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  1. #1

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    O.k. So I've realized that I need a choice in backgrounds for my living roo---I mean home studio. The white walls of my home are killing me. It's like shooting a big diffuser. Good at times, not at others.

    So I figure a decent background stand and some paper rolls would good to have. I can move between black and white, etc.

    Looking around, it seems there are a lot of choices for stands and a lot of choices for backgrounds.

    Any hints here? I'm thinking I need a 12' wide setup ideally. But do I have to worry about getting stuck in a proprietary system or anything like that?

    Official Photo.net Villain
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    [FONT=Comic Sans MS]DaVinci never wrote an artist's statement...[/FONT]

  2. #2

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    If portability isn't an issue, you can make your own stands from 2x4's and a bit of plywood. Bogan's accessories can be used with the fancy large stands or with simpler light stands. The elaborate systems with chain drives and so on only make sense for a busy commercial setup where time is money so fast set changes pay the overhead for fancy background systems. Also, unless you will specialize in large groups or maybe still life setups shot with extreme wide lenses taking in a sweep of background, the 12 foot rolls are probably overkill. Much better color selection in the shorter length.


  3. #3
    bmac's Avatar
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    Yes, 2X4's and plywood look really classy Bogen makes a crossbar for seamless paper. It is about $40 and connects to two bogen (or other brand) light stands. The whole setup costs around $100 (US). IT breaks down and can be carried in a stand bag or case.
    hi!

  4. #4

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    After years of using 2x4 and electrical conduit to hang fabric drops and blankets, I finally got fed up and bought a stand and pole set up by JTL. It works for about 10' on two 9' stands for $110.00 locally. More then adequate for home studio use and is about as cheap as you can get. It is not much more then buying a couple of equivalent strength light stands would cost you. BTW they sell 12' also.

    Then you get to spend more money on backdrops cause that old blanket just doesn't cut it any more. For drops you can get paper rolls or painted muslin, but you can also go cheaper with painting your own muslin or use velour blankets and sheets. I have a painted muslin that I got used but often use a dark blue and a white velour blanket that you can change with colored strobes. The dark blue for instance photographs as pure black to pale blue depending on the lighting.

    Bob

  5. #5
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    When I was regularly using my apartment as a studio (and had an apartment that was suitable), I put hooks into the wall and hung a crosspole from it to support seamless paper. You could do the same from the ceiling as well. It's cheap and easy, looks perfectly respectable, and you don't have background stands getting in the way of things.
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
    Photography (not as up to date as the flickr site)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com/photo
    Academic (Slavic and Comparative Literature)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com

  6. #6

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    O.k., So would I be better off with a 9'? It sounds like it. I'd like to be able to do small, max 4 people, shoots as well as people reclining.
    Official Photo.net Villain
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    [FONT=Comic Sans MS]DaVinci never wrote an artist's statement...[/FONT]

  7. #7

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    I would suggest 2 Bogen (Manfrotto) Autopoles with a crossbar. The Autopoles are springloaded so the "wedge" between the floor and ceiling, and have a U hook to hold a crossbar. Lightweight, affordable (also found used on Ebay), no tripod legs taking up space when open or to trip over, and more stable than the tripod system.

    There use to be an item called a "Timber Topper". A metal box loaded with two springs that fit over the end of a 2X4. You would first cut the 2X4 a few inches shorter than the height of your ceiling, then put the timber topper on the end, and you could "wedge" the 2X4 into a vertical position. The poor mans Autopole. I used this system after getting out of school 25 years ago. I don't even know if Timber Toppers are still being made.
    - William Levitt

  8. #8
    bmac's Avatar
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    The problem with autoploles and timber toppers is that they don't work great in all rooms. They work fine in rooms with low ceilings, but for instance, you may decide to set up in your garage or a clients home. You would be out of luck with autopoles. The studio I use at work has almost 18' ceilings!

    Brian
    hi!

  9. #9

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    My house has some pretty high ceilings. Plus the ceiling slopes. So I'll stick with the two stands and a crossbar.

    Now here is a question -

    It looks like I will be going for the 9' wide system. How portable are these things and are there any "idea" ways to set them up?
    Official Photo.net Villain
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    [FONT=Comic Sans MS]DaVinci never wrote an artist's statement...[/FONT]

  10. #10
    bmac's Avatar
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    are you still talking about seamless paper? the crossbars are adjustable from about 3' - 15' so no worries there.

    Brian
    hi!

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