Any photographer that's spent time in a studio have undoubtedly photographed their subject in front of seamless paper and possibly even a cyclorama. When we look at some of the most iconic portraits throughout history, however, like those captured by contemporary greats like Annie Leibovitz and Mark Seliger or late legends like Irving Penn, you will often find that the subject(s) are placed in front of hand-painted canvas backdrops, lending a timeless, painterly look to the images.
In fact, the backdrop that Penn used in many of his portraits was prominently displayed at his namesake centennial exhibit held at the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art back in 2017. For a long time, these hand-painted backdrops were quite prohibitively priced, out of reach for most photographers. So costly were these backdrops, in fact, that there are specialty rental houses that specialize in renting them out to photo shoots and other productions, but even the rental fees could add up to quite a large sum of money. This is where Europe based backdrop studio Gravity Backdrops comes in, effectively disrupting the existing backdrop business model by offering hand-painted backdrops that match the quality of those available from storied backdrop studios but at a fraction of the cost. In fact, some of the backdrops from Gravity actually costs less to own than it would cost to rent similar backdrops from a rental house. We recently had the opportunity to test out some of Gravity Backdrops' custom offerings, head on after the jump for our review. . thephoblographer.com