Monday, October 19, 2009

Sign of things to come?

Flickr buddy Dom inspired me to experiment with tile boards when he took a picture of his dog Ernie below:

What caught my eye was the reflective nature of the surface in front of Ernie which I subsequently discovered was a tile board that could be had at Home Depot for $13 (now on sale for $11). After searching high and low at Home Depot, I finally found it (I can't even remember which department exactly only that it was closer to the doors and windows department than flooring). At 4'x8' I had to drive the Prius home with the hatch tied down. Fortunately the boards were flexible and I was able to cram them in the car.

Is it a sign of things to come? I hope so. A bear and a model are vastly different in size so we'll have to scale our light up in order to make this work. The beauty dish isn't going to get any bigger... only time will tell.

The challenges in using the tile board was getting making sure the "seams" didn't show when I lay the 2 pieces of 4'x8' tile board together. But it's nothing a gridded beauty dish can't handle with the controlled light and fast light falloff! Additionally the white background really wasn't a good color match with the tile. There was significant yellow in the background paper. The tile board also was lumpy and doesn't lay flat. I had to put lots of masking tape on it to make it sit flat.

Fortunately all those issues go away once when you blow out the background OR you let the light falloff so fast that the second 4'x8' is masked in darkness... then the background isn't so much of an issue!

On a side note, it's nice to work with a model that brings her own wardrobe and does her own makeup...

Camera info: D3/24-70mm f/2.8G at 70mm, 1/200th, f/4.5, ISO200

Strobist info: Single AB800 in 22" beauty dish with 40 degree grid from camera upper left

Model/wardrobe: Bear

Makeup: Bear

Here's the lighting setup complete with notes... wow, it's been a while since I've done one of these! I know you guys like these too, but it's just not a top priority when I'm shooting (I always forget!).


  1. Glad to share some information, and eager to see some of your work with this new 'investment'

    thanks Charles,


  2. for $11 each and then $50 for the background paper, it isn't bad considering lighting can be really expensive!