Backdrop Building

During the past month or so I’ve been slowly putting together two backdrops to use for photos. The first of those is an indoor arena, which I had every intention of posting about last week. But after uploading the images to my PC, I noticed an obvious and annoying mistake in almost all of my pictures…

ARGH !@#$ bit!

I wanted to cry because I had taken everything down at that point, and because I had a nasty/nauseating headache, wasn’t in any mood to set it all up again.
I’ve had another headache this weekend, but thankfully it wasn’t so bad that I couldn’t try to get some better pictures.

Anyway, backgrounds for photos have been on the List-of-Things-to-Make for uh, many years now. There’s a part of me that wants to start photo showing, (maybe in ten more years I’ll actually make that happen) and my plain white backdrop won’t really work for that.
For an indoor arena, I wanted to go with something simple. Basically, the background is a piece of white foam core, which I sliced down the side and reattached with packing tape, to extend the length:


It’s not perfect, but hey, it works.

The texture was made by printing up an edited image of corrugated metal siding… I printed up several sheets of this, trimmed off the white edges and glued everything in place.


The wooden beams are just wood pieces I’ve had for ages… they came in a pack together and were all the same size. Hooray for not having to saw them down!


Here was a quick test shot – I wanted to make sure it was large enough for my longer horses, and tall enough for both a horse and rider. The black is a piece of black foam core and was just a placeholder. πŸ™‚


The arena wall was made from three wood rectangles I picked up at a craft store. They are held together with scraps of more wood pieces from old projects. (I knew saving those would come in handy, ha!)


For the footing, I went with Kinetic sand. Half of this I picked up nearly a year ago, but found that 2 pounds of it wasn’t enough, and had to pick up some more. I think I’ve got 3 1/2 lbs of it now, and am thinking of picking up another box.


Here’s how it looks all set up:


And up close, with a horse:


It fits my big guy too:


All in all the background was kind of a half-assed project BUT since it’s just a background and is likely to be blurred out anyway, I’m not too bothered with it. I’m pleased with how my photos are looking so far. Today, I made the time to get some fun pictures. You’ll have to pardon my mistakes the rider dolls… they’re not the greatest riders ever and are all in need of surgery and makeovers. πŸ˜›


Don’t mind me… just loping around the arena on the wrong lead… *facepalm*



Mini cones are from


Mounting blocks come in handy sometimes. Also, these junior riders mount from the right side of the horse because they do what they want. *second facepalm*



Success! Sort of!


Time to switch riders.


No mounting block needed for this girl…



And that’s why you always check your girth before you get on.


Hope you all have had a good weekend. πŸ™‚

18 thoughts on “Backdrop Building

  1. Wow, your backdrop is AWESOME. Thank you so much for sharing how you made it! I’m trying to work towards getting (back) into photo showing after a looooong pause. (starting from scratch at this point) It might take me 10 years to pull it off too. Your photos are awesome, especially the funny ones and the “facepalms”. I think having fun is what it’s all about – or what it SHOULD be all about and this was a FUN blog post to read, I hope it was as fun to do. πŸ™‚

  2. I love it! Gah, so good. I swear you manage to perfect everything you do second or first time! I really need to get some proper backdrops made, I still use the white sheet pinned to something method, lol! xD Fab pics (: I’d love to try something similar at some point, >~< but I love the pics :3 Cupid is such a cutie.

    1. Also, have you heard about UH (utterly horses)? They’re shutting down for good ): having a closing down sale and stuff. Poor UH. Copperfox is still running though. πŸ˜‰

      1. Yeah, it’s unfortunate. I’ve always heard good things about UH so seeing them shut down is sad. Hopefully this will mean bigger and better things though, we’ll see. πŸ™‚

    1. I didn’t save what I edited but I can easily make a new one. Would there be an interest in any other textures while I’m at it?

      1. Ooo! A wood panel would be nice too, if you don’t mind. My real arena is all wood so I was going to try to make one of those. I absolutely love this setup!!!

  3. I laughed right out loud. Everyone here at work looked at me funny. That last one of the slipped girth really got my funny bone. Thank you for making my night! Great blog on your set up, I am thoroughly impressed with your creative mind.

  4. Fantastic background! I keep meaning to upgrade my indoor to something similar – one daaaaay!
    I love the shots with Cupid – she looks like a typical long suffering schoolie, having to put up with too many kids. XD

  5. I had a great time building a backdrop. It was a great idea. The printable metal siding was so helpful. The idea of kinetic sand was cool, but so expensive.I found a helpful tutorial on how to make your own for less than half the price. I tried it and it worked great. here’s a link if you want to try it.

  6. Re: the facepalms:

    #1 – Counter-canter OR practicing flying lead changes.
    #2 – Junior riders are being taught to mount from the right side, as a well schooled horse and rider should be able to handle both.

    Things turn out best for those who make the best of how things turn out. ;o)

    You’ve got excellent results all the way around!

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