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DPChallenge Forums >> Hardware and Software >> Lighting kit or background-which to upgrade first?
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07/15/2016 05:58:02 AM · #1
Hi guys,

I'm trying to setup a little home studio, so I got a lot of budget equipment.
I got two 10x20ft backgrounds, black and white. They aren't muslin, so I can't iron them, steam them or machine wash them. Which means they are wrinkled beyond belief.
I can reduce the wrinkles in PS but it's never as smooth as the real thing.

I also got a small 15" soft box for my flash gun, and another flash, both triggered remotely.
These are a couple of shots of the setup:

Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_1184547.jpg
Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_1184548.jpg
Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_1184549.jpg

Now, I'm looking to upgrade both, one at a time.
I have this background: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B019IR1G6C/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_nS_ttl?_encoding=UTF8&colid=3LACWDQ42KHMD&coliid=I3A9W1PZTEBSLM

And this light kit: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B012CKIHAA/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_nS_ttl?_encoding=UTF8&colid=3LACWDQ42KHMD&coliid=IFDQKZEQVW9D6

So which to upgrade first? It might be a few months gap between getting both.

Do I invest in a good background and make do with both flash guns, or get the lighting kit and continue to edit out the wrinkles?

07/15/2016 06:27:39 AM · #2
lighting.

you can get backdrops anywhere inexpensively at fabric stores or just use paper. you can also make wrinkle go away by lighting the backdrop properly.

Message edited by author 2016-07-15 06:30:45.
07/15/2016 06:54:40 AM · #3
Originally posted by Mike:

lighting.

you can get backdrops anywhere inexpensively at fabric stores or just use paper. you can also make wrinkle go away by lighting the backdrop properly.


+1000

With your black background, you can simply make the background disappear by not lighting it, and strong lights on your white should wash out the wrinkles. I notice in your picture that you have light behind your black backdrop that shows through, you will want to eliminate that and control the ambient light so it doesn't affect your studio shots.
07/15/2016 06:57:22 AM · #4
Thanks Mike, Robin,

Good point, also with the light kit I can have modelling lights, meaning I can have the room pitch black behind.
Most of my wrinkles are on the floor where people drag the fabric, and behind when I want to do a hair light directed at the background.
I need to master those lights :)

Originally posted by FromDaRock:

Originally posted by Mike:

lighting.

you can get backdrops anywhere inexpensively at fabric stores or just use paper. you can also make wrinkle go away by lighting the backdrop properly.


+1000

With your black background, you can simply make the background disappear by not lighting it, and strong lights on your white should wash out the wrinkles. I notice in your picture that you have light behind your black backdrop that shows through, you will want to eliminate that and control the ambient light so it doesn't affect your studio shots.
07/15/2016 07:43:41 AM · #5
Originally posted by sarampo:

Thanks Mike, Robin,

Good point, also with the light kit I can have modelling lights, meaning I can have the room pitch black behind.
Most of my wrinkles are on the floor where people drag the fabric, and behind when I want to do a hair light directed at the background.
I need to master those lights :)

Originally posted by FromDaRock:

Originally posted by Mike:

lighting.

you can get backdrops anywhere inexpensively at fabric stores or just use paper. you can also make wrinkle go away by lighting the backdrop properly.


+1000

With your black background, you can simply make the background disappear by not lighting it, and strong lights on your white should wash out the wrinkles. I notice in your picture that you have light behind your black backdrop that shows through, you will want to eliminate that and control the ambient light so it doesn't affect your studio shots.


with studio strobes you are usually shooting at such a small aperture (f8-11) indoor ambient light really isn't a problem. The floor will always be a problem and you will have to shop out wrinkles there. a more resistant backdrop will help since you dont get folds covering part of the feet though.

Message edited by author 2016-07-15 07:43:55.
07/15/2016 07:46:07 AM · #6
That would be the second investment then, a good vinyl background, smooth and resistant, and more important, washable with a wet cloth.
07/15/2016 08:13:09 AM · #7
Originally posted by sarampo:

That would be the second investment then, a good vinyl background, smooth and resistant, and more important, washable with a wet cloth.


id invest in a roll of seamless paper instead.
07/15/2016 12:41:00 PM · #8
Echo others with lighting first. Lighting is ALWAYS first :)

For the floor wrinkle issue, you can stretch the cloth out and tape it down to reduce the wrinkles during the shoots. Will make your pp'g much easier. When you get to upgrading your backdrop, you have many options. I have the vinyl roll in black and white and it's fantastic. HOWEVER, it is not easy to store. Mine are 10 foot rolls and you can't fold them up :)

I also went to a fabric store and got some velour-type (sort of like velvet) of fabric for very cheap. Doesn't wrinkle at all, has a beautiful matte finish. Got it in 3 different colors.

Seamless paper is an option but you go through it pretty quickly if you're shooting a lot. It tears, it stains/wrinkles. You can cut off the bottom where there are problems, but it's a finite solution. Eventually you run out of paper.

07/15/2016 01:40:49 PM · #9
Thanks Johanna, the wrinkles are mostly due to the shipping, it came folded and you can't iron it.

I did bought a background holder, quite big (2.8m high x 3m wide), which holds all my rolls. Which I could also use to hold the vinyl. But indeed with lights first I can be more creative :)

Originally posted by tanguera:

Echo others with lighting first. Lighting is ALWAYS first :)

For the floor wrinkle issue, you can stretch the cloth out and tape it down to reduce the wrinkles during the shoots. Will make your pp'g much easier. When you get to upgrading your backdrop, you have many options. I have the vinyl roll in black and white and it's fantastic. HOWEVER, it is not easy to store. Mine are 10 foot rolls and you can't fold them up :)

I also went to a fabric store and got some velour-type (sort of like velvet) of fabric for very cheap. Doesn't wrinkle at all, has a beautiful matte finish. Got it in 3 different colors.

Seamless paper is an option but you go through it pretty quickly if you're shooting a lot. It tears, it stains/wrinkles. You can cut off the bottom where there are problems, but it's a finite solution. Eventually you run out of paper.


Message edited by author 2016-07-15 14:15:51.
07/15/2016 02:26:14 PM · #10
Originally posted by sarampo:

Thanks Johanna, the wrinkles are mostly due to the shipping, it came folded and you can't iron it.

If you can hang it or tack it up on a wall and leave it for a few days gravity may do what heated appliances can't.
07/15/2016 02:37:19 PM · #11
Originally posted by GeneralE:

Originally posted by sarampo:

Thanks Johanna, the wrinkles are mostly due to the shipping, it came folded and you can't iron it.

If you can hang it or tack it up on a wall and leave it for a few days gravity may do what heated appliances can't.


I tried to roll up tight half of it, and leave the other half hanging, no such luck. I got those really really cheap ones, so quality is not so good.
07/15/2016 02:52:44 PM · #12
what kind of fabric is it?
07/15/2016 03:03:56 PM · #13
Originally posted by GeneralE:

what kind of fabric is it?


It's this one, Paul: Amazon

Message edited by author 2016-07-15 15:07:09.
07/15/2016 03:23:50 PM · #14
Originally posted by sarampo:

Originally posted by GeneralE:

what kind of fabric is it?


It's this one, Paul: Amazon

From the customer comments ...
Originally posted by Geoff Marlow:


It *is* possible to iron it, but you have to be very careful with the temperature. I used an offcut to set the iron temp. Our Philips steam iron set to 'Wool' and mid-steam seemed the optimum set up. Be warned - it will melt if you use too hot an iron.

I found I needed to iron both the shiny side and matt side several times to get rid of the creases enough to use it.

If you can hang it up you might try one of those appliances (as seen on TV!) which sprays steam to remove wrinkles but doesn't actually touch the fabric ...

You could also try hanging it with weights on the bottom (clamp to a dowel and hang weights from that) ...
07/15/2016 03:28:41 PM · #15
I'll try that, thanks :)
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