Hanging multiple backdrops w/o a stand

Started Oct 8, 2006 | Discussions
John P. Senior Member • Posts: 2,470
Hanging multiple backdrops w/o a stand

I'm starting to "accumulate" several backdrops (10 X 20) to use in my studio basement. The area where I have my studiio setup is in an unfinished part of my basement. Right now I have one backdrop on a Savage backdrop stand. However, to change to another backdrop takes some time and just adds to the setup. I'm looking at some options that I can hang all my backdrops and quickly "pull" them in when I need them. I can use the joists to hang items from, but I'm trying to look at all my options. Any suggestions would be appreciated!

gwprovost Senior Member • Posts: 1,240
Dynatran background support

You can find these on ebay - search "Dynatran background support". They work great for me.

Barrie Davis
Barrie Davis Forum Pro • Posts: 21,460
Re: Dynatran background support

gwprovost wrote:

You can find these on ebay - search "Dynatran background support".
They work great for me.

I would never fasten a backdrop to the back wall. It makes it impossible to stand mount a light to shine over the top, for back lighting or clip lighting.

My own arrangement is a pole on ropes through pulleys mounted in the ceiling. The system is automatically self counterbalancing, doesn't take up any floor space, the rolls of paper can be at any height (product shots on the floor, say) and (biggest bonus of all) rolls can be rapidly interchanged at waist height WITHOUT anyone having to climb a stepladder.

And I made it myself for the equivalent of $40..

My system works so well in every way, if I ever had a studio with shop bought stuff traditionally wall mounted, I would rip that out without delay and get rid of it on ebay.
--
Regards,
Baz

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Konica Minolta DiMAGE A2
FreemanArt Regular Member • Posts: 203
Re: Dynatran background support

Barrie...I like what you have described..any chance you could post a pic of your "backgd/pulley" set-up...not easy to visualize.
Thanks in advance for sharing...

gwprovost Senior Member • Posts: 1,240
Back lighting

Barrie Davis wrote:

I would never fasten a backdrop to the back wall. It makes it
impossible to stand mount a light to shine over the top, for back
lighting or clip lighting.

The fixtures are high up against a 10' ceiling at the end of a fairly long room. There's plenty of space and it's a simple matter to use kickers/rim/side/back lighting, etc., with lights from a boom and/or stands.

My own arrangement is a pole on ropes through pulleys mounted in
the ceiling. The system is automatically self counterbalancing,
doesn't take up any floor space, the rolls of paper can be at any
height (product shots on the floor, say) and (biggest bonus of all)
rolls can be rapidly interchanged at waist height WITHOUT anyone
having to climb a stepladder.

Sounds interesting, I'd enjoy seeing a picture of your setup.

And I made it myself for the equivalent of $40..

Even more interesting

Regards,
Gene

Barrie Davis
Barrie Davis Forum Pro • Posts: 21,460
Re: Back lighting

gwprovost wrote:

Barrie Davis wrote:

I would never fasten a backdrop to the back wall. It makes it
impossible to stand mount a light to shine over the top, for back
lighting or clip lighting.

The fixtures are high up against a 10' ceiling at the end of a
fairly long room. There's plenty of space and it's a simple matter
to use kickers/rim/side/back lighting, etc., with lights from a
boom and/or stands.

To mount a boom you need space at the side(s), where there is usually even less space than front to back. YMMV.

Neither is boom handling simple, quick, or particularly cheap. But hey, we all come to our own conclusions.... including the people who sell the equipment...

Those companies that sell ceiling or wall mounts for backgrounds are the same ones as would rather sell you a stand AND boom, instead of just a stand, I'm guessing!

Also, those (same?) companies that sell background paper must be quite keen for all your shots to require paper long enough to reach the floor, for a simple floor spread, it is obliged to START at the ceiling, for instance.

My own arrangement is a pole on ropes through pulleys mounted in
the ceiling. The system is automatically self counterbalancing,
doesn't take up any floor space, the rolls of paper can be at any
height (product shots on the floor, say) and (biggest bonus of all)
rolls can be rapidly interchanged at waist height WITHOUT anyone
having to climb a stepladder.

Sounds interesting, I'd enjoy seeing a picture of your setup.

I can't post pix into web space, but I can send pictures of the setup, and instructions on how it is made self supporting. BTW it doesn't LOOK great, very low tech.... but it certainly works fantastically well, and has been copied by other pro photographers.

[I ounce had a professionally installed rack of three 9ft x 36 yard background papers fall off the wall as I was crouching beneath it. It brushed my arm as it went down. If it had hit my head it would have killed me. I now install my own background support systems, and have found this way of making the support system itself lighter in weight. Paper remains heavy of course, if NOT so heavy as it used to be.]

-- hide signature --

E-mail me and I will reply with details..... Don't hassle me for a coupla days, though. Lots to do at present.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Do you want my mother's recipe for Yorkshire Parkin at the same time? (just kidding... she would not allow me to divulge her secret!)
--
Regards,
Baz

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Konica Minolta DiMAGE A2
AndreasWening Forum Member • Posts: 68
Re: Back lighting

Barry,

if you don't have a chance to post a picture in the web but send it to someone, would you allow that person to post it here in this forum?

I think you have a very interesting idea/solution and many of us would like to see it.

I'm right now in the process of buying some stuff for my studio (an old garage) and looking for a good but also not too expensive solution.
If you have a picture I would gretly appreciate if you could send it to me.

Thanks for sharing your idea.

Andreas.

Barrie Davis
Barrie Davis Forum Pro • Posts: 21,460
Re: Back lighting

AndreasWening wrote:

Barry,
if you don't have a chance to post a picture in the web but send it
to someone, would you allow that person to post it here in this
forum?

Of course. My lighting/equipment "recipes" are no secret!

I think you have a very interesting idea/solution and many of us
would like to see it.

The background support has made its appeance her more than once, but without pictures re-posted, so far.

I'm right now in the process of buying some stuff for my studio (an
old garage) and looking for a good but also not too expensive
solution.

Mine is something to think about.

If you have a picture I would gretly appreciate if you could send
it to me.

Will do

-- hide signature --

Regards,
Baz

 Barrie Davis's gear list:Barrie Davis's gear list
Konica Minolta DiMAGE A2
Jack B. Johnson Forum Member • Posts: 95
Re: Hanging multiple backdrops w/o a stand

I use a ceiling mounted track for my muslins.
http://www.backdropoutlet.com/catalog/index.php?cPath=47_50

gandalf_42024 Contributing Member • Posts: 806
Re: Hanging multiple backdrops w/o a stand

What I did, which was really inexpensive and easy (I'm no handyman), was to attach a 1 x 4 board to the ceiling rafters and mount 1/2" rigid conduit with conduit holders. This cost about $10.00 for the ten foot piece of conduit and .60 for the holders. I have about four background mounted at the present time. I slide the background to one side, then pull the one I want to use into place. It will also work with seamless paper by using a lag bolt to drop the conduit down lower from the ceiling to allow for the large diameter of the paper.

Brian59 Forum Member • Posts: 71
Backdrop Holder (Pics)

Here is what I use in my garage for muslin backdrops. (Excuse the poor photo, this is a cull that was still on my hard drive) I think it is similar to what Barrie is taking about. It is made of a 11 foot 2x4, 4 threaded eye-bolts, 3 pulleys and some rope. I used small clevises to attach the pulleys to the eye-bolts. It is inexpensive and it works great!

I have 3 backdrops which I leave on the floor below the cross bar. To change a backdrop, I roll the bottom of the old drop in towards the stand. Then I lower the crossbar to waist height, unhook the old drop, hook up the new one, raise the crossbar and straighten the new drop. It takes about 2 minutes.

I shoot corner ways in my garage so there is a little room behind the stand. There is also room on the sides for boomstands, etc.

Left crop

Right crop

A larger version of the first pic is here...
http://www.pbase.com/brian59/image/68191641/original

Hope this helps.

-- hide signature --

Brian

Lance C Contributing Member • Posts: 558
3light stands

I do it with 3 light stands, two 6 ft pieces of pvc pipe and 5 home depot plastic clamps. All fit nicely in my trunk for location shots. Although it takes about 5-7 min to change out backdrops, I can pack away in the gararge w/o taking up any/much space.

dave newton Senior Member • Posts: 1,147
This is pretty low-rent but it works for me!!

I simply went to Home Depot and bought several 10ft lengths of 3/4" conduit and drilled an 1/8" hole in each end (all the way through the pipe). I then suspended the conduit with 16 ga aluminum electric fence wire that is attached to the floor joist above my suspended ceiling. 16ga aluminum electric fence wire is REALLY STRONG. I used to own an auto body shop and I used this wire to hang car and truck doors (with all the "guts" inside them) in my paint booth. What is neat about this wire is that you can wrap it around a beam or or a nail or whatever and it stays without any other fasteners. Just wrap it around itself several times and it's good to go. It can be undone and reused a couple of times also.

For the paper background I popped out a couple of ceiling tiles and accessed the floor joist above. Since your basement is unfinished this will be even easier! I drove a nail (8D coated sinker) into the joist at an angle so I could attach my wire to it without the wire sliding toward the head of the nail. BTW, this is how you suspend a ceiling too! I then attach the wire to one end of my conduit. It slips through the holes and cannot slide off the end of the pipe that way. I then slid the roll of paper on and attached the other end to its wire. The ceiling tile drops back into place as I located the attachment point to acheive this end. I could also have the wire poke through the tile if I had too.

The muslin background is a lot lighter so I just attached the wires to the ceiling grid since it is only a couple of inches from the side wall where it attaches and is good and sturdy there.

I have a third pipe hanging behind the white paper too. It holds a 5ft paper roll. You should be able to hang two or three pipes from the same location. The paper rolls will just be touching each other.

Another really cheap but very effective trick is to attach a length of PVC pipe to the end of each paper roll. I just use packaging tape to attach it and tape the full width. This keep the paper straight and tight. There are companies that make commercial versions of this but the DIY version is working for now.

Good luck!!
--
Dave

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Canon EOS 5D Mark II Canon EOS-1D Mark IV +5 more
swu Regular Member • Posts: 468
Re: This is pretty low-rent but it works for me!!

There are companies that make commercial versions of this but the DIY version is working for now.

Can you provide a link or two for that kind of product?

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