I'm doing this post for my Photography friends who I think will be interested in something I am trying out ? A few weeks ago I was given some fabric (Lycra) to use for my photography as a backdrop. At first I didn't think it would be any good to me but I decided to give it a go because it stretched easy and I also noticed that when stretched there were no creases which are the most common problem when you are using fabric as a backdrop for portraits etc.
I did a shoot with a friend and found it to be excellent and the results were just great. I shot a few people with the dark brown background and it worked a treat( pic below right ) . The only problem was I only had two pieces one brown which was fine and one very bright pink ! The brown was fine and when I used it to do some portraits I was over the moon with them. So I searched around some shops and found a local place that sells Lycra by the meter. I purchased a few meters of a Grey colour and tried it out at my local camera club of which I am a member. This new one was mottled grey and I did think it would be great for what I wanted but it gave a mottled effect which was okay but not great ( Less so for mono as the mottled effect showed up more). So rather than go and spend another £20 on a black piece I decided to try and dye the bright pink piece I had. I really wanted a mix of darkish colours that would blend and look right as a backdrop. I got some black dye and got to work, I wasn't worried about how dark it would be or even if it was alittle blotchy I just wanted a darkish backdrop that I could use for my portraits. I know you can buy these ready made but they are very expensive but they are more durable because they are made from Canvas but at £200 a shot I was hoping this would give the same effect ? Below is a photo with the brown fabric.
You can see from the photo below that it has a very mottled effect in the background but I have seen this kind of thing on sale for alot of money and this was dirt cheap ! Granted it may not be as tough as canvas but it does the job as far as i can see ? Plus you can just throw it in a bag and you do not need to worry about it creasing ! When you use it you can just stretch it and the creases just disappear.
So this was the look I got from the bright pink one you can see it is very kind of messy but it is just what I wanted for a backdrop for portraits. I think I may try and dye the grey one I bought to see how it turns out for the amount of money I paid for it (£20 ) it will be worth it to see what kind of finish I get ?
The photo below is the result ?
So what do you think ? Someone did say the Lycra is a little slippy to stand on and also I have not tried it with strobes proper other than from the front with one strobe which was fine. I'm just curious to know what you guys think and if you have ever tried it ? I have never seen it before at all , the only backdrops seem to be canvas or the paper ones which are more expensive. The only other problem I have come across is that I have only found the Lycra in five feet widths ? I'm not sure if they make it any wider but I would think you could maybe double it up and I doubt you would notice to join if you were doing a family portrait ?