Pretend You’re On Vacation

Chelsy, July 2010 Workshop

So we were rushing drying times on this background during the workshop.  I used smooth and rough texture plaster for the first time on the canvas which I’ve never tested, let alone on still damp canvas.  You can buy a 2 1/2 gallon container cheap from Home Depot or Loews.  It’s just regular wall plaster, it comes in three different textures.

I was afraid it would chip off so I suggested the next day we try and chip it off to really age it since I thought it would chip off anyway.  It would be irritating to constantly have chips all over the studio.

WOW…we tried to chip off and it wouldn’t.  I was shocked and surprised.

I suggested to Dan on Sunday that I should spray on a watered down stain to see what would happen.  I use a stain all the time on my Styrofoam panels but hadn’t tried it on canvas yet.  I use about 98% water 2% brown/black tint.  Just about anything will do for color; tint, paint, stain ect.

The spray really makes the texture pop.  I have a Styrofoam panel and a weighted ladder behind the angled canvas so the model can actually lean against it, viola a canvas is now a wall.

This is the look I’ve been working towards for this type of background and lighting.  Kinda outdoor resort looking.  I can shoot this easily for a comp card even in the winter.  Beginner models like the security of leaning against a wall, it’s much easier than standing in the middle of nothing.

Bob taking some great shots of Chelsey, which isn’t hard to do.

We shot Andrea on the backdrop  Saturday and it read mostly white which is what I wanted for that look.  I wanted to show the students you’re not married to the backdrop and that it can have many lives with just some minor tweaks.

Lighting is my Profoto Hardbox (yep, got some ragging about the Hardbox) and Elinchrom Octabox for fill.

4 comments category: Backgrounds,Lighting,Photographing models,Swimsuit,Workshop

1 Steve Fewell July 31, 2010 at 7:10 am

Hey Mary,

thanks so much for all the great information! Lurking around your blog is one of the first things I so each morning! I really appreciate your total committment to teaching and sharing information with all of us. Thanks again for spending time with ne yesterday and I hope to see you in September . Steve

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2 Mary DuPrie July 29, 2010 at 7:28 pm
3 Mary DuPrie July 29, 2010 at 7:26 pm

I’m not sure Lowes carries VP. I buy mine from Home DePot. It comes white and they will tint it. You can also buy 2 1/2 gallons of just regular plasters. I know one is called smooth and there are 2 others…a medium and very rough.

they run about $20-$25 for the tub.
the key is the special trowel I use, not available in stores, do a search, i have a link on the site somewhere

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4 Fred Guerra July 29, 2010 at 2:38 pm

Thanks for letting us know about the cheaper version of plaster! One question, though; is it what Lowe’s also refers to as “Venetian Plaster?” I noticed they carry that, but it’s the type that has to be mixed, no? You mentioned it has three textures; which did you get? Sorry, but you’ve been such an inspiration, I (we) really appreciate that you’re willing to share your knowledge.

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