TSL 3 Ways to Hang a Backdrop DIY Tutorial



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Hi this is Jay P. Morgan. Today on The Slanted Lens I’m going to show you three ways to hang a backdrop: two simple and one more complicated. I’ve shot backdrops my entire career and hanging them up has always been a problem. I started in the beginning with these huge backdrops. Taping them, and clipping them, and clamping. I have a whole closet full of them.

We’ve talked about this first one before in “‪6 Tips for Setting Up a Home or Office Studio‬”. http://bit.ly/1kddMhp We just use half-inch plumbing pipe with an elbow and a plate that attaches to the wall or ceiling depending on how you’ll use it. Then you slip the one-inch pipe over the ends and clamp it in place. One inch is my absolute favorite pipe because it’s just strong enough that it’s not going to bow on a ten-foot length, but not so heavy that it’s just a huge old pipe to have to haul around. One listener sent me a picture where he had taken several of these and painted them all black so they looked really cool. He hung them on the wall at different heights. You could put three backdrops up at once. So these are really simple.

For our second option you simply take your one-inch conduit, put it through your backdrop sleeve and attach it to a C-stand on each side. That’s it, you’re all set to go. If your backdrop doesn’t have a sleeve on it you can simply attach it with clamps. Now the expensive part about this setup is that you have to have two c-stands. Well if we don’t have c-stands and we don’t want that expense, we can put these on regular stands. We simply drill a 5/8-inch hole and it will set right on the stands. And the one-inch conduit is strong enough and wide enough to do that.

Now we’ve got this ten-foot piece of pipe that’s too long to carry in our car. So we’re going to cut it to six foot. And then we’re going cut a ten-foot piece of inch and a quarter conduit to six-foot. Now we have two six foot pieces of pipe, which are still pretty long but much easier to carry in a car. You sleeve them together and can make it longer or shorter as needed. You pull them out to ten-feet and there’s enough of an overlap there with that foot that it’s not going to bow. It’s not as wonderful as a single pipe but it certainly transports a lot easier.

For our third solution we needed something that would allow us to get different angles without running out of backdrop. On a recent shoot for the hair product Pura D’or we had a 25-30 foot drop but it still wasn’t enough. So we decided to bend the pipes. We put a one-inch into a one and a quarter inch and I just bent it by hand. I’ve been working out. So now the pipes can’t come apart but there’s a straight piece of this one-inch conduit that sticks out the end. I can put a straight piece of inch and a quarter conduit on. Those two come together. So now I have a straight piece and a curved. We have the sleeved backdrop so we slide it on. To get it up in the air we attached a couple of Cardellini clamps and then hooked c-stand arms to those and hoisted it.

So there you have it- three ways to hang your backdrops from The Slanted Lens. If you have any other topics you’d like to see or questions about the backdrops let me know in the comments, I’d appreciate it.

Thanks for watching and remember, keep those cameras rollin’ and keep on clickin’.

Jay P.
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44 thoughts on “TSL 3 Ways to Hang a Backdrop DIY Tutorial

  • June 14, 2019 at 11:06
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    I rather go deliver pizzas, save up, buy dirt cheap stands.
    This DIY tutorial is mentally more expensive than buying a stand. UNLESS your mother in law has a drill press which is true 95% of the time according to his optimistic attitude.

  • June 14, 2019 at 11:06
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    oh my gosh it's 6 a.m., I came across your video, you made me laugh even though I'm dead tired. "if you don't have a drill press…" LOL, too funny

  • June 14, 2019 at 11:06
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    Oh awesome. I had done the half inch pipes in the ceiling but with screwed in pipes over the whole span which forced me to use clamps even if my backdrop was sown…. I will upgrade it to us the 1 inch tube the way you have it set up. Thanks!

  • June 14, 2019 at 11:06
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    I honestly clicked on this because of the funny awesome face you made in the title. And then you were lost in the curtains. You have made my day.

  • June 14, 2019 at 11:06
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    I'm for saving money as much as the next guy but what's so wrong with buying the stuff that's MADE for holding backdrops correctly? It's not THAT expensive (really, it isn't) and it's MADE to do the job… No pipe fitting, cutting and the like… BTW, I've seen the same setup with painting poles… Save money but please, get a grip!

  • June 14, 2019 at 11:06
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    The intro has me so fucking weak cause that’s literally how frustrated I am with this backdrop 😂😭 thanks for the help

  • June 14, 2019 at 11:06
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    Righty-tighty on your c stand, you had the knuckle facing the wrong direction in your demo. That way, if the pipe sags, it will tighten the knuckle instead of loosening it.

  • June 14, 2019 at 11:06
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    thank you so much i searched and searched for this video, i wanted a video like this for larger space. i got tired of seeing muslin and paper small width backdrops. and i needed cloth as well, i thought it wans't a thing as cylcorama kept coming up

  • June 14, 2019 at 11:06
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    I noticed in the introduction that an assistant was steaming the backdrop as it went up, the best investment I’ve made for my backdrops is my steamer but yours are massive compared to my measly three metres. But they say size isn’t everything…

    Great video that I have watched before, I find many of your videos are definitely worth revisiting as they a jam packed full of tips and ides. Now to ask my mother in law if I can borrow her press drill.

  • June 14, 2019 at 11:06
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    Your dam right that those big backdrops are hard to set up. I am 12 years of age i had to put one up in the air 4 metres high for a production all by myself it hit me on the head it wasnt very good.

  • June 14, 2019 at 11:06
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    I'm going to use pvc pipe instead of metal conduit pipe. PVC is lighter, cheaper and easier to cut,
    I'll still be using a metal plate, straight and elbow pieces though.

    Thanks for the Video!

  • June 14, 2019 at 11:06
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    I love this guy.  He really enjoys what he does and it come out in all his videos.  Makes me feel good and brings a smile to my face every time I see him.

  • June 14, 2019 at 11:06
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    JP. I am in the market for buying my first Backdrop and Stand. I have been on Amazon and found a dozen or so backdrops and stands, but I am at a loss. Would you recommend 100% cotton or a different fabric? Also, what's the difference in sizes? For example, when would I buy a 10' x 10', 10'x12' or 10'x20'? I want to have the flexibility to shoot up to 4 or 5 people across, such as family photography, but want to stick mainly to 1-3 people. Is there a recommendation there? I really like your stand Idea, using the pipes, but I need portability, so I am looking at several heavy duty portable stands on Amazon. My price range is around $200 for the stand and backdrop(s). Much help would be appreciated. Love your videos btw. Always informative.

  • June 14, 2019 at 11:06
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    Great video …..if I use the plumbing pipes to mount three rolls of seamless paper on the wall do you have any tips on easily rolling the paper up to interchange between backgrounds…Thanks

  • June 14, 2019 at 11:06
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    I love how you keep your videos entertaining as well as very informative. If you ever feel like moving to Texas, I would love to have you as a mentor lol

  • June 14, 2019 at 11:06
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    Einstein said a genius isn't a man who understands a concept or theory, but one who can explain it. Right from your first corny joke you have your audiences attention and we are very lucky to have such an experienced and successful photographer giving up his time for us. As someone who is just venturing into the world of lighting and backdrops (health has massively reduced my nature photography) I'm immensely grateful to you.

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