• Simple backdrop bar

    Steamfoundry07/17/2021 at 09:56 0 comments

    So while I’ve been working on other things (and the possibility of returning to an office loomed) I found another way of hanging a large sheet backdrop… and it was probably the worst so far.

    The rod is an expandable shower curtain rod. These are 1” diameter and are meant to press fit between two walls with an internal spring. 

    This was hung from the drop ceiling with two short sections of Velcro as a quick test.

    The end result was a solid meh 😑.  The rod is about 2” too short for the photography backdrop I have been testing with so it was crumpled.  It also needed part of the length hung over the back otherwise it slipped off.  A smaller rod may have been better since I could use clamps to hold the backdrop. 

    Finally, it was still an nuisance to hang the backdrop when I needed it.  So not there yet. 

    Hopefully I get my spring frame sorted out so my original plan can continue. 

  • Backdrop material - I decided

    Steamfoundry07/17/2021 at 01:35 0 comments

    So I found a substitute for black backdrop fabric.  This is Landscaping cloth that you may have a roll of hiding in the garage.  It usually comes in rolls big enough to cover my yard twice over so definitely look online for roll ends or ask anyone that recently did some landscaping.   The piece behind it is actual photography backdrop.   

    The actual backdrop is thicker but I think it will for well for the price point(free.)

  • Safety Minute - Spring steel is not your friend

    Steamfoundry06/20/2021 at 08:25 0 comments

    Spring steel isn't your friend. It only has one interest in the world.. returning to its original shape.  

    So be prepared for that.  Expect it to try to snap and get loose.  

    - Wear safety glasses.  Consider wearing gloves

    - Let it relax when doing any cutting. You don’t want it to jump when you get through the cut

    - Have space around you.  If it gets loose it can easily send small things off your desk flying

    Above all, consider what might go wrong before you start trying to make your loop. 

    Also, when cutting it I recommend mini bolt cutters.  Much faster than a saw and better control. https://www.amazon.com/TEKTON-8-Inch-Mini-Cutter-3386/dp/B000NQ4OYO

  • Test 2 - Big frisbee?

    Steamfoundry06/20/2021 at 07:37 0 comments


    • Make a mini version.

    Material to test:

    • 108" Spring steel cut from a 1/8" flat steel fish tape (Amazon link)  This was eyeballed as "about this much" since it was for the test


    1. Test how to attach the ends of the spring steel.  We don't want them coming loose with time and tearing the fabric.
    2. Plan how to attach the main fabric to the loop.  The trick will be to keep the fabric tight when it's opened.

  • Research links

    Steamfoundry06/16/2021 at 20:53 0 comments

    Some Research links:

    Start reading here for other tips to improve your virtual meeting presence: https://blog.paessler.com/four-zoom-commandments

    Also if you like gear, here is a nice setup if you have budget for a home studio. - https://dirkpaessler.blog/2020/11/09/four-zoom-kits/

    Green screen on a budget - https://www.premiumbeat.com/blog/diy-green-screen-budget/

    'ZOOM' wallpaper - https://www.chromawall.com/green-screen-for-streaming/zoom-green-screen

    Green screen ideas - https://www.diyvideostudio.com/best-green-screen-for-video-conferencing/

    Note - Why didn't I just tape/pin something on the wall behind me:

    In the space I'm using, I share it with...stuff.  Specifically stuff that is tall enough to end up on camera and can't be moved.  So I needed something that could be not much further than my chair.

  • Variant 1 - the "Super Easy"

    Steamfoundry06/16/2021 at 18:12 0 comments

    • Variant 1 - The "Super Easy"
      • This is what I started with.  I used a borrowed black photography backdrop and a large selection of big binder clips. (2" - 3" Large ones worked best)
      • This only works because I had a low ceiling with drop in tiles. 
      • Hold one side of the backdrop up, then clip it in place.  Starting by clipping both corners while holding the middle seemed to work best.  Otherwise the weight will cause it to slip out.
      • Problems
        • Difficult to put up
        • No easy was to relocate it
        • Requires the right ceiling (Drop in tiles with rails)
        • There was always a chance of backing into it/ bumping it and causing a dramatic reveal.
        • I was worried the clips might damage the backdrop fabric over time 
        • The single layer backdrop didn't fully block light from the window behind it.