A background is part of the overall scene. Is is placed behind the main subject. The type of background material used will greatly influence the outcome of a photo shoot. They have special characteristics. These include varying levels of reflectivity, different designs and colours, and the ability to stand up to wear and tear, among other factors.
Background: What are the different types of background?
Background cloths are among the most inexpensive solution. They are available in a vast array of colours. They are usually made of muslin or cotton. They are easy to store and can be washed by hand or in a washing machine. One disadvantage is that they can have wrinkles. If that is the case, you can hang them for a while for the wrinkles to lessen. They usually have a canal which will allow you to use a lateral bar to be inserted into it to be used with a telescopic background system. The colours most used in studios are white cloth, for high key shots, black cloth for low key shots, green cloth for chroma key photos or videos and grey for passport photos.
Canvas backgrounds are usually hand-dyed. It is advisable not to fold them as wrinkles are hard to remove for this type of material. They are bulkier than cloth backgrounds. They can be mounted on a wall mount support or a support which has expanders to facilitate their use by being able to roll up and down the canvas roll.
Paper background are labeled as consumables good, which makes it an advantage and a disadvantage depending on the kind of usage the photographer intends to have with these. Paper backgrounds are available in different sizes and a multitude of colours. They are usually supplied in rolls and used with either a wall mount support or a support that have expanders. Paper is more reflective than cloth, therefore when choosing a background, you need to take this factor into account. Once dirty or torn, you can easily tear the soiled part in order to use the rest of the roll. They are wrinkle-free and are stored vertically.
The collapsible background is a background either uni-colour or 2 sided that has a metal frame. It is used for portrait photography of 1-2 persons as well as small product photography. The advantage of these backgrounds is that they can be used outdoor due to their small size and transportability.
Motif backgrounds are cloth or paper backgrounds dyed with patterns, designs or themes. They are used for specific photo shoot to enhance pictures and to match a particular atmosphere.
Vinyl backgrounds have became more popular over the years. Requiring a bigger budget than other types of backgrounds, the investment will be profitable as these types of background can be kept much longer than any others. They are resistant, wrinkle-free and can be washed with a wet sponge. Photographers who work with animals, babies, etc are recommended to work with vinyl. They are often used for high key shots, since other materials absorb too much light. They are sold in rolls with either aluminium or carton core. The material is heavier than other backdrops, it therefore needs to be used with heavy duty tripods or wall mount support that can withstand the weight.
Wall mount supports are used with background rolls such as paper backgrounds or vinyl backgrounds and are space saving. They are mounted to the wall and have either 3 or 5 hooks which will allow you to mount up to 5 background rolls. They are usually supplied with expanders and chain that will ease the use of the roll.
Portable background supports are made with light stands and lateral bars which can be either composed or several bars or 1 telescopic bar. They are used with cloth background, paper background or foldable background. The lateral bar will be inserted into the canal of the cloth background. The cloth will be hanging and ready to be used. For the collapsible background, the bar will be inserted into the velcro. As for paper or vinyl backgrounds, the portable background support do not need a lateral bar since these types of background are mounted on a roll. They will be used with clamp hooks or spigot hooks as well as expanders and chain.
Auto poles are versatile. They are used either from wall to wall or from floor to ceiling. They can be used with any type of backgrounds (with the relevant accessories such as clamps, hooks, lateral bar) as well as lights such as studio flashes or continuous daylights.