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  1. #1
    Not-so-recent Nikon Convert livin4lax09's Avatar
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    DIY thread II -- Homemade Muslin Backdrop

    got the idea from http://www.diyphotography.net/homest...phy-background

    I used to dye lacrosse heads all the time, so I had dye around, and this cost about 10 dollars to produce. Of course, it will be more if you don't have dye lying around, but RIT dye can be had for a couple bucks a pop at michaels. Muslin fabric, this one was ~$9. It's about 7'x9'. Very easy to do, and cheap, I urge some of you to try it out yourself! the biggest challenge is of course finding somewhere to dry it flat. Luckily, our family has a barn.


  2. #2
    don't tase me, bro! Asylum Steve's Avatar
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    Not a bad idea, but keep in mind...

    As I've mentioned many times in the Studio Forum, you can make a lot of lighting gear yourself more cheaply than the commercially available items. You show a good example here.

    Remember though, that there is a huge difference between tie-dye muslin backdrops and the more pricey hand-painted mottled backdrops. Despite what the DIY site claims, I don't think I've ever seen a tie-dye backdrop sell for hundreds of dollars. One the size you made goes for about $40...

    Also, tie-dye backdrops have a relatively limited use. Unless you want your shots to look like some 60's hippie pad (yeah, I'm showing my age here), to mimic a mottled bg you'll need to throw the tie-dye one out of focus, which can be a pain.

    Yep, hand-painted mottled bgs are an investment, but if you're serious about adding true classic style to your portraits, it's a worthwhile one...
    "Riding along on a carousel...tryin' to catch up to you..."

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  3. #3
    Ex-Modster Old Timer's Avatar
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    Re: DIY thread II -- Homemade Muslin Backdrop

    Talk about showing your age. I use to tye-dye t-shirts back in college in the 60's. Yeah it was the big thing back then. On a dare one year I showed up at graduation to shot the exercise in a purple sorority tye-dye. (It was my editors sorority colors) I got a very weird look from the president of the university, but since I left for summer vacation the next day nothing came of it, by fall all was forgiven.
    Don't forget about the Gallery. Are your photos there??


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  4. #4
    light wait photophorous's Avatar
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    Re: DIY thread II -- Homemade Muslin Backdrop

    What's wrong with buying muslin from a fabric shop, already dyed? I noticed they have it at Hobby Lobby for pretty cheap...I think it's about $5 a yard. I was considering buying a small piece to experiment with. Is there a problem with using that stuff?

    Thanks,
    Paul

  5. #5
    don't tase me, bro! Asylum Steve's Avatar
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    Go for it...

    Quote Originally Posted by photophorous
    What's wrong with buying muslin from a fabric shop, already dyed?
    Hey, for every hand-painted mottled muslin backdrop I own, I have a ton of cheaper stuff that I've picked up at fabric and thrift stores over the years.

    If the price is right, you should try to continually add different bg items to your collection and of course experiment shooting with them.

    My point about tie-dye was simply that that look itself (homemade or otherwise) has a very narrow use, primarily in shots like mainstream family and senior portraits. If that's what you intend to shoot, then it should be fine...
    "Riding along on a carousel...tryin' to catch up to you..."

    -Steve
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  6. #6
    don't tase me, bro! Asylum Steve's Avatar
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    I'm with ya, OT...

    Quote Originally Posted by Old Timer
    Talk about showing your age. I use to tye-dye t-shirts back in college in the 60's. Yeah it was the big thing back then...
    Ok. I was 70's, but it was still a big deal when I was in school. I used to tie-dye quite a bit, and pride myself on being pretty good at it. Not that rainbow swirl crap you see in the cheaply made clothing today, but really creative stuff with deep blues and reds, and lots of cool patterns from different tieing and binding techniques.

    My crowning achievement was a large bed sheet that hung on the ceiling of the entrance hallway of my dorm room at the University of Buffalo (backlit of course!)

    For things like shirts and scarves and such, I use crock pots which are perfect for simmering the dyes (no, didn't use them for cooking after that!).

    Actually, the last time I did a large batch of tie-dye shirts wasn't that long ago. Well, ok, mid 90's, but still. I did a whole bunch of fun cotton ribbed tank tops that I was trying to sell to some of the lovely ladies of South Beach.

    Thinking myself the artist, I charged quite a bit for them, and they never sold much. Guess people think anyone can do it... :cryin:

    BTW Brent, sorry for hijacking your thread... :mad5:
    "Riding along on a carousel...tryin' to catch up to you..."

    -Steve
    Studio & Lighting - Photography As Art Forum Moderator

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  7. #7
    light wait photophorous's Avatar
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    Re: Go for it...

    Quote Originally Posted by Asylum Steve
    Hey, for every hand-painted mottled muslin backdrop I own, I have a ton of cheaper stuff that I've picked up at fabric and thrift stores over the years.

    If the price is right, you should try to continually add different bg items to your collection and of course experiment shooting with them.

    My point about tie-dye was simply that that look itself (homemade or otherwise) has a very narrow use, primarily in shots like mainstream family and senior portraits. If that's what you intend to shoot, then it should be fine...
    Thanks, Steve. I've read a lot of do it yourself stuff, but I've never seen anyone mention buying regular fabric. It seemed obvious to me, so I was wondering if there's something I'm missing.

    I'm just too lazy for tie-dye.

    Paul

  8. #8
    Not-so-recent Nikon Convert livin4lax09's Avatar
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    Re: DIY thread II -- Homemade Muslin Backdrop

    ah yes, senior photos are what I intend to use this for! I plan to throw it out of focus, yes, but I still know exactly what you mean about limited use. I probably use my black backdrop more than anything else.

    and I'm way too young for the other discussion going on in this thread. The extent of my tie-dying was making shirts at summer camp. lol.

  9. #9
    Jedi Master masdog's Avatar
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    Re: DIY thread II -- Homemade Muslin Backdrop

    Great link, Brent. Why aren't you starting your own blog here and sharing your wisdom?
    Sean Massey
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