Things To Know About Backdrops

If you are using your backdrop as the table surface, setting up is as easy as simply laying it flat on a clean, sturdy and level surface. 

To hang your backdrop behind your set as a wall you could use masking tape to stick the backdrop to a vertical surface, use grips and a photography 'C' stand or use an overhead stand or a clothes rail with clips.  You can buy scene backgrounds whenever required.

Personally, I like things to be solid so I prefer to tape to a poly board which I can move around as needed.

Here is another recent setup Fruit Farms backdrop – we used a stand and clamps for this one.

Whether you use natural light, or continuous artificial or flash lighting there are a few things to consider when using printed backdrops.

As with any smooth, flat surface, there will be a little bit of glare at certain angles or with strong lighting. 

These highlights can add to the drama and be part of your aesthetic (like in the cocktail shot above), or you may want to control them.

Darker prints with the most ink will reflect the most light, whereas light prints showing much of the matt surface beneath will look almost completely flat.

Any light source can be softened by using a diffuser, some thin white material (like cheesecloth or bed linen), or tracing/baking paper.  This will soften both the highlights and the shadows.

Even though the light is still strong in this image, the shadows are soft – not hard-edged.  This is a creative choice but harder light will naturally make it harder to control reflections.