Say you make all kinds of things at your workbench and you have a need for taking high quality photos of everything that you do, well then you're in need of an easy workbench photo backdrop! This backdrop costs very little money (as photo backdrops go), is industrial strength due to it's heavy duty spring clamps and cast iron pipe hanging rod, and will improve the quality of your photos immensely! I'm really happy with how it's improved my photos, even though it's only using simple fluorescent lights fixtures as a main light source.
This project, among other things, was inspired by Randofo.
Step 1: Tools and Materials
- 60" length of 1/2" iron pipe with threaded ends
- 1/2" flange fittings
- 90 degree 1/2" elbow
- 6" length of 1/2" pipe nipple
- 2 spring clamps
- Savage Seamless Bright White Photo Backdrop
The lights are technically not part of the backdrop, but they are just simple 4' x 2 bulb fluorescent fixtures. The bulbs are 32 Watt Cool White (4100K) tubes. I prefer the 4100k to the 5000k color temperature. For some reason the 5000k light is very very sterile and bright white. A little yellow actually softens things just a bit.
Step 2: The Backdrop
The backdrop is simply a roll of paper that's being sold as a photo backdrop. If you can find a roll of heavy bond printer paper for large format printers you might be able to save some money since the roll will be much much longer and probably sell for the same price. But, the photography store had this stock, so I just went for it.
Step 3: Assemble Cast Iron Pipe
Assemble the elbows onto the long piece of pipe. Attach the 6" nipples, and then finally, screw on the flanges. Making things hand tight is fine.
Step 4: Wipe Off Oil Finish With Alcohol
Use denatured alcohol to take the oil finish off of the pipe. Otherwise, you'll touch the pipe, then touch the backdrop, and then ruin your nice white paper with your oily fingerprints.
Step 5: Screw in Pipe Flanges
Screw the pipe flanges into a surface. Either the wall, or the shelf above your workbench, or whatever works.
Step 6: Slide on Backdrop
Unscrew the main pipe from the elbow fittings and slide the backdrop into place. Screw the main cross pipe back into position.
Step 7: Retain With Spring Clamps
Use the spring clips to hold the paper roll in place and tightly wound when the backdrop is being store.
Use the spring clips to clip the backdrop paper to your work surface when the backdrop is in use.