Watching Over

by Vian Esterhuizen

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A few random thoughts, from which you can draw conclusions: seamless paper is cheaper but it's an ongoing expense, the cloth would be a one-time purchase the cloth backdrop requires being kept clean easier to pull the seamless out a long way and run it curving down onto the floor and under your subject for, um, more seamless look, especially with a white ...


Of the "big two" for photography, muslin is often desirable for transport and storage because you can fold it up nice and easy, toss it in a bag, and it's lighter in weight. It's also less expensive, a prime consideration for the more frugal shooter. On the other hand it wrinkles, but that's also a positive for texture purposes, and it's also easily smoothed ...


White clothes are a great go-to color for a bright colored background. This will put skintones into a color saturation middle-ground. With dark/black clothes our brains sort-of disqualify it from our impression of saturation. So that would leave the person's face and hair looking dull and neutral in contrast, which in turn puts too much emphasis on the ...


A soft box is a means of diffusing light. You can use one with flashes or constant output lamps, but you still need multiple lights positioned around the box to provide good light from multiple directions. The idea is just that the light hits the box and then the walls of the box act as the diffused light source that lights the object. If budget is a ...


I have been playing with these 2 options myself - so far I do find that the seamless paper is the better option, I find the canvas is a real pain to keep clean. However paper is heavy to keep around, bulky and needs replacing. I also found lighting the paper easier - possibly my canvas wasn't opaque enough?


For black and white, I use paper from Savage. It comes in rolls and you can hang it on a background stand (anything high with a crossbar or shower-curtain bar. The key, as one of the other posters said, is lighting. For white, you need the background to be a stop to 1.5 stops brighter than the subject. So get some background lights. For black, just the ...

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