Fun with Backdrops – Something to try with your camera!

Fun with Backdrops – Something to try with your camera!

Hi all!

Phew, I have been MAD busy with P2L and the website (AvP-R was recently released in theaters so everyone has Predators and Aliens on the brain), but I hope everyone had a great Christmas and I wish you and your families all the very best in the new year. I would especially like to thank the P2L crew for all of their very hard work in the past year and I look forward to working with you guys in 2008! We’ve got a lot in the planning so it should be quite the summer.

Anyhow, I wanted to share with you guys a fun little experiment I did this morning for a photo review… I wanted to try something with small detailed backdrops on one of my kits and I think it came out pretty sweet so I thought I’d share this with you photography buffs to try it out. Here’s how it turned out:

You can check out the rest of the pics from this experiment in the Predatorstuff Gallery.

It was a fairly simple trick, but I love how dramatic it looks… first thing you need to do is find your backdrop images. I went on DeviantArt and did a search for “1920×1200″ and it showed me a list of TONS of high resolution wallpapers and artwork. I picked out a few that I liked and printed them with my inkjet on some Cannon Matte Photo Paper (It’s important to use a matte finish, not glossy or high gloss or you’ll get shines and reflections from your lights) with my borderless printer. I let them sit for about 30 minutes to ensure they dried completely and I started to set up by photography table, light tent and lights. I then placed a light at the back of the tent and pointed it forward towards the camera. I used a clamp to position the printed backdrop upright directly in front of the light fixture and you immediately get this cool backdrop effect where the darks stay black and the lighter areas of the print out are glowing brightly with clean diffused light. Then I just place my kit in front of the backlit backdrop and it’s photo time!

The only limitation is that by printing on a 8.5″ x 11” you only have a tiny backdrop, so I couldn’t get complete kit shots, but I managed to pull off some very nice close-ups. The end result was the Predalien standing in front of a fire or explosion in a very natural looking photo without any post editing in Photoshop. Why mess with photo editors if you can do it straight with the camera?

Anyhow, that was my little experiment today and I thought it came out pretty cool… I’ll need to order some large prints from DeviantArt so I can have larger backdrops and use them to photograph larger pieces. Give it a try to spice up your photos, it’s a fun way to spruce up your product and macro shots.


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