I was wondering how people shoot with a gradient backdrop such as:

enter image description here

enter image description here

I want to take similar product photos.

I've tried to take pictures with a blue-gel-covered-flash aimed at white paper background but the light source is too dim and radial. You can tell it's come from a point light source. The light source isn't long and uniform like it is in the above photos.

How would you guys do this?

Please help

Thank you

  • 2
    The background might be a real printed gradient
    – Nayuki
    Feb 13, 2017 at 1:37
  • What material would it have been printed on? The sheet for the first shot must have been huge!
    – coates
    Feb 13, 2017 at 16:04

2 Answers 2


The simplest way get a gradient background is to use a gradient backdrop.

enter image description here

This particular backdrop is made of paper, and is 80cm × 110cm (31" × 43"). Another backdrop at B&H Photo Video is PVC, 43" × 67" (110cm × 170cm). And yet another one at B&H is muslin, and is 5' × 7' if you need a very large product backdrop. Try searching Google, B&H Photo Video, Adorama, amongst others, for "graduated studio backdrop", you'll probably find what you're looking for.

Paper, coated paper, vinyl (PVC), and nylon polyester backdrops will probably have the most even coloration or color gradation. They can also be had in muslin (a lightweight cotton cloth), but as with most cloths, it will probably have slightly less even color consistency. See also the eBay buying guide, What Type of Background Materials Are Available for Photo Shoots?

You could also shoot against a solid white or chroma key background, and then create a gradient background in post. However, unless you spend a lot of time on the details to get it right, you can usually tell it was composited, rather than done in camera with an actual gradient background.

  • I googled your image and found something for sale. The problem is that these are fairly small sheets. If I wanted to shoot a large or tall subject I think I'd be in trouble. The first picture in my post wouldn't have been able to fit on the sheet that you've shown here. I guess that you can get custom ones printed? Can I ask what kind of material this would be? Vinyl, paper, coated paper?
    – coates
    Feb 13, 2017 at 15:59

If you sweep the paper out long enough (curve it behind the subject) you can light the foreground and background to different intensities/colors.

Try letting the paper background fade to grey, dark as possible then you can flash in some color as above.

It helps to have a soft/bounced source high and behind your subject that you can aim back and not influence your foreground colors.

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