The New Popup Vintage Background From Lastolite
Hey folks, I hope you’re all well and making the most of the end of summer, or looking forward to the beginning of Spring on the other side of this wonderful planet. I’m very much looking forward to Autumn and all it brings. Those darker, richer tones of delicious food, can’t wait. The same deep tones are something I enjoyed earlier this year when I shot with the new Lastolite Popup Vintage Background. And I couldn’t think of a nicer place to shoot than The Oxford Blue Pub in Windsor.
It was a pretty hot morning when I met up with Luke from Lastolite outside The Oxford Blue. We were in the midst of the hottest summer on record, or so I believe, and it sure felt like it. Steven Ellis, Chef and Proprietor, had very kindly agreed to provide the beautiful dishes we were going to shoot with the new popup background. At this point, I hadn’t actually seen the new background, apart from a couple of pictures in an email.
My first look at the vintage popup background
Whilst Steven fired up his kitchen I got set up for the shoot. I was giving the Lastolite medium Ezybox Pro Octa a spin. Usually, I use the larger version so I was intrigued to see if I’d like the results. The new vintage popup background comes in a flat, circular bag and opens up just like any other popup products from Lastolite. Although it is quite a bit bigger than most reflectors.
I was very pleasantly surprised when I saw the lovely colours and textures. On one side it’s Tobacco which is described as brown/ochre tones and on the other, it’s Olive, described as a range of deep greens with a hint of ochre. I knew, with our experience of using backgrounds on Salted Mint, that these were going to look good. I didn’t realise how good.
Like all Lastolite popup backgrounds, they can be used with the magnetic background support. The magnets in the stand work with the metal outer band in the background. Or you can simply lean it against a wall and get shooting. Both sides have a nice vignette so they work really well for shooting portraits as well as food photography. One of the cool things for us foodist is that since we don’t need a big set usually, we can use different parts of this backdrop and have different looks and textures.
Here’s what Lastolite have to say about their new popup background
Lastolite By Manfrotto, the world’s leading manufacturer of backgrounds and lighting control systems announces the launch of the Vintage Collapsible Background Tobacco/Olive.
The 1.5 x 2.1m (5’ x 7’) Tobacco/Olive background is the latest addition to the newly introduced range of Vintage Collapsible Backgrounds. The Tobacco/Olive now sits alongside the highly successful Smoke/Concrete and Joe McNally Ironworks backgrounds, and together they offer a distinctive range of vintage style colour tones and subtly textured surfaces.
The new Tobacco/Olive background is double sided, offering on the Tobacco surface a range of brown/ochre tones with a small hint of green whilst on the Olive surface a range of deep greens with a hint of ochre. Both surfaces also feature a dark vignette to the edges. Great for portraits, fashion and product photography, this versatile reversible background provides a very fashionable, timeless hand-painted look that subtly complements the chosen subject. Two great backgrounds in one with a collapsible popup construction that provides today’s creative image-maker with a truly portable solution that can be easily transported to their chosen location.
The Vintage Collapsible Backgrounds can be supported at the necessary height using the Lastolite By Manfrotto Magnetic Background support system.
The Vintage Collapsible Background Tobacco/Olive (LL LB5705) has an RRP of £180.95.
For more information, please visit www.manfrotto.co.uk/lastolite
Lighting the Vintage popup background
Like I said I was using the medium Ezybox Pro Octa, which, like it’s bigger brother, produces beautiful light. It also has a nice front edge to the softbox allowing you to more effectively control and feather the light. I used my usual one light setup with a Trigrip soft silver reflector as a bounce/fill. The Vintage background takes the light well. I tend to feather the light off creating richer, darker tones in the background whilst highlighting the food.
I also shot at various apertures to see how the background looked super soft and medium softness. In all aspects, it looks really nice. The results have a fine art kind of feel to them, which I wasn’t expecting at all. Other than food I can imagine it working well for vintage still life setups. Both the Tobacco and Olive sides have a vignette so if you also use this for portraits it’s a nice, in-camera look. I’d like to see how coloured light works with this background, and, of course, you’ll be able to tweak the colours in post.
What I haven’t tried yet
I do want to see how it works as a possible surface to style on. Obviously, I’ll have to be careful what I put on it but it could work really well. Since I was shooting to show off the Vintage popup background I did keep plenty of light on it. Once I get one to try further I’ll be dropping minimal light on it, just to bring a hint of background texture in a very subtle way. One more thing I’d like to see, is a smaller version of the same background, possibly around half the size. That would be very handy and allow me the full background on a smaller set when I needed it.
See the Vintage Popup Background in action
There were three videos made to demonstrate the new background. They showcased a portrait shoot, fashion shoot and yours truly with food and restaurant photography. So I’m properly chuffed to be on the Tube once again with Lastolite. And this time also showing the amazing talent and number one British pub, The Oxford Blue.
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I do like the convenience of a collapsible photography background and as food photography goes, this is one of the most useful to me.
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