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Specular background Question
Old 03-08-2006, 12:05 PM   #1 (permalink)
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I like to shoot a few images on a specular background during most sessions just to mix things up a little. Sometimes I really like the results and sometimes I hate them. Right now I am using a silver space blanket emergency blanket that hikers use. I really like the dimpled silver texture, but I hate the creases in it from it being folded. Does anyone know where to get something that has a similar surface that would not have creases? Or for that matter, does anyone know how to get the creases out? They seem to be somewhat plastic to me so ironing is out.

Thanks,
Daryl


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Re: Specular background Question
Old 03-08-2006, 12:09 PM   #2 (permalink)
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you're not going to get the crease out of that stuff. you can get a roll of silver mylar, tho, and get similar (and smooth) results.
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I believe ..
Old 03-08-2006, 12:17 PM   #3 (permalink)
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you can get the creases out by doing one or both of the following:

While hanging the backdrop, add some weight to the bottom to 'stretch' the plastic, this will slowly get rid of the creases. You can also weight it and use a source of warm heat ( i.e. blowdryer, outside sun, etc.)

I hope this helps,

Geowulf
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Re: Specular background Question
Old 03-08-2006, 12:42 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I think the wrinkles add to it. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smirk.gif[/img]
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Re: Specular background Question
Old 03-08-2006, 01:16 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I agree with JimmyD - buy a roll of silverized mylar - I got a narrow (54") one quite cheaply from Porters some years ago, and I know you can find it 10' wide on the web.

You can try the "hang weight and apply heat" - but I don't think it'll work well on Mylar. That plastic is highly cross-linked and pretty resistant to heat, so it shouldn't "flow" easily. I just did a Scirus search for "Mylar temperature limits" and found a report at the Oak Ridge National Lab that describes heating mylar film at 900 C to seal it into an alumina crucible. 900 C is about 1600 F, not so hot as the hottest part of your gas stove's flame, but pretty darned warm, indeed. OTOH, it's a cheap test.

You can probably find other metallized films nowadays, as well. I've seen a partially silvered holographic film - irradescent, like flashes of rainbows - somewhere.
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Re: Specular background Question
Old 03-08-2006, 03:01 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Thanks for the information everyone.

One question on the silvered mylar everyone is recommending. Is it dimpled like the material on the space blanket? I am linking a picture from a piece of the space blanket I have. I have seen the smooth mylar stuff that you can basically make a mirror from, but I kind of prefer the texture of the dimpled surface.

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Re: Specular background Question
Old 03-08-2006, 03:51 PM   #7 (permalink)
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The stuff I'm talking about is smooth. I had always assumed that the "space blanket" material was a lighter weight plastic and "pre-wrinkled" to make it more flexible. I can understand your preference. The stuff I have would be very hard to wrinkle, although you can - with some effort - crease it.

BTW, it isn't silverized - I should have said aluminized.

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Re: Specular background Question
Old 03-08-2006, 04:04 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Thanks for the information John.

The space blanket people appear to have at least two different space blankets. One looks to me just like a piece of mylar that is copper on one side and silver on the other and very thin. The other is the one I showed the picture of that is silver on one side and it is bonded to some type of plastic like material. It is a little bit stiff and the silvered (aluminized) side is dimpled like I showed in the picture. This one is about 3 to four times the price of the other but a lot more durable.

I have been thinking of getting some of the silver/aluminum mylar to play around with some reflective things and I have played around with the idea of wrapping it around my 12" cardboard tubes to create some interesting looking columns but haven't gotten around to it yet.
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Re: Specular background Question
Old 03-08-2006, 10:34 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I'm with Ron. I'd just really crumple it up bigtime to saturate it with wrinkles and then hem a length of chain into the bottom edge to weight it.

You can buy roll insulation that's kind of like silverized bubble wrap (the small bubble kind) laminated to a thin ply of fiberglass insulation. I've seen it as wide as 96".

You might also try some silver lamme' fabric... you may be able to get it in 60" width.

You could also take some of that silvered mylar and crumple it up really good too.

Chip
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Re: Specular background Question
Old 03-08-2006, 11:09 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I don't know if anybody has suggested it yet, but why don't you buy some silver textured paint. I know it comes in spray cans and you could spray it onto foam core, etc.

You might have to experiment on some small pieces to get what you want but I pretty sure it would work.

Dave
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