The other day I saw this nice post at diyphotography.net about a simple backdrop stand, and it made me think how I do this with bamboo. Nothing bamboo specific about it I think, and in fact really not much to it at all.
Basically I leverage chairs , specifically any chair with straight legs (so no sofas or lazyboys or office spinners). Why? Because chairs are everywhere, and they tend to stay put — they are easy to weight down with a few books or you can even have someone sit on it. So you it isn’t anything extra, it’s just using what you have.
- Three bamboo poles — at least 6 foot long, dirt cheap where I am
- A roll of 3M scotch bundling wrap — this is GREAT stuff, strong yet soft enough it doesn’t damage fabric it rubs against.
- Couple of pieces of elastic cord tied in long loops — I carry some of these everywhere
And then the backdrop, I have a few meters of sheet material from a fabric shop which is almost completely white — and once it is blasted with enough light it is white. For colour backdrops I just ad gels (to the flash).
Then I need to find two chairs — dining chairs are great though I also use some rattan arm chairs — then put a bamboo pole upright next to leg of the chair and bind it top and bottom of the chair-leg with bits of velcro. If the chair back has exposed poles you can bind to all the better for stability. That gives me two uprights.
Now I take the third pole, stand on the chair to reach, and bind the horizontal pole to the upright with elastic cord giving me an “H” shape of poles. It takes longer to write it down than to do it and it’s lightweight yet sturdy and all I have to carry about is three poles and the rest goes in my pocket.
I guess this is one up on the “clamp the sheet to a bookcase” in terms of flexibility of where you can put it, but is similarly basic. But then that’s all you need really isn’t it?
Having said all that — I’ve lost interest in the idea of white backgrounds and really want to find more interesting textures out in the real world to be the backgrounds in my portraits. But that’s another story.