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Cavy Fire Studios

Photography Backgrounds

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So, I know that standard gray backgrounds are, well, standard. But, I've seen photographs with nice wooden backdrops, or draperies 'n stuff. What do you guys think? I feel like the whimsical nature of my work is really lost on the viewer with such a dark and severe background. What kinda stuff do you guys use?

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I only like and use the  grey  to white varitone-whats important is to use the same one always so your work over the years is always on the same background. That way work in two decades shown  looks like the same backgrounds and does not stand out background wise.

Remember the background is just that something you do not want to make much noise.

Wooden -draperies and the like for me all all not what I would use.

There has been a lot written here about this do search.

mark

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Depends on what you're going to use the photos for. For online sales on Etsy or something like that, using other objects like tables, drapes, etc. can put the item in context, which helps the buyer see it in its intended habitat. But for entering juried exhibitions or art fairs, you just want the traditional backdrop of gray fading to black. All white or all black is not good, because the piece will look like it's floating in nothingness.

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I use and EZ Cube light tent with a gradient background for all my gallery/show applications/website photos.  I purchased the light tent, lights and gradient background at the website below.

 

http://store.tabletopstudio-store.com/ezlite.html

 

I think the gradient background looks more professional and makes all the photos consistent.post-16841-0-82384400-1424297004_thumb.jpg

post-16841-0-82384400-1424297004_thumb.jpg

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i use the photo cube and the grey to while background.  lucky for me my hubby is good at photography and likes to do the pictures though he takes his sweet time.

 

seems like you might want to seek an amature photographer to do this for you, maybe for a trade for some art? seems a pain to go buy all the equipment for only occasional use.  I let my buddies bring stuff over and use the photo set up.  rakuku

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If you can afford just the background paper . . . http://www.amazon.com/Background-Paper-Graduated-Neutral-White/dp/B001AIM90U/ref=pd_sim_sbs_p_6?ie=UTF8&refRID=062Q4N0Z85QQYYKFKG00 . . . you can get reasonably good pictures outside using natural light.  Or, in a pinch, take an old white window shade and apply an even coat of flat light grey spray paint, let it dry, and use that until you can afford a higher cost set up. 

 

You might also ask any professional photographers to do the photos . . . perhaps in exchange for a mug or plate.  Bartering still works. 

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I've learned that it's good to have photos of your work against an all-white background with minimal shadows, in addition to the "lifestyle" shots and graduated background images—this is how a lot of sites/graphic designers/etc. want to have them so that they can easily "slice" the image away from the background and insert it into whatever format they're using (postcards, websites, etc.), to achieve consistency with images from multiple sources. You can do this on the super-cheap and achieve really good results: http://strobist.blogspot.com/2006/07/how-to-diy-10-macro-photo-studio.html — this box works well with outdoor light as well as studio light.

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I guess I am the weird one out I photograph my stuff on white I like the way it makes the colors pop. With the variated gray sometimes parts of a painted image would just disappear into the dark background. I was always adjusting the paper or the lights to get the contrast needed at all the different spots on different pots.

 

Guinea to try and do it on the cheap side do it outside. Set up a table or something outside and get a couple sheets of white illustration paper and a cardboard box. Cut the box so you can place your item on it and cover it with the white paper. Using sunlight means you don't need lights either super cheap. Oh and if you want a variated gray background you might try doing a watercolor wash on your paper.

 

T

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Good thing I read terraforma's post. I was going to list that same blog post. I made the photo box out of tissue paper, a cardboard box, and a poster board. Total cost, $6.00 cdn. I did have to play with my light a bit, but this is one Internet tutorial that does work as advertised.

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I personally don't like very much the gray to black barckground. When I find someone who makes awesome pottery, I am always disappointed when the only pictures I can find are on this background. I seems to be what everybody does though but I think the colours are not well displayed with this grey. An all white background works much better I think.

But this is only aestethically speaking. I don't know what people in shows and galleries are expecting.

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I have photographed work in the past on an off white paper sheet, with a propped set up outside on a cloudy morning. diffuse light, and the plain background are pretty easy for a good pic without a lot of reflections.

 

However, I have recently purchased a vari tone back ground for photos. I am also looking at a larger sensor camera than the ones that I use now.

 

I am pretty good at making adjustments in Photoshop or Gimp . . . when I take the time.

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*sigh*...I guess I had better pull out my wallet. -_-

 

$75?! Oh geez...That's gonna have to wait. I hate being poor!!

 

I've found that your studio setup dosen't have to be expensive, if you want professional results. Like you I dreaded the investment in Varitone backdrops etc. When I found that I simply couldnt afford it, i decided to go the DIY route.

 

Here's an (admittedly bad) picture of my setup:

 

studio.JPG

 

With which I'm able to produce these results with a little editing:

 

Robus 1

 
My studio consists of (Take into account that these are Danish prices, and could possibly be found much cheaper in the US or elsewhere):
 
-White semi glossed wrapping paper for a backdrop - $8
-Ikea lamp with a good bulb able to produce white light - $25
-Light diffuser for lamp made of greaseproof paper and cardboard - $2?
-Tripod - $40
-Shadow diffuser, again made with greaseproof paper and cardboard - $2
 
Total $77
 
The one place I wouldn't skimp is the camera. While most compact cameras take decent pictures, getting a DSLR has really improved my pictures (the one at the top is taken with the entry-level Nikon D3200).

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Hi Guinea

 

Moutain Keramik Makes a good point that you don't necessarily need a varitone backdrop. The backdrop can be white with some creative lighting that creates the shadows. Mark how and where your lighting and camera are placed to keep the photos uniform. It might even be a good idea to take a few photos of your setup for future reference.

 

To keep it simple an add a some dramatic color to the backdrop, you can get some inexpensive lighting filter gels. The gel filters are colored plastic sheets  that you place in front of your lighting to give your backdrop color.

 

I would have to agree with the others that when you are shooting portfolio shots plain grey puts the focus on your artwork and makes your portfolio come together as a unifide piece.

 

Something else you might want to consider with your beautifly illistrated work is a 360 degree photos. I'm not sure if Etsy supports this, but it can be done on ebay. You just take 4 to 6 pictures of your work on a turn table marked in degrees and with some 360 degree photo software you can capture every angle. If you look around this software can be found cheap to freeware and you don't need the fancy $200.00+ turn tables to do it.

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