Photographers rely on backdrops when they don’t have access to a location or clean space that gets natural light. If you’re in a tight space like at your home or basement and you want a clean background setup, vinyl or paper backdrops will work wonders for you. While good quality paper backdrops work great, let's look at how vinyl is different and why should you consider getting it. Of course, while vinyl backdrops are quite a bit more expensive than paper, they will give you a completely different look and makes your life much easier with its ease of maintenance which makes it a one-time purchase, unlike paper. Paper backdrops can get dirty and smudgy quite quickly. It is also prone to tear with rough use.
Vinyl backdrop texture that helps with durability and effective light distribution.
A very common problem, even with untouched paper backdrops is that they tend to get bends and wrinkles on their own which makes light reflections give weird patterns in the output. However, a paper backdrop is cheaper and you can buy a new roll when you run out of it. Like any paper. In contrast to that, vinyl backdrops have a micro-texture on their surface that gives them a fine matte finish. This texture will help vinyl backdrops not reflect light unevenly and accepts light smoothly which adds a lot of quality and value to photos and videos shot with it as background.
You can get vinyl backgrounds in several colors just like paper. However, if you’re looking to buy just one, experts and experienced photographers will recommend you to get white. This is because with a decent understanding of how lighting works in photography and some creativity you will be able to achieve several colors and tones from just white. The three most basic variations with different lighting setups would be white, various shades of grey and black.
If you want to obtain real color with a white backdrop, you can use gels on your photography lights to get lights that have an RGB light function. A good quality white backdrop and creative lighting setups can work wonders at your mini or portable studio.
Another huge benefit of vinyl backdrops is that they are tougher than paper and are easy to clean. This means you can extend your vinyl backdrop to the floor and achieve a seamless effect without any separation between the floor and the wall. Adding some props into the scene with respect to its mood and the subject will let you capture an exceptionally amazing set of photos or video footage. Since vinyl backdrops are much more durable than their counterparts, they can be used innumerable times with proper cleaning and maintenance giving you a much more permanent sot of solution.
If not in a plain color, vinyl backgrounds also come in different patterns or with hyper-realistic scenes printed on them. For instance, let’s say that you want to shoot the first birthday of your kid and want a winter scene with all the snow falling outside with your baby beside the window enjoying the warm indoors. While nothing compares to capturing that perfect scene in an original setting, the nearest thing you can do is replicate the shot in order to capture your baby’s picture on his/her first birthday itself. Good quality winter backdrops with a proper lighting setup can give you impossible-to-tell realistic results if the photographer got an eye for the right moments. The winter backdrop being vinyl, there is no chance it is going to behave weirdly on camera or give out unpleasant light behaviors like traditional picture backdrops. Add some props to the foreground, some subtle special effects like mist or snow falling in the background, it will be impossible for someone to say it is a setup.
Vinyl backdrops are much heavier and more expensive than common alternatives. However, if you’re aren’t going to be moving much, if you’re looking for a permanent solution and if you don’t want to keep buying paper rolls, vinyl backdrops are your best bet. Apart from functional and logistic benefits, vinyl background positively affects your overall production process by getting you better picture quality, effective light management and easy maintenance making shoot management a lot easier than ever before.