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Background Question
Old 12-10-2007, 12:18 AM   #1 (permalink)
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I bought one of those Photoflex Backdrop Support Kit and I have a question about seamless backgrounds. From what I can tell most of them are made of paper. I plan on using this in my living room. I live alone so when I get the chance to shoot models I can move the furniture out of the way. Do I need to get something hard to put under the paper so it doesn't rip and tear or do I need to find a backdrop made out of cloth?
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Re: Background Question
Old 12-10-2007, 12:28 AM   #2 (permalink)
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If you have carpet, then the paper will get messed up pretty fast where the model steps (especially if they're wearing heels). I put some light 4x8' sheets of board under the paper. You can use muslin or other types of cloth for the seamless, but again, a hard surface under them will keep them neater (without depressions where people step or stand).
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Re: Background Question
Old 12-10-2007, 12:44 AM   #3 (permalink)
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The Cloth Backdrops last longer then the paper, but if you like that effect paper is for you. I have the BackDrop Alley-Cloth, Botero-Cloth, Muslin-Cloth and Paper Backdrops they all have their own issues like paper that is very fragile. Well cloth gets dirty also and can have fold-up marks, unless they are hung all the time and so on.. Have Fun !!
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Re: Background Question
Old 12-10-2007, 02:59 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I have a fairly deep pile carpet in my living room, which would be disastrous with seamless paper backgrounds. So off to Home Depot and picked up some wonderful product call DriCore (see dricore.com). It comes in 2 foot square tiles that lay down on the carpet and fit nicely together with a tongue and groove system. IIRC, 12 of these cost around $100, and covers 8ftx6ft which sits nicely under my 9 foot seamless or any other backdrop I wish to use, as long as the models know where the edges are. Setup takes an extra 10 minutes to tap the pieces together, and I've setup and dismantled my temporary floor many times, including once I even packed them to a location shoot.
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Re: Background Question
Old 12-10-2007, 12:35 PM   #5 (permalink)
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A hot iron does wonders for any fold marks in cloth backgrounds.
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Re: Background Question
Old 12-10-2007, 02:07 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I've been shooting in my living ropom for the past five years and found that the best way to preserve my seamless paper is to use two 4x8 foot white tile boards on top of my carpet (available from Lowes or Home Depot for about $20). It's extremely durable (I've used the same boards for five years) ... and when I'm not shooting with the seamless paper covering it, I leave it on the and it adds some reflective light to my shots. It works SO well, that I'm still using some of the same seamless paper I bought 20 years ago!

Here's a shot where everything came from Home Depot. I used the reflectivity of the white tile boards under the model to provide some reflection for this shot ... and I used a roll of cheap silver covered insulation as a backdrop.

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