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Thread: Photo background, what to look for ?

  1. #1
    I paint my thumb. GreenOne's Avatar
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    Default Photo background, what to look for ?

    Hi yall
    Lately Ive been trying to improve my pictures further, In that optic, Im looking into better background.
    I know there are many readily available cards out there, but which one to choose? For which mini? And why?
    Do we look fore matching colors, lesser saturation etc...
    CMON painter born and raised, soft seven and proud
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  2. #2

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    The backgrounds really help with "depth of field" as far as the camera itself goes. See,... when you just take a picture on your dining room table, the camera is trying to focus on the mini, the chair behind the mini, the wall behind the chair,.. and any other things that may be in the shot. The backdrop helps keep the focal range confined to a much smaller area.

    As for color of backdrop,.. this will change from mini to mini. You usually want something that contrasts with your color theme so that the model "stands out" and becomes the focal point. If your colors are too close, the mini can sort of blend into the background. But try not to grab something that's so "over-busy" that it draws the eye away from the figure.

    I recommend hanger 18. They have a decent selection of colors/styles/themes to choose from. Get the 11x17 ones. They give you more options for doing larger models, or shooting whole units. The 8-1/2x11 ones are a bit small if you ever want to upscale your work.
    Last edited by Webmonkey; 01-24-2015 at 04:54 PM.
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  3. #3
    I paint my thumb. GreenOne's Avatar
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    Thanks for the tips, Im more into doing it myself tho, all my spare change is booked for buying much needed new brushes and paint pots.
    Ill check these out for inspiration.

    Edit: Did, and they sure look good, when is next christmas due again?
    Last edited by GreenOne; 01-24-2015 at 06:40 PM.
    CMON painter born and raised, soft seven and proud
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    I paint my thumb. GreenOne's Avatar
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    Good video, it fits with my cheap DIY approach, only with better technique, tks.
    Edit: Works well too I thought you were using a commercial one at first.
    Last edited by GreenOne; 02-17-2015 at 05:46 PM.
    CMON painter born and raised, soft seven and proud
    Gblaw studio online
    My latest, thanks for watching

  7. #7

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    Here is a good tutorial on the most basic, yet functional light box that you will need for a really long time. I was already doing some of this (I just used white tabloid (11x17) paper), but it takes it a long way forward and from a photography perspective focused on miniatures is awesome!

    Tabletop Minions Lightbox: Build or Buy
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HWxUeYXfeI4

    After watching this, you'll probably build one too... or at least use the ideas!

  8. #8

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    Search free textures on flickr and print a bunch up next time poster jack has a sale I have numerous backgrounds both in size and style i have had printed over the years. Solid black and solid white are also classics.
    "Remember, you can't spell paint without a little pain."

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    Does anyone know if you can get hangar 18 stuff
    In the UK? Keep looking in the internet and can never find it
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  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by AndyG View Post
    Does anyone know if you can get hangar 18 stuff
    In the UK? Keep looking in the internet and can never find it
    I've not seen it Andy but you could create the same effect with some smooth white card and an airbrush. I know it's time out of your day to do it but it's not difficult stuff to do. Or you could try ebay or almost any photography shop. Aside that they're not too expensive to get from the States but I don't know what the P&P would be. For now though to get you going I think airbrushing your own or even doing it on the computer and printing it out would be fine. When I was at college we would use CS10 paper made by Frisk. I'm not sure they're still in business but you can probably find an equivelant to work with.
    In the kingdom of the blind, the one eyed man is king.

  12. #12

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    Yeah I printed out the background on massive voodoo but the paper it prints on is shiny so I was hoping to get a more mat version. However the airbrush idea sounds cool. Nod to lee.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by AndyG View Post
    Yeah I printed out the background on massive voodoo but the paper it prints on is shiny ...
    or just hit it with some matt varnish (spray or AB)
    Forgot, that it works again.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by AndyG View Post
    the paper it prints on is shiny
    You can get matte paper if the matte varnish doesn't work.
    In the kingdom of the blind, the one eyed man is king.

  15. #15

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    Sounds an easier idea
    Victis hostibus tuis tibi rapitur videre et audire fletum mulierum. (or as near as google can do it!)
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  16. #16
    Newbie, please be gentle bodhidharma's Avatar
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    Hi everybody, I'm new to the site, but have been painting off and on for over 25 years. Compared to many of you, my painting has a lot of opportunity for improvement. However, I used to be a pro photographer, and used to teach so called pro's photography fundamentals over the counter when I was selling them equipment. When I read this thread last night, I thought I could help a bit and make a few backdrops for ya'll. I don't have a dedicated website anymore (Just a FB page now), but I've made this folder available on my GDrive with a handful of backdrops I've created tonight. A bunch of black/grey variants tonight, and one red one. I'll make other colors when I get time. Their ratio is 2x3. So they print well at 12" x 18" or 24" x 36" if you need them that big for a full size light box. You could print them as 11"x14" easily as well, just crop it down. Here is the link: https://drive.google.com/folderview?...VE&usp=sharing

    Hope it helps.
    Rich a.k.a. Bodhidharma

  17. #17

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    Cheers mate much appreciated
    Victis hostibus tuis tibi rapitur videre et audire fletum mulierum. (or as near as google can do it!)
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  18. #18
    Newbie, please be gentle bodhidharma's Avatar
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    I figured out how to reference the URL in this forum, so here's a few examples. There's 8 designs so far. The one with the bright white light is "backlight" effect. It would go directly behind the mini when you photograph it, so that it radiates outward from behind. Not sure if anyone would like that or not, so I made one with, and one without. Let me know what you think of it.






    Rich a.k.a. Bodhidharma
    Midwestern United States
    Night Owl Photography Facebook Page

  19. #19

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    Backgrounds make the difference. Really. You can print one but I mean brand like Hangar 18 have so much good products.
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  20. #20

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    I've used an old black velvet suit jacket draped over a box as my default backdrop for a long time, and it's been a perfect no-cost solution.

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