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Use Perforated Hardboard as a Backdrop for Epic Portraits with Beams of Light


Here’s a fun photo idea you might want to try out this Halloween: shoot epic portraits showing beams of light streaming in from the background. All you need are a perforated hardboard, a couple of flashes, and a fog/smoke machine (or some method of generating smoke).

The idea was sent in by photographer Nick Fancher, who tells us,

I have a couple large sheets of perforated hardboard that I picked up at the hardware store. I’ve been experimenting with how to modify light with them. The most effective way I’ve found is backlighting a subject with it. Then today I had the thought of adding smoke from a smoke machine. This would turn the pins of light into a radial of light shafts. I couldn’t wait for my next shoot to try it out so I thought my sons Halloween costume would work just as well. He wouldn’t stop staring at the main light, which turned into a happy accident as it gave him that heroic superman gaze.

The photo he shot is shown above. Here’s the lighting diagram:

Fancher says that for best results, you should have your rear flash three or four stops brighter than the main flash.