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Question about seamless paper
Old 03-21-2007, 07:03 PM   #1 (permalink)
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What color seamless paper would work best for changing color with gels on my strobes?
Neutral gray??
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Re: Question about seamless paper
Old 03-21-2007, 07:10 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I have always found that black is the best, lighter colors don't seem to absorb the color.
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Re: Question about seamless paper
Old 03-21-2007, 09:03 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Hmm, I don't know, but I don't think smlucas understood the question. I would think white or light gray. But, I'm drinking more these days. so my thinking may be in error. Although, I feel much better about my errors, and in general.
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Re: Question about seamless paper
Old 03-21-2007, 09:35 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I use either black or white. Black makes the color "fall off" quicker from the light source (fading it to black, of course), and white seems to "spread out" the color more, if that makes any sense at all. At least, that's been my experience...

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Re: Question about seamless paper
Old 03-21-2007, 09:38 PM   #5 (permalink)
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It depends on your studio size and light control. You can use white and it will take very little power to put the color on it. It will be easy to dilute the color with spill from walls, ceilings and floors that are close to it along with spill from your main and fill light.

Black works great, but needs lots more power.

So Dark gray it is. I also paint my studio ceiling and walls near the background the same color gray. I can always fly a flat or stand piece of foam core if I need more reflection.

I can take my dark gray background on a head and shoulders portrait from black to white without doing anything other than changing my outpput on my power supply. By adding gels at various power settings, I can make any color of the rainbow.

Make a test sheet, ( used to have rolls of transparencies) of each filter you own shined on the background at various exposures, keeping your camera set at f:8. The background will change color depending on whether or not you are over or underexposing it. Whatever f-stop is closest to the color you need, use it.

I hope that helps.
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Re: Question about seamless paper
Old 03-21-2007, 09:38 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I use white and that's what I"ve seen used most often. You can use any color if you have enough power. Naturally black would take the most power of all and white the least.
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Re: Question about seamless paper
Old 03-21-2007, 11:34 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Thanks guys for the replies,...I have a white wall and a black fabric backdrop, but I'm tired of both, and want to try changing the background color sometimes. So I thought I would get a roll of seamless and experiment with gels for a different look.
I like the look of the gray bg in some photos I see in some of the portfolios I browse, and was just wondering if a certain color would be best for using gels.
Thanks again.
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Re: Question about seamless paper
Old 03-22-2007, 07:44 AM   #8 (permalink)
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The same gray background was used in all these pictures, with different gelled lights.




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Re: Question about seamless paper
Old 03-22-2007, 08:17 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I have both black and white (and many other colors). In my experience, using a color gel against white paper give a softer, more pastel look and the edges trail off very gradually. Using the same color gels against black provides much deeper, bolder colors and the edges fade to black more quickly. So, as long as we're confusing you with some good information, all the images below weere shot against an Arctic White seamless paper.

Flagging off your lights with barndoors or grids so they don't spill on the white background will allow the white to look grey ...


Using a medium red gel against white yields a nice pink color ...


The image below was taken with one Alien Bee 400 strobe. Adjusting your white balance can warm up the look of white seamless ... and using a grid over your strobe yields this "spotlight" look.


The best way to see what they can do is ... PLAY!!!
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Re: Question about seamless paper
Old 03-22-2007, 09:49 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Personally I find Black to be great for gel impact.

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