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5 Handy Lighting Techniques using Foam Board


In this short-but-useful tutorial from DSLR Video Shooter, Caleb Pike runs you through 5 video and photography uses for simple foam board. Get out a pen and a pad, this photo DIY 101.

Foam board (or Foamcore) can be found online or in dollar stores on the cheap. Caleb recommends picking up the 20X30 sheets in black and white to get the most use from them. Speaking of which, he then goes on to explain 5 handy uses for the material:

1. Fill Light

White foam board can be used as a reflector to bounce light back on to your subject and fill in shadows. Simply position it opposite the light source until it reflects light back on to the subject.

2. Bounce Source

Another use for your white foam board is to use it as a bounce source. For this technique, position your lights so they bounce directly off the foam and on to your subject. This creates a nice, soft light.

3. Flag

The black foam board can be used as a flag. A flag (or cutter) is used to cut or completely block light from falling onto part of the frame. Very useful for product photography and beyond.

4. Backgrounds

Either color foam board can be mounted behind the subject in a scene in order to produce a nice, flat background. For product photography, it can also be used below the product, providing a simple flat surface.

5. Cookies

The final method discussed is achieved by cutting shapes out of the foam board and projecting light through it in order to create background patterns or “cookies.” This is a creative way to add some interest to the background of a shoot.

Take a look at the video up top for Caleb’s walkthrough, and be sure to check out the DSLR Video Shooter channel on YouTube for more handy tips and tricks. We’ve featured several of his more helpful creations on PetaPixel in the past.