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.