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DPChallenge Forums >> Tips, Tricks, and Q&A >> back drop setup
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02/23/2009 11:05:26 AM · #1
When looking at a lot of the pictures here I see these really nice deep black and pure white backgrounds in pictures when doing still life. I was wondering how these were being set up. Do you have a room in your home that you have fabric behind? Is it a matter or lighting or what. I would like to setup an area in my home to do photography like this, but I am lost on what to use for back drops and such. I don't have any studio lighting and it will be quite sometime before I able to get anything of that nature, but I do want to work with what I can find and what I can put together. I have a canon 20 D and a Canon 40 D with a good speed light if that helps.

Thank you very much for any and all information.

02/23/2009 11:11:49 AM · #2
If you find anything out--let me know. I have the same exact question!
02/23/2009 11:58:15 AM · #3
//www.diyphotography.net/
//www.brantfordselections.com/Selections/Light_Box_2.html
//www.diyphotography.net/homestudio/cheap-homemade-diy-studio-no-lighting-needed
02/23/2009 12:16:45 PM · #4
Thanks! I'll go check them out.
02/23/2009 12:43:27 PM · #5
There are several threads on DPC related to the topic. I think if you search the words "Home Depot" you will find a few of them. You can get alot of goodies on the cheap and with a little effort come away with decent results.



02/23/2009 01:15:25 PM · #6
Okay, time to give you guys your laugh for the day...

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We moved a few months ago so I don't have ANY setup until I get the garage sorted, but this is what I was working with. The backdrop is a cheap garment rack with a piece of 1x1 zipstripped to the top to make it wider, with yardage of Walmart cheapy black fabric or a white/light-coloured sheet.

I use a brass coffee table without its glass (99 cents from thrift shop) for a lightbox, clipping poster-sized paper to it. It also doubles as a light table when I put a textured glass cutting board on top and various assorted lamps below.

Pretty much everything I work with is from thrift shops or dollar stores. I did manage to score bigtime on a couple boxes of Smith Victor hotlights (which are HOT but do the job) for $12 but I also use gooseneck lamps, flashlights, flourescent fixtures, whatever I can find.

My first entry was done on my kitchen counter with a black fleece throw tucked thru' the door handles on my kitchen cabinets. Others have been done at the kitchen table with a piece of foamcore held in the crack where the leaf fits into the table then posterboard clipped to that for backdrop, other pieces of foamcore for reflectors.

At least you have a speedlight to work with. I envy you that! :)
02/23/2009 01:15:26 PM · #7
thanks for the info.
02/23/2009 01:25:46 PM · #8
Originally posted by hauntedcrimson:

When looking at a lot of the pictures here I see these really nice deep black and pure white backgrounds in pictures when doing still life. I was wondering how these were being set up. Do you have a room in your home that you have fabric behind? Is it a matter or lighting or what. I would like to setup an area in my home to do photography like this, but I am lost on what to use for back drops and such. I don't have any studio lighting and it will be quite sometime before I able to get anything of that nature, but I do want to work with what I can find and what I can put together. I have a canon 20 D and a Canon 40 D with a good speed light if that helps.

Thank you very much for any and all information.


Photography is all about light. And that is how you make black or white BGs - by controlling the light that falls on them.

If the BG is 3 stops darker than the subject it will appear black, 3 stops brighter is will be white. There is an issue with white though, if you got more than about 1.5 stops you'll get either lens flare or bleed (where the BG is so bright is begins to light the subject), so using white paper or foam core (or white walls, vinyl flooring painted white, etc).

BG is white seemless paper and floor is white paneling (harboard covered with melamine) from Lowes ($13 for a 4x8 sheet)
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same thing but with gels on the BG lights
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same thing, just turn off the lights on the BG
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Message edited by author 2009-02-23 13:30:01.
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