Product Spotlight: Drop it MODERN Mermaid backdrop

October 23, 2012  •  Leave a Comment

Drop it MODERN Mermaid Backdrop by Laura Tillinghast

As a photographer, one of the best parts of my job is ordering new equipment. Whether it is a lens, a camera accessory, or a prop for studio use, it is exciting to have something new and unique to work with.

Such was my excitement when I received the new Mermaid backdrop I ordered from Drop it MODERN. I am a big fan of their previously released and similar golden-hued backdrop, Spangled. I had spoken with Drop it MODERN last year at a few trade shows and they let me know that a cool-toned version of this product would be forthcoming. As soon as it was released I ordered it right away. I also bought a cool looking bag to carry it in and keep it safe. As you can see from the photo below, I was pretty excited when it arrived.


I put my new backdrop to work right away, creating a variety of looks with the same model so I could test the range of the product and really play with it.

Since the background is essentially silver, I wanted to experiment with reflective light. First I hung the backdrop outside in full sun to get a nice sparkle. I placed the model in front and added some shade to fall just on her. The result was a lovely blurred background of sparkles. Also, the direct sunlight resulted in a nice backlight on the model’s shoulders and even along the side of her face. The over all effect was ethereal and soft.


Next we went into the studio and did the same concept with studio lighting. I put a direct light on the backdrop to make sure it sparkled and also used a flattering key light directly on the model. The result was similar to the look we did outside but I had more control since I was in the studio and could adjust the strength of the light falling on the backdrop and model. In studio I chose to blur the background a bit less than I did in natural light, making the resulting images very glamorous and glitzy.


Also in studio, I experimented with no direct light on the background and used a key light only. This created a moodier look with a more dramatic background of contrasting sparkles.

Lastly, I wanted to experiment with color. The silver shade of this backdrop is great as it allows for other colors to be added with gels. I used a dark pink gel on the backdrop light, changing the silver to the color of the gel. I chose pink but you can choose whatever color you wish. For gels I recommend the filter packs available from Manfrotto. Lots of different gels will work but these are my favorite.


Overall I am thrilled with this gorgeous and dynamic product. I know that I will use it a lot since I can modify the look to fit the needs of different clients. I already have some new ideas planned for the next time I use it!

Special thanks to my creative team! Noel Allen was on hand to help me out with reflectors and set up. The very talented Jonathan Reisfeld executed makeup and hair for the lovely model Karina. Thanks everyone for a great shoot!


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