Shopping for Canvas Backgrounds
Backdrops are essential tools for serious photographers looking for complete control over picture backgrounds. They're made from a range of materials, but canvas backdrops are popular due to their multitude of benefits.
What Are Backdrops in Photography?
Backdrops are screens that you position behind your subjects in a studio or out in the field. Canvas backdrops for photography are usually comprised of three layers: the top layer, an inner layer that helps block light, and a back layer, usually made of vinyl, for protection. Offered in widths ranging from 3.5 feet up to 24 feet, they come in three main types.
Plain models, usually in white or light colors, provide a neutral background for standard photographs for ID cards or passports. Others feature vibrant colors or stylish patterns to render interesting backdrops for individual or group portraits. For elaborate shots, you can use hand-painted canvas backdrops. These painted canvas backdrops can feature country scenes for wedding picture backgrounds, seaside scenes for a fun environment to photograph children, or any range of options to fit the desired theme.
Using a Canvas Photography Backdrop
Most backdrops fit onto background supports, which are simple frames usually made of aluminum. They're comprised of vertical stands with tripod feet, and crossbars from which to hang the backgrounds. They come as kits with interlocking parts using clamps and other mechanisms, so assembling them is very straightforward.
Backdrops attach to the supports in various ways. Some feature rod pockets through which the crossbar threads. Others systems involve hook-and-loop attachments or integrated grommets. If you need extra stability, you can pick up various background support accessories, such as sandbags. Another trick is to use canvas backgrounds with wood trims on the bottom to provide counterweight. If you're short of space in your studio, you can find collapsible backgrounds, which you hang from hooks or simply prop up to save space.
Benefits of Canvas Backdrops
When you shop for photography backdrops, you'll find them made of many materials, including paper, muslin, and polyester. These are generally both cheaper and lighter. However, canvas offers some special qualities that make it ideal for the job.
First, canvas is a heavy-duty material that blocks light well. It's also washable, water resistant, easy to clean, and colorfast. While canvas backgrounds can be pricier than those made of other materials; their durability makes them a solid investment. That said, due to the weight, many photographers choose to restrict their use to studio work, and use lighter items for on-location jobs. One factor to bear in mind is that canvas is a relatively heavy material. For this reason, you'll need to be sure your background support can handle the weight, especially for larger size backdrops.
To outfit your studio with the best gear on the market, check out the fine range of canvas backgrounds, along with floors and floordrops, available at B&H Photo and Video.