Wednesday afternoon I headed to Calumet over on 22nd Street to pick up a few extras for the studio. I’ve been looking into getting a new muslin ever since my cat threw up on the rather large white one I had for so long. Although I’ve been using seemless for the most part. I like to mix it up from time to time. Seemless backgrounds are great but getting a couple of nine footers on the train back to Hoboken can be a bit of a haul. I picked up a nice black one that just happened to be on sale. I like the fact that I can take them down easily, roll them in a ball and toss them in the washer when needed. Once I started to use the black consistently in my shoots I didn’t want to shoot any other color again. The black adds a certain drama to B&W photos while adding pop to color. How can you go wrong. I learned early about placing the lights and the model a bit further from it to avoid weird circles and flare ups in the background. Once I got past that it was all gravy. Here’s a picture I took with my new copy of the New Breed compilation. The Wild Style version is a limited pressing of 200 and I was lucky and grateful to get 1/200. The compilation was originally released as a tape comp. in 1989. It featured the absolute best NYHC bands of the time. It’s just be reissued for the first time on vinyl through Freddy Alva’s Wardance Records.
I spent much of last night changing the backgrounds in the studio in preparation for the upcoming weeks shoots. On Friday I decided to go with a muslin and wasn’t really happy with my choice. A few years ago I decided to turn my living room into a part time photo studio. I invested in some auto poles and picked up the Genesis 200 series light kit. I even purchased a nice soft box. Though it takes some maneuvering I seem to have just enough space to make it work. Along the way I’ve picked up several muslins and have an assortment of seamless backgrounds. In the early going I tended to lean towards using the muslins more often. The were wider than the 53 wide seamless backgrounds I had. Easier to store and a synch to hang. The seamless however were cheaper and in my opinion produced somewhat of a cleaner look. The only problem was the 53 inches of width did not allow me much room to work with. Head shots were one thing but my 3/4 shots were often to tight and you can forget about full length or family portraits. I needed to get a wider paper but the next size up was 109 inches wide. To wide for the space I had. I thought of everything and even looked into having the local lumber yard cut it down to a useable size. Finally in the end I found a place in Chelsea that not only carries the larger size but can cut it down to your specific needs in a matter of minutes. Problem solved right? Well, yes. But I still go back and fourth between the two choices. Both offer their conveniences and challenges. I’m going to stick with seamless for this weeks sessions and see how I do.