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Posted 08 October 2019 - 11:48 PM
I generally use black velvet for my orchid photography backgrounds because it absorbs light so well. With a little care you can keep your velvet from getting too dirty but dirt and spots are a consideration. For a long time I used mat black paper and I still do use paper when I need a lighter color background but, for me at least, paper is a real pain to use.
- TBonz likes this
Posted 09 October 2019 - 05:31 AM
Velvet is hard to beat for light absorption, but it is very difficult to keep clean as the others have said. It might be worth it to take a trip to a fabric store and look for matte black synthetics that are easier to keep spotless, but still more light absorbing than paper.
- TBonz likes this
Posted 09 October 2019 - 01:45 PM
Peter mentions other types of cloth and I do carry a couple of yards of black non-velvet fabric for those times when my fairly small piece of velvet won't give me the coverage I need or for sitting plant vases on. Unfortunately, it's nowhere nearly as effective as even dirty velvet. I know some other photographers who use shade fabric as backgrounds but unwanted reflections are still a pain. Some popup professional backgrounds made for portrait photography are probably better but I haven't tried any of those... although I've considered them from time to time.
There are a couple of ways to handle background reflections. The best way, of course, is to not have them to begin with. Picking a good light absorbent material and aiming your lights so as to minimize the amount of light falling on your background is a good start. However, there will always be occasions when, for whatever reason, you end up with those pesky reflections. In that case you may need to resort to removing the reflections in post. Sometimes, assuming you're going for a completely black background, just dialing up black in Lightroom will do the trick. Also, Lightroom's spot removal tool and healing/cloning tools can be invaluable in removing background reflections. They are not ideal but generally give good results if used intelligently and judiciously.