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Im thinking of getting a couple of stands and a backdrop so i can improve my pictures of my grandchildren i have a large conservatory with loads of natural light etc. What im after knowing is what is the best backdrop to get i notice theres paper ones muslim cloth ones etc so can anyone tell me best ones to get and also same with the stands and top rails. Also where is best place to get them from. Im gratefull of any advice thankyou
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There are several background systems available. If space is not an issue, lastolite do a suport system comprising of two stands and a cross bar that can be used for both paper roll or fabric backdrop. I personally prefer to use a fabric background as it will last infinitley longer than a paper roll which will rapidly become torn and grubby. There are vinyl backgrounds but I do not have any experience of using them.
An alternative by latolite is a portable pop-up backdrop that folds away, eventually, like their reflectors. Not as versatile as a full width backdrop, but probably just as good for use with young children.
As above or plain roller blinds
Mike like the rest of us I have invested in stands,backdrops + popup .. foldaway thingies..and all the rubbish that costs loads of money....yes cos I thought I needed them just to look like more professional..( what a dope I was ) I don't need them...A nice white wall if you want hight key pics... but then 2 large bed sheets and sew them together or a few yards of wide meterial 60in or 72in wide and long enough to hang down the wall and accross the floor.......I am sure you have window catches in your conservatory to hook it too...PS make sure its well ironed yes no creases....""can't stand backdrops that needs a good iron""
I want to sell my stands and popup stuff but I will have to get about 4 or 5 years dust off them first ..LOL...
So try some home made things before you go out and spend a load of money... I only wish somebody would have given me the same advice I would have saved myself 100s of pounds...
Get out and about, Walls of buildings made of different materials can be just as effective, plus you won't end up with an album of the same background in all your shots.
I agree with the comments on using what's available if possible. Having used various backgrounds on a semi-regular basis though (mostly for large-ish product shots), I'd personally avoid the cloth ones unless you really, really enjoy ironing.
These days I mostly use the 2.7m width paper rolls and any bits that get marked or creased are passed on to the kids for drawing on.
I used to use soft cloth dust sheets - very large, very cheap. Only problem was they were a bit staticky when they came out of the tumble dryer, but the creases fell out. If you have a picture rail or curtain rail you can just use bulldog clips to hold the background up, but it's also light enough for a couple of stands and a lightweight crossbar. The paper rolls are good, but can be heavy.
You can also use them with car spray paint to make your own mottled or spatter pattern background - look at lastolite's website for ideas of patterns.
I've got something similar to this £45 ebay stand below, add to this a Plain white background from WEX photographic for another £45 (11m x 2.7M) and you ready to go.
I would say though that this will give you a nice white background etc but on a sunny day in a conservatory you might see strong shadows from the kids and the conservatory roof bars. - Actually shooting on a cloudy day is likely to be better.
Also i hate the idea of the stands and the heavy paper roll falling over with kids etc. so consider securing(tying) the stand to the roof/wall.
I've gone a bit further and actually put hooks into my ceiling so the bar from the stand above hooks directly to the ceiling without needing the side stands at all.
All the above ideas are great as well.
Do also think about the time of day that you may shoot and the direction of the sun etc. And also i'm sure you will end up with some of those popup silver reflectors as well from ebay.
So, you recommend spending £90 plus, as opposed to just starting out with a simple sheet (couple of quid from supermarket) some big clips to secure it (couple of quid from supermarket)?
Do it cheaply first, then identify whether you need to spend money on more apprpriate gear.
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