How To Make A Permanent Photography Back Drop

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Backgrounds for photography and making DIY backdrops

Photography backgrounds are a key part of any image — they tin can make or suspension your photo. Choosing the best backdrop material is crucial, simply knowing which 1 to utilise tin be tricky.

To assistance you make the most of your epitome, I’ve outlined some central points to think about when selecting a background and included 2 DIY photography backgrounds that yous can easily make.

What backdrop is the all-time for photography?

Whether you’re photographing people or products, in that location is a wide range of
photography backgrounds
to choose from. From simple colours to mottled canvas, the sky is the limit. Unlike types of backgrounds include paper, fabrics such equally muslin or canvas, MDF sheets, popular up backgrounds or coves (cycloramas), to name only a few.

Types of studio backdrops

1. Fabric – Canvas & Muslin

A fashion image taken using a DIY canvass backdrop.

Fabric backdrops such equally canvas or muslin are popular due to their variety and portability. Canvass backgrounds are generally more than bulky and heavy than muslin backgrounds, just can offer some great depth and color (I’ll cover how to make your own canvas backdrop later). Muslin backgrounds are constructed from cotton fiber and, every bit a event, are lighter than sheet, though they as well come up in a diversity of styles.

two. Newspaper rolls

Portrait photo using paper backdrop

A portrait image from our Portrait classes taken using a paper backdrop.

Paper rolls come in a variety of widths and are bachelor in a range of dissimilar colours. Advantages of newspaper rolls is the multifariousness and affordability, merely they can be difficult to shop. A further drawback to paper rolls is that they crease very easily which tin prove in your images. They are as well non very portable.

three. Wooden boards

Photography backdrop wooden board example

A production shot using unlike types of wooden boards to grade the base surface.

I often employ wooden boards for my production photography — you’ll see them used in our whisky live show as well as in a number of food photography classes. You tin notice a great variety of wooden boards and they can be fairly inexpensive to come up by. You lot can repurpose old table tops as boards and you can easily find pieces with existent character at second hand markets or antique shops. If you’re looking for more artistic and tailored looks, you tin fifty-fifty make your own boards (I show you how later in this post).

4. MDF sheets

Photography backdrop MDF sheet example

A production shot using different types of wooden boards to form the base of operations surface.

I often use sheets of MDF for backgrounds for production photography as they offer a lovely polish background that you can easily pigment to get the exact color you desire. They tin can also exist repainted, which ways yous tin become more than i use out of them too. Near local hardware stores will have them in a few unlike sizes and every bit they’re fairly lightweight they tin easily be stored and don’t take up too much room.

5. Pop up background

Pop up photography backdrop

Shot during a live testify, this portrait image featured a pop upwards backdrop.

Popular upward backgrounds are platonic for photographers working on location or in small spaces. These collapsible backgrounds are available in a diverseness of colours, everything from neutral gray to mottled blue, and often offer a reversible side. They are lightweight, easy to transport and affordable. Notwithstanding, they tin exist limited in size, which makes them tricky to use if you’re wanting to do full length portraits.

Watch: Studio backgrounds

The type of backdrop you lot choose depends on what you’re photographing and conscientious idea should be given as to which background is the all-time for your shot. Things to call back nigh when selecting your background include the colour, texture and size. Consider how each of these will work with your shot — will they compliment it or distract from information technology?

Background Colour Choice

Colour is an important part of an epitome: it can help set the mood and also guide the middle. Color theory is something that plays a big part in my work and as photographers information technology’southward something worth understanding. When choosing your background, call back about whether you want bright, contrasting colours (complimentary colours) or more subtle hues.

Portrait by Tom Oldham

An example of complimentary colours used in nutrient photography, using MDF sheets as the background.

Portrait by Tom Oldham

This manner image features matching hues, which was accomplished by painting the background – a cove.

Properties Texture

Texture is also of import in photography. Sometimes a bit of texture can really add to an image, but other times information technology only serves as a distraction. If your background distracts from your image, y’all’ll lose your viewer. Retrieve near your product — does information technology need a smooth, clean groundwork or will it work on a more than textured surface.

Below is an instance from one of our food photography classes, where I shot an paradigm of a pot of
ginger and lime tea
with nutrient lensman and stylist Anna Pustynnikova. Here y’all can encounter how the lighter, smoother board didn’t work for the rustic await nosotros were going for. The darker, more textured lath (which was ane we’d made ourselves) worked much better. This shows the importance of both colour and texture in background pick.

Example of photography backdrop

Example of photography backdrop

Background Size

Concluding simply not least, recollect about the size of your background. If you’re photographing a full length portrait, a canvass of MDF probably won’t work (unless it’southward a small child maybe). However, you could easily get abroad with a sail of it if you’re photographing a bottle of whisky or a bag. You don’t want to rely on Photoshop to extend your background — if y’all can, get it right in photographic camera.

That being said, don’t permit yourself be limited by the size of your background either — get creative and come across what solutions you can come up with. For case, I take a mobile wall in the studio that I often paint if I need a bigger background than say, a sheet of MDF or a popular upwards background.

Where to find photography backdrops

Photography backgrounds aren’t hard to come up by. You can detect them online from companies such equally
(think you get 15% discount with these companies as members of Karl Taylor Education),
Savage Universal,
Wex Photograph Video
eBay, to name just a few. For sheets of MDF or wooden boards, you can visit your local hardware store, which should stock a variety of options. This is a great place to start if you want to get creative and make your ain. I also oftentimes repurpose old table tops every bit base surfaces and backdrops too — these can hands be found at 2d hand stores or antiquarian shops.

Whisky product photo by Karl Taylor

This product image of Glenfiddich whisky used an one-time table elevation as the base surface.

How to make your own custom backdrops

When it comes to making your own photography backdrops, you tin make your own with some pretty basic materials. Here I’ve included 2 examples of how to make your own photography backdrop with basic supplies you can find at any fine art or hardware store.

1. DIY sail properties

This video shows how nosotros made our own canvas backdrop for one of our workshops. To create your own DIY canvass backdrop yous’ll need the post-obit:

  • A large sail of plastic (if you’re working indoors)
  • A blank slice of canvass fabric (you can discover this at most art stores)
  • PVA gum
  • H2o
  • A choice of pigment colours for your base color, wash colour and splatter effects.

Sentry full video here.

2. DIY wooden board

We used a pick of different wooden surfaces as backgrounds and base surfaces for our food photography classes and many of our members were interested to know how we created them, so nosotros put together a whole tutorial on this. If you don’t have time to watch the full class or aren’t a member (why aren’t yous?!), I’ve outlined the basic steps beneath.

Whisky product photo by Karl Taylor

Tools used to make a DIY photography backdrop

  1. Think well-nigh your shot — What colours will piece of work with your shot. Do you desire a darker or lighter color, older or newer expect?
  2. Create a basic lath — If you don’t already have a lath, you tin make your own by joining together old pieces of forest (pallets are an ideal, cheap source of forest)
  3. Age the woods — This tin can be done by burning the wood (this creates quite a lot of fumes, then information technology’s advisable to practice this exterior or in a well ventilated infinite)
  4. Add together your base colour — You can discover suitable paint for this at any hardware store
  5. Apply a colour wash — This can be washed using acrylic paints that can be found at any fine art store.

Watch full class here.

Equally you’ll come across in the full tutorial, the great thing almost these is if y’all don’t similar the concluding event or simply want something different, y’all can only start again by painting over information technology all.

Recommended Content

As yous’ll have gathered from this post, backgrounds are an important component in any photo. To help y’all create the very best prototype possible, beneath is a pick of related content that you may find useful.

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Originally posted 2022-02-12 06:33:21.