Photography Backdrops And How To Select The Best One For You

You've studied all the different camera settings and by now you've learned all about the difference between shutter speed and f-stop. Thanks to your studies of lighting patterns, the difference between butterfly and split lighting is an obvious no brainer … Now, it's time to consider the backdrop.

In my experience, having over 6000 professional sessions under my belt, MOST people prefer to have a natural setting rather than a formal backdrop.

For example …

If you're shooting Indoors – possibilities may include placing your subjects on the floor around the fireplace, (always have a fire burning or it appears as nothing but a black hole in the final print), or they could be posed on and around their furniture in the living room, etc.

Outside portraits could be in their back yard, at the beach, a local park, etc. Anyplace that has meaning for THEM!

Most people just want a beautiful portrait that singles them out as individuals – rather than just another group posed in front of the same old pull down screen that everyone else uses.

Whenever possible, ALWAYS try for a location that has meaning for THEM …

However, if you must use a formal backup, here are a few suggestions …

First – buy a commercially available background stand to hold your backdrops. They do not cost much and for ease of use, stability, transportability etc. it's better than making your own.

For this discussion, I'm assuming you DO NOT own a professional portrait studio and are doing your sessions in your home (or your customer's home).

There are several types of backdrop materials:

Paper- Large rolls of paper come in most any color you can imagine. They can be purchased at many local camera stores and are relatively inexpensive.

Pros – They are readily available – are fairly inexpensive – come in most any color you can imagine. They can be used in a "sweep" so the model (s) can sit or stand on the paper and have it seamlessly up up behind them. Paper rolls come in two basic widths (around 4 feet and around 9 feet as I recall, I do not often use them).

Cons – The smaller size is not wide enough for much more than a head shot while the wider size is very heavy – difficult to transport – and most homes do not have enough "empty" space to sweep it without moving around the furniture. (People really do not like you redecorating for them!) The paper gets dirty, gets creased, tears and has to be constantly replaced. If there are animals in the session, the papery feel and crinkly sounds freak them out.

Painted Canvas – These can provide some truly stunning portraits. Many back suppliers create them and they can be ordered over the internet if you do not happen to be near a supplier.

Pros – Depending on the creator, they can be stunningly beautiful. There are thousands of colors and patterns available and if you have something unique in mind, you can have one created just for you, to match your exact specifications. They are very durable and will last years. They come in many sizes and can be used in a seamless sweep.

Cons – They are EXPENSIVE! EXPENSIVE! EXPENSIVE! Again, like paper, the wider ones are heavy, difficult work with and to transport. Like paper, size vs. living room furniture is a challenge.

Seamless paper and canvas backgrounds tend to be the province of professional studios – where they can be mounted on the walls and just folded down when needed.

They are really difficult to work with in the field.

I recommend that you go to the fabric store and get strips of material. As wide as is available and about 12 feet long. Getting some sort of material that either does not easily wrinkle, or where wrinkles will not matter is best.

Pros – Choose the type and colors you like, you can get any color, style and texture that suits your fancy. It can be hung bunched up (like theater curtains) behind the subject, or stretched flat if only one piece is needed. One piece can also be used as a seamless sweep.

You can use one piece or thirty – no matter how wide your back needs are, you can easily accommodate them.

It's easy to store and transport (just fold up the strips and put them in a box in the back seat of your car!) Material is very inexpensive compared to a painted canvas (which can run into the thousands of dollars) It's reusable so it works out to be cheaper than paper in the long run.

Use another piece of two for the flooring and since it's flexible, it can be flowed around furniture. Animals have no problem walking on it. (It's washable too!).

Cons – If you want multiple strips (and you do!), You may have difficulty finding enough of the same material. If you live near the garment district in a large city, they may have it. Otherwise you may have to have your local fabric store special order it for you.

These are the major background considerations and you should have no trouble finding the perfect backdrops for YOUR creative vision!

Rebuild Your Credit With A Prepaid Credit Card

It can be pretty tough when your credit is bad and it is next to impossible to get credit when you need it. Most major credit card companies will not talk to you, and a lender – well, forget about it. There is a way, though, out of the tough situation with a prepaid credit card. Here is what you can do with a prepaid credit card to help rebuild your credit score.

Need A Bad Credit Rating

One of the best things about a prepaid credit card is that it was designed for people with bad credit. In fact, that is one of the qualifications. There will not be any check on your credit rating, or your employment. Anyone can get one of these credit cards, but you will need to deposit a cash amount equal to the credit limit you want. This lets you know that it operates on a debit basis – no actual credit is given.

Get A Card That Reports To A Credit Bureau

Not many prepaid credit cards actually report to a credit bureau. That is, however, the kind of card that you want to get. While others make having cash handy, it really will not help you (or anyone with bad credit) in the long run.

Watch The Fees

Prepaid credit cards often come with a number of fees. You should compare one card with another in order to get the fewest fees. In order to get a prepaid credit card that reports to a credit bureau, you will probably have to pay an annual fee – could be as high as $ 100.

Look For Benefits

Most prepaid cards do not come with any benefits, but some do. You can get points, like on a regular credit card, that are useable for a few benefits – like free phone time, and more.

No Credit Card Abuse

Another good thing about these credit cards is that you can never go over your limit, or have to pay any late fees or interest. (Hey, this is sounding better all the time). This means that if it reports to a credit bureau, that it would be impossible to get a lower score than what you may already have with this kind of card.

Easily Put Cash On Your Card

Most prepaid cards will allow you to easily put credit on it from just about anywhere. You can even put your paycheck onto it by Direct Deposit.

Use It Like A Credit Card

A number of these prepaid credit cards can be used in the same way as a credit card. You can set up automatic bill payments, purchase things online, or over the phone. If you want this feature, however, be sure that the ad says that you can do this.

Like any other credit card, you will want to compare features and fees in order to find the best prepaid credit card for your needs. While most of them are similar, the fees vary broadly. Since no qualifications are needed, why not get the best?

Honeymoon Vacation Packages

Newlywed couples derive immense thrill from honeymoons in exotic destinations. Honeymoon vacations give them an opportunity to spend intimate time together far from the world of anxieties and worries. Hotels and resorts in renowned and much-sought-after honeymoon destinations offer special honeymoon vacation packages to their prospective clients. The packages ensure a hassle-free time of comfort and leisure for honeymoon couples who do not have to take pains to arrange for different services, since they are generally included in honeymoon vacation packages.

A typical honeymoon vacation package in the enchanting island of Hawaii begins at $510 per night for a honeymoon couple. This exclusive package includes a premium ocean-view room, convertible rental car, a chilled bottle of champagne upon arrival, a daily breakfast buffet for two, and dinner for two one time during your stay ($100 value)

If couples are contemplating a honeymoon vacation in San Francisco, rates start at $245/night for a club level room, and from $315/night for a club level suite, and include a club level room or suite, champagne upon arrival, complimentary continental breakfast buffet in club level lounge, handmade chocolates at turndown, and special bath amenities.

Las Vegas is one of the favorite destinations for honeymoon vacationers, and most of the renowned hotels and resorts in Las Vegas promote premium and economical honeymoon packages.

Las Vegas hotels offer a great deal more than just betting activities to couples spending their honeymoon holidays in the enchanting tourist locale. Most of the resorts are known for their characteristic appeal and elegant swimming pools, shopping, health spas, nightclubs, restaurants, and other amusements.

Flat Motorcycle Tires – Roll Hard!

Motorcycles with flat tires. . . roll hard! If your motorcycle is cruising along at 55 mph and your rear motorcycle tire suddenly deflates [has a blow out!] You now have a tremendously dangerous challenge ahead of you. Aviding other vehicles, controlling the steering, a swaying rear-end making everything unstable makes for a sizable victory when you roll off the side of the road and come to a stop. Congratulations, job well done! More riders than not end in an accident or something worse. All because of their motorcycle tires. Who knows your thoughts if it is the front tire to blow? You better be prayed up.

We all want a sharp looking bike. Once you select your make and model, your interest is on chrome, color, accessories, personal appearance, dress etc. but let us not forget about the importance of the rubber motorcycle tires that get us around. Frame, structure and engine all work together and hopefully are worry free for years. Motorcycle tires keep moving and we need to often watch for wear and safety.

There are two critical places that motorcycles need to be checked before each ride or at least once a month. Both are easy to do and both are many times overlooked. One area is brake fluid. If the pedal is mushy, bleed the lines or have someone else do it. Two, motorcycle tires need to be inspected. Why do we forget these?

Our safety depends on it. We trust our life to the two motorcycle tires under us that have at best two patches of rubber in contact with the ground the size of our two hands at any given moment. Move that along at 55 mph or even at 15 mph and each of the motorcycle tires is taking on a serious responsibility. The attention and care we offer towards our motorcycle tires can help us tremendously with our safety and enjoyment of biking.

Here are some areas where things can go wrong with your motorcycle tires:

– Tire Pressure: Under-inflation may cause uneven wear, loss of control [stability], wears the motorcycle tires out faster and increases the chances of the motorcycle tires failure. Over-inflation allows motorcycle tires to heat up, limit traction [although a slight 10% over-inflation may actually increase traction in wet conditions] and affects the wear. To correct these, use a good tire gauge and check the motorcycle tires when it is cool. Keep the motorcycle tires pressure at the recommended PSI.

– Fluids: Brake fluid, gas and lube spills need to be cleaned immediately. It deteriorates the rubber. Many of the cleaner protectors used on motorcycle tires harm the finish rubber. The best way to clean is to use old-fashioned soap and water.

– Bumps: Potholes, curbs and stones may slash or crack the tire. Look for any problem.

– Accelerated wear: Everyday use may be a potential hazard. Spinning motorcycle tires on take off or holding the brake on emergency stops need to be checked.

– Nails, screws etc .: It is better to find them before you ride than to discover these nuisances 20 minutes down the road. Motorcycle tires that use a tube may "pop" from a nail / screw or sharp object, where a tubeless tire may have the nail / screw actually plug the hole they created which gives you a little more time for repairs.

– Valve stems: Make sure the cap is on. It helps to protect the valve stem from leaking air and protects the stem valve from opening by centrifugal force and leaking air at higher speeds. When you use motorcycle tires with tubes, the valve stem should be straight out. If it is on a slant, the tire has been under-inflated and the tube has moved around the rim. Often this damages the tube and creates a leak.

– Tire weights: Weights need to be firmly fixed to the rim. If they fall off it will throw the tire out of balance and cause uneven wear.

– Rim: Cracked or deferred rims are potential problems. You may want to replace wire fired wheels when they became damaged with a cast or billet wheel that uses tubeless tires. Check with your dealer on this.

– Worn / torn: Thin tread is easier to detect. Flat wear is due to leaning very little and driving mostly in a straight line, resulting in a ridge at the edge of the flattened middle of the tire. This causes motorcycle tires to become unstable in a leaning turn. It wants to warble. The tire may have more wear but it should be replaced. [It is good to replace both front tire and rear tire at the same time.] Sidewall punctures, cracking, cord separation are an alert.

– Tread: Check the grooves called "sipes" making sure that the tread is still sufficient. The lack of having tread affects the cooling of the tire when in use, wear, stability, traction and can cause hydroplaning on wet roads.

When doing your inspection of motorcycle tires get a friend to roll the bike while you check the tread and sidewalls. You may need to get a work stand if alone. Obstacles to having a good inspection are long pipes, saddlebags, fenders etc. making it hard to see the rear tire. Front motorcycle tires are a bit easier to examine. This sounds like a lot but it goes quickly and is easy to do. Make it a habit to check your motorcycle tires frequently.

Some miscellaneous information you need to know. You will have better handling and get more out your motorcycles tires when you keep the rear tire aligned and balanced. Consider having this looked at approximately every1000 miles. Be careful when you have new motorcycle tires it takes the first couple of rides to get traction working well.

So! Happy riding and remembering to check your motorcycle tires often.