One of the easiest and most cost effective ways to produce multiple backgrounds from a single light source is to use photo gels. These handy little pieces of transparency can take a white backdrop from white to any color backdrop you can imagine.
Take it one step further and run a color transparency through your handy printer and you can get patterned backdrops. Ebay is definitely your friend on this one. I've listed a few of the better deals out there below:
If you're new to the radio trigger systems of photography, but are interested in learning more about them I would highly recommend checking out www.radiopopper.com. These nifty triggers allow you to use flashes off camera and at great distances. The radio popper system is roughly the same price as the Pocket Wizards are, but the company will be coming out with the Radio Popper Jr. From what I've read so far they are looking to be priced around 100$ for a trigger and receiver which would be a super price point. Until those are released though there are a lot of different options available that you could try out. I've listed some of them below for easy reference.
Winter Photography can be brutal on the photographer but it can also produce fantastic images!
1) Bring lots of warm liquids and clothing with you. This is probably the most important tip on this list. If you are concentrating on being warm the whole time you will miss whatever it is you are attempting to photograph. One of the best ways to accomplish this is to have a photographers backpack that has a side strap on it which conveniently works for a tripod, thermos or both. Having a warm soup or coffee with you while outside on a winter photography session is a huge bonus, and will enable you to have a longer, more productive winter photography session.
2) Lots of extra batteries if you have them. The cold will sap your batteries longevity much more so then you realize. Battery life is half what it normally will be depending on your brand of battery. The canon battery packs I have worked with all seem to hate the really cold weather and give perhaps 50% of their normal battery life for a canon slr camera.
3) Bring an assistant if you are shooting a model outside for winter photography. If you are fortunate enough to have a model that is up for an adventure outside in the winter time you're in for a challenge, and some great photography. One of the best ways to facilitate an outdoor shoot during the winter is to have an assistant with you, or at least another set of hands. The biggest issue is keeping the model warm during shoot down time. Have your assistant at the ready with warm clothing and warm liquids that the model can access very quickly when the need arises. The last thing you want is a freezing model!
4) Let you camera warm up or down to the temperature you will be shooting at. One of the easiest ways to get lens condensation is to have your camera out in a warm car then step directly outside into freezing cold winter air. Trust me, you do not want to get condensation inside your lenses or camera. Take the time to allow your equipment to adjust slowly from its original temperature to the shooting temperature of the winter photo session.
5) Don't be afraid to get into snow. Its cold and wet, but it makes awesome photos. Most snow storms aren't the first place people want to be out in, but nature will provide you with an abundance of unique and beautiful photographs if you brave the weather. Walking is the best way to experience a snowstorm, or snow shoes if you have them. Get out in the storm and shoot while the snow is falling. I've found using a wide angle lens and getting close up on objects can produce a wonderful affect when combined with snow in winter photography.