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.
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.
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
A Diy HoneyComb
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.
Normally for food photography I shoot the dish in a textured background and a clean white background.
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.
Just a couple of things that you can do with a simple piece of board….