This self portrait was taken using a homemade PVC/ Lightstand backdrop holder. I took the original idea from Martin Kimeldorf and, as usual, did a little of my own thing with it. The smaller images in this article can be clicked on to see larger versions.
The parts list for this is pretty easy. Two 2′ sections of 1/2″ PVC pipe (Schedule 40, Home Depot has pre-cut 2′ lengths for about $0.79ea), one 6″ section of 1/2″ PVC pipe (if you don’t have any laying around, get another 2′ section), one 1/2″ Sch40 T, one 36″x1/2″ wooden dowel, one lightstand, one backdrop, and two or three clips or clamps (simple binder clips would even work). I found that, with my particular lightstand, the 1/2″ PVC slipped right over the top and fit quite nicely. I then put the T on, put the 2′ sections of PVC into the T, and then inserted the wooden dowel to keep the PVC from sagging. Once all that was on, I draped the backdrop over the pipe, clipped it with the clamps, and was all done.
Overall I was pleased with how well it worked, and even more impressed by it’s portability and the ease with which it broke down. One con is that it takes up one of the two lightstands I have, but I have been meaning to get more anyway. Just in case I need a wider backdrop, I purchased two 1/2″ couplers and two extra 2′ sticks of PVC, along with an extra dowel. That will give me a lot of coverage should I need it, say for a group or something. Now I need to try making my own backdrops. If you have any nifty DIY things I should try, leave a comment or send me an email.