Muslin Background Usage for Digital Photography
A muslin background is ideal for photography because it's a light background which can be transported with ease. The material is available in many different colors, although the most common is natural muslin. This is a light background color which can be used if there aren't any suitable light walls.
Muslin is useful because it allows some light to pass through from behind. It also absorbs some of the light which creates a softer glow rather than being too harsh. If you want to create portrait photography then a muslin background will be very useful. Muslin backdrops are available which are professional, but it's also possible to make the backdrops yourself.
Step 1: Measuring
First, you need to decide on the size of backdrop that you need to use. This will all depend on the type of photography that you are doing. Normally, these are used for portrait photography in which case a fairly small backdrop can be used. It's important to make sure that this backdrop is suitable for a number of different projects rather than just the one.
Once you have decided on your requirements, you should then be able to fine one to purchase. If you are looking for a slightly cheaper option, then you could make your own by buying some muslin from a DIY store.
Step 2: Setting Up
Next, you need to position the muslin background so that it is in the correct place. This will depend how many people you are taking photographs of. It does not need to be positioned against a wall, as it can be put anywhere. When locating the background screen, bear in mind that your subjects will need to stand around 5 feet away from the background. This will minimize any shadows being caused.
Step 3: Testing
With everything set up, you can then check to see how everything looks by using your camera. Digital cameras make it very simple to take a look at everything without needing to develop it. You can use a timer to take a photo of yourself in front of the background to check that everything is okay. This will also give you hints about the lighting which is required for your photograph.
Step 4: Lighting
Anyone who takes photographs will realize how important lighting is. Adequate lighting will make your photos look much better and also help to add interest to them. There are a number of different types of lighting which can be used when working with muslin backgrounds.
The first and easiest option will be using natural light. This is suitable when photographing outside on a nice day. Alternatively, you may be able to rely on natural light if you have plenty of windows in your studio. A reflector can be used to improve the light and direct it in certain directions.
Artificial studio lights can also be used to add extra light to the photograph. In this case, you can use a combination of fill in flashes and studio lighting. Two studio lights will normally be sufficient, and these can be aimed at the subjects head level. If you want a lighter background, then make the light more intense.