Mylar in photo set up

Hi Charles and all, I am starting to do some photos for the
school. I am reading the Charles Lewton Brain’s Small scale
photography and I am wondering what is this Mylar textile and
where can I buy it. Or is there an alternative.

Vincent Guy Audette
in Qu=E9bec city
gaudette@videotron .com

Bonjour Guy,

Architectural mylar is a translucent plastic sheet which is
often sold in drafting supply stores and shops for graphic
designers. You can use tracing paper but there is more of a fire
hazard from the heat of the bulb and there may be effects on the
color of the light (and thus color temperature and color of the
resulting slides). White ripstop nylon from a climbing store will
work but it cuts down more on the light passing through it than
the architectural mylar. hope that helps. J’ai un ami en
Quebec, Gaetan Gosselin. Perhpas you know him? Charles

Charles Lewton-Brain/Brain Press
Box 1624, Ste M, Calgary, Alberta, T2P 2L7, Canada
Tel: 403-263-3955 Fax: 403-283-9053 Email: @Charles_Lewton-Brain

Metals info download web site:
Book and Video descriptions:
Gallery page at:

Mylar is usually used not as a textile (g) but as a plastic
sheet. It’s colorless, and available in art supply stores as a
drafting (technical drawing) paper/film. Usually, one uses the
frosted mylar sheet, which is translucent, rather than clear and
transparent. You can get it frosted one side, or both. I like
the frosted both sides better. Some stores may not have the
mylar sheet, but will have a frosted acetate sheet instead. It
works about the same (though is not quite a durable). Buy more
than one sheet. If you are using it as a backdrop in the actual
image, a key aspect of the mylar is that when it’s clean, there
is NOTHING to see in the image. Lint, fingerprints, dirt, etc,
conflict with that effect, so the idea is to use only very clean,
pristene mylar/acetate in creating those background diffused
effects. With normal care, you still won’t get those sheets to
last very long before they need to be replaced. So buy at least
several sheets at a time.

Peter Rowe

In case you were wondering, the clear, transparent Mylar is
mostly used for overhead projection transparencies - you know,
you put a sheet on the projector and write on it whilst you talk
to the class. That’s where They got called ‘acetates’ which they
(mostly) aren’t. Or you can photocopy onto them, producing very
professional-looking drawings, diagrams, etc, Or you can do all
sorts of other things which you want a fair-sized audience to
see easily. When I ran a Teaching Aids Facility at a
University, I used to project chemical demonstrations to classes
of 300. Some computer printers will print beautifully directly
on Mylar. What’s the difference between Mylar and acetate?
Well, softening point for a start. Cellulose acetate softens
easily in hot water; Mylar doesn’t and it doesn’t scratch so
easily either, as it is quite a bit harder. If you try putting
acetate sheets in your friend’s photocopier, they won’t love you
as they’ll finish up with an incredible sticky mess inside the
copier’s works. I also use it for taping in front of a
facemask- it’s a whole lot cheaper than having to buy a new face
shield as you replace it for a few cents when it gets messy.

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At sunny Nelson NZ