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Thanks to green screens and image-editing programs, photographers can create just about any scenic background imaginable. All that’s required is an evenly lit Chroma Key Green background. To accommodate studio and location shoots, these backgrounds come in a large variety of shapes, sizes, and materials. You can even paint a cyclorama with specially formulated Chroma Key paints that are available in one-quart to five-gallon sizes. Rosco Chroma Key Paint has a high luminance value, excellent color saturation, easy-to-light matte finish, and covers up to 300 square feet per gallon.
Whether on location or in a studio, collapsible green screens are easy to transport, fast to set up, and take up very little storage space. The 8x16' Impact Super Collapsible Background features washable material, a strong outer frame, horizontal or vertical orientation, folds into a small circle, and comes with a useful, see-thru carry bag. The 16' dimension is great for full-length shots. For head shots and still-life, there’s the 5x7' Photoflex FlexDrop Background. This background weighs less than five pounds, employs a strong, double-riveted frame, non-reflective fabric, eight hanging tabs, and a storage bag.
Economical and versatile, Chroma Key green seamless paper can be cut to wrap objects, and taped together to cover large areas with ProTapes Pro Chroma Key Cloth Gaffer Tape. If you do a lot of green screen shooting, you may want to invest in a 107" x 150' roll of #46 Savage Widetone Tech Green Seamless Background Paper. This acid-free roll has a fine-tooth, non-reflecting surface, 100-lb paper density, and comes core-wound and wrapped in a plastic sleeve to protect against moisture and warping. Be sure to always store seamless paper vertically.
One easy solution for green screen photography is getting a kit. Kits can include lights, background stands, carry bags, and more. The Savage Photo Creator Kit - Digital Photography Kit comes with 720 digital backgrounds for use with green screen photos, is Mac and PC compatible, has a wide selection of themed locales, and includes a 5 x 7' backdrop. Corporate shooters will make a great impression on their clients with the Impact EX100 Ultimate Creative Portrait Kit. This comprehensive kit includes the Savage Photo Creator Kit with green screen background, two monolights, two 24 x 24" softboxes, 7" reflectors, synch cords, two light stands, a translucent umbrella, and a kit bag for storage and transporting.
Depending upon your preferences, green screens are available in a wide selection of fabrics such as muslin, canvas, cotton, polyester, vinyl, plastic, and more. Each fabric has its pluses and minuses. Muslin is rugged and easy to pack, but it also wrinkles. And vinyl is available in matte or glossy and durable, but needs to be stored and transported on a stiff core. Ideally, a photographer will keep a variety of green screens on hand to tackle the majority of assignments that might come their way. When shooting with green screens, it’s important to control the amount of green light reflecting on your subject. This will help you get a clean separation between your subject and the background scene. You can help control the bounce-back by not positioning your subject too close to the background and by blocking reflected light with black fabric-covered flags such as the 48 x 48" Matthews Floppy Cutter.
Please share some of your favorite green screen tips and photos with fellow B&H photographers in the Comments section, below.