Things You Can Do With A Piece Of Illustration Board

I was a reading an article last week about clever ways to mount a foam board in a studio when I thought about sharing one cheap and simple piece of gear that is regularly a part of my shooting routine, especially with product photography – an illustration board.

illustrationboard-title

Normally I can get a 4×2 feet illustration board at about $2-$4 here in the Philippines, it comes in a black and has a white side which is perfect.

Actually, illustration boards are rated second most used items after Granite tiles. What makes them great (aside for the price) is that they are very cheap, disposable, and have many many uses. Here are a few ideas of what you can do with  illustration boards.

Flagging, reflecting and overall controlling light

This is one obvious use of the illustration board, you can use the white part to as reflector and the black part to flag your light. You can read more about flagging here.

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Creating diy’s

My very first DIY in photography was a ringlight, I used an illustration board to make the frame and used reflective tape and tracing paper for the other stuff. I have also made a softbox and a DIY honeycomb.

A ring flash

This is almost 6 years old and I’m not using this anymore.

This is almost 6 years old and I’m not using this anymore.

A Diy HoneyComb

Made out of illustration board and black straws

Made out of illustration board and black straws

 

For Backgrounds

I normally shoot product photography and food photography on site, so I always bring three or four pieces of big illustration board to use as my backdrops and backgrounds for the shoot. For this shot, we were shooting jewelry and for the background I used an illustration board.

Jewelry Shoot

Jewelry Shoot

The Setup shot for this shoot using illustration board as the background

The Setup shot for this shoot using illustration board as the background

Food Photography

Normally for food photography I shoot the dish in a textured background and a clean white background.

Food Photography

Food Photography

 

I used the illustration board as my tabletop. For the mainlight I placed my big mama at the back left of the dish, and used a softbox or a silver reflector on the opposite side to fill my shadows.

I used the illustration board as my tabletop. For the mainlight I placed the big mama at the back left of the dish, and you can use a softbox or a silver reflector on the opposite side to fill my shadows.

 

Just another example of using the illustration as a tabletop

Just another example of using the illustration as a tabletop

Black and White

I wanted to play around with my new watch and I wanted to use the 2 sides of the illustration board to shoot it, on black and on white.

On White

On White

 

For this shot I used the illustration board as my table top and also a background. I placed two softboxes left and right of my subject for the mainlight. A very simple but a very clean look.

For this shot I used the illustration board as my table top and also a background. I placed two softboxes left and right of my subject for the mainlight. A very simple but a very clean look.

 

On Black

On Black

 

For this shot I turned both illustration boards over to shoot on black. I had a softbox on the left of the subject and another one 45 degrees right of the subject. Then I used my diy honeycomb made out of illustration board and black straws and handheld my speedlight with the diyhoneycomb on top for the spotlight.

For this shot I turned both illustration boards over to shoot on black. I had a softbox on the left of the subject and another one 45 degrees right of the subject. Then I used my diy honeycomb made out of illustration board and black straws and handheld my speedlight with the diyhoneycomb on top for the spotlight.

Just a couple of things that you can do with a simple piece of board….

  • http://dslrvideostudio.com/ DSLR Video Studio

    Nice showcase of versatility for studio work and photographic composition shots.

  • CharlieSelf

    Some fine ideas. Thanks.