Do It Yourself: Backdrops
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The most popular backdrop is probably the muslin backdrop.
Whether handpainted or tie dyed, these will generally cost you a couple hundred dollars or maybe $50 (for a decent sized backdrop). I got mine on Ebay for $35 plus shipping and handling, and I still think that's a lot.
But muslin backdrops are classic. And if you are looking into portraiture, a nice handpainted muslin backdrop is a worthwhile investment.
(If you must invest a muslin backdrop, at least save yourself some money on the backdrop stand. You can easily make your own out of PVC pipes or just hang it up like a tapestry.)
Advantages of using a muslin backdrop:
A good alternative to the muslin backdrop is to use fabric.
Unlike muslin backdrops, fabric backdrops are very cheap. Actually, most don't cost you a thing. Just recycle your bed sheets, a blanket, that couch throw, or maybe even a large shirt.
Even if you have to buy fabric, $5 should be more than enough for backdrop fabric (assuming you don't choose fancy expensive fabric intended for clothing).
You definitely do not need such a large piece of fabric. For macro photos, I often just use a t-shirt as the backdrop.
Advantages of using a fabric backdrop:
Disadvantages of using a fabric backdrop:
Perhaps the simplest backdrop is the plain ol' white wall.
I have a fairly large white wall in my room that I often use as a backdrop in photos. I definitely don't use the entire wall in most photos, so if you don't have such a large wall, don't worry. Painted walls work too. I just prefer white walls since white can be color balanced to various light pastel colors in post editing.
Advantages of using a wall as the backdrop:
Disadvantages of using a wall as the backdrop:
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