Quick tip: Why you need bricks covered with gaffer tape in your studio

Nov 19, 2018

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

Quick tip: Why you need bricks covered with gaffer tape in your studio

Nov 19, 2018

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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Studio photographers. They’re an odd bunch. And they don’t get much odder than multi award-winning photographer, Simon Ellingworth. Of course, I’m kidding, he’s a lovely guy. But he’s often asked why he has bricks in his studio covered in black gaffer tape. In this short video, he explains why.

To put it simply, bricks can be very handy in the studio. They’re heavy and can easily help to support things like foamcore panels, reflectors and other items when you just need to throw something down quickly and have it stand up unaided. They’re often a lot less hassle than setting up more stands and trying to deal with clamps.

But the problem with bricks is that they’re bricks. They often chip or throw off a lot of dust and they can very quickly dirty a white reflector or other parts of your set. And this is where the gaffer tape comes in. It helps to contain any dust to prevent it from polluting your scene. Using black tape also helps to prevent any funny red (or whatever colour your brick is) reflections from casting into your shot, too.

The idea can be scaled up to larger bricks, as well. Simon says he uses this same gaffer-tape-covering technique with breeze blocks (that’s cinder blocks, for the Americans) to support larger items.

So, if you’ve got a few bricks laying around, now you know how they can help you with your photography in the studio.

This and many more tips are included in Simon’s complete online on-demand course How to setup a Home Photographic Studio available at Trade Secrets Live.

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John Aldred

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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2 responses to “Quick tip: Why you need bricks covered with gaffer tape in your studio”

  1. Bjarne Avatar
    Bjarne

    I am on the floor laughing – Professional Photographer that cuts his feet of in the video – Love it <3

  2. John Andrew Avatar
    John Andrew

    I’ve been doing this for years. Old college trick.