New Photo Background and Tasty Vinyl

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.

Seamless V.S. Muslin

IMG_2310I 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.