
Singapore
#15
You.can try vinyl bro... but damn heavy and not very mobile unless you have 3 to 4.assistants and a big.van or lorry
Oops. Didn't see your post.

Thanks for the input. I guess for my purposes, vinyl will be out of the question.

Thanks DD123!
 

Dec 12, 2012
871
9
0
Singapore
#17
No, you wouldn't want to fold the vinyl backdrops, it is cost 3 to 4 times more than 9foot paper backdrop and so are the weights, that's why Mod DD123 said unless you have three or more assistant s.....
Haha. Thanks. Noted. No vynyls.
 

catchlights

Moderator
Staff member
Sep 27, 2004
21,903
46
48
Punggol, Singapore
www.foto-u.com
#18
for muslin backdrop is meant to be hang loosely, and with wrinkle showing, if you want winkle-free, than you should looking at paper, non woven, canvas or vinyl backdrop, but already mention earlier all these are not for mobile set up, it will also get damage easily.

My advise is leave your such backgrounds in your studio or home studio, let other photographers have van and assistants to do it, set up background at location is no fun, and especially only for one or two shots is not worth the efforts.
 

Dec 12, 2012
871
9
0
Singapore
#20
for muslin backdrop is meant to be hang loosely, and with wrinkle showing, if you want winkle-free, than you should looking at paper, non woven, canvas or vinyl backdrop, but already mention earlier all these are not for mobile set up, it will also get damage easily. My advise is leave your such backgrounds in your studio or home studio, let other photographers have van and assistants to do it, set up background at location is no fun, and especially only for one or two shots is not worth the efforts.
Thanks for the advice catchlights. I agree it's not easy. But the thrill in facing the challenge and overcoming it and putting a smile on the client's face is worth it. I intend to keep at it until I feel that I can't carry on or till the client feels that the results are not satisfactory. Until then, muselin it is! Need to go wash it now! Haha.
 

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