Background paper - Keeping it taut

Started May 4, 2013 | Discussions
leecamera
Regular MemberPosts: 488
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Background paper - Keeping it taut
May 4, 2013

I need a quick and efficient way of keeping my paper taut when hanging.

Colorama do some lovely things that clamp along the full length of the edge of paper - but at £45 each it gets a little expensive for 4 of the things...!  http://www.colorama-photo.com/coloredge.php

I have a heavy duty pole system with aluminium cores which allow me to store rolls in situ for extended periods of time but I'm lacking a tidy method of keeping the paper taut.

I've considered a simple aluminium 1" strip with double sided sticky tape and then folded over the edge and a couple of clips to keep it in place (so essentially the paper is holding the weight rather than the clips,) but I've a feeling some bright spark has come up with a more elegant solution.

Any thoughts / pictures / products...?

LEE

Barrie Davis
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Re: Background paper - Keeping it taut
In reply to leecamera, May 4, 2013

leecamera wrote:

I need a quick and efficient way of keeping my paper taut when hanging.

Colorama do some lovely things that clamp along the full length of the edge of paper - but at £45 each it gets a little expensive for 4 of the things...!  http://www.colorama-photo.com/coloredge.php

I have a heavy duty pole system with aluminium cores which allow me to store rolls in situ for extended periods of time but I'm lacking a tidy method of keeping the paper taut.

I've considered a simple aluminium 1" strip with double sided sticky tape and then folded over the edge and a couple of clips to keep it in place (so essentially the paper is holding the weight rather than the clips,) but I've a feeling some bright spark has come up with a more elegant solution.

Any thoughts / pictures / products...?

I am sorry you have a problem, but I'm wondering exactly how this lack of tautness manifests itself....[??]

My experience....

Usually, good quality background paper such as Savage, Colorama, will hang pretty smoothly under its own weight.... at least, it will if it has been stored correctly...

... that is, TIGHTLY wound on the roll, and on end UPRIGHT, ideally, also off the floor. My rolls stand on vestigial shelves made of 2"x2" timbers bolted to the wall... allows for sweeping underneath.

When deployed for use, my paper is photographically indistinguishable from a nicely emulsion painted wall..... it being the same if just allowed to hang to, say, knee level, for a half length shot..or swept out into an infinity curve and taped down in traditional manner for full length shooting.

Problems will arise if paper is kept loose on the roll, and not taped, or if it is stored horizontally and NOT perfectly flat, but sagging in the middle. Indeed, if it comes off the roll in wrinkled or wavy condition, it is a general indication of poor storage...[??]

... or it could be altered moisture content, edges to centre, perhaps from a change in storage temperature....[??]

Either way, wrinkles induced by unsuitable storage, or moisture, can be encouraged to straighten out by leaving the paper to hang extended into the air of a warm studio for a couple of days.

Hmm.... Something tells me this is likely not the answer you were looking for, perhaps? 

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Baz
:
"Ahh... But the thing is, these guys were no ORDINARY time travellers!"

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hotdog321
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Re: Background paper - Keeping it taut
In reply to Barrie Davis, May 4, 2013

+1 what Barrie said. In the studio I used seamless on aluminum poles with pull chain rigs. Unroll and stretch it out, then tape to the floor with black masking tape.

For location work, I just tape the top of the roll to a wall, unroll, stretch it out and tape to the floor again. With careful lighting absolutely no wrinkles or dents show. Dirty or creased paper is tossed.

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leecamera
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Re: Background paper - Keeping it taut
In reply to hotdog321, May 4, 2013

Thanks for the input.

The paper does hang smoothly with no wrinkles, so that's not the issue.

It's more for when I roll the paper back up, it would be useful to keep the paper taut so it rolls reasonably tightly.

Usual methods for storage are of course to keep the rolls vertical, but my rig uses substantial and close fitting aluminium centres - which stop the paper sagging even slightly, which reduces problems of wrinkles greatly.

In this respect I'm hoping to simply roll the papers up and down without need to jump on stepladders to tightly bind the rolls - if I can keep some decent vertical tension on the paper.

Not quite as lazy as it seems... Space is tight in my modest studio so I need to keep things simple.

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hotdog321
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Re: Background paper - Keeping it taut
In reply to leecamera, May 4, 2013

I see what you are saying. I've had good luck with the pull chain systems and just give the paper a tug to remove the slack once it is rolled back up.

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Barrie Davis
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Re: Background paper - Keeping it taut
In reply to hotdog321, May 5, 2013

hotdog321 wrote:

I see what you are saying. I've had good luck with the pull chain systems and just give the paper a tug to remove the slack once it is rolled back up.

Because my paper is stored in racks, and not on the support system itself, I get to tighten the unloaded roll every time it is taken down, which is done as the set is broken down..

But the actual tightening operation is easy for me....

.... because I don't change paper rolls at the top of a stepladder. I do not consider that a safe operation with full 36-yard rolls being so heavy as they are.

My paper is lowered to waist level on a self supporting pulley arrangement of my own devising. At this height it can be fully tightened (bone hard) taped, and then slid off the pole..... all with me standing securely on the floor. Paper is then placed in the rack, and the pole stored by pushing it back up to the ceiling

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Baz
:
"Ahh... But the thing is, these guys were no ORDINARY time travellers!"

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