Use cardboard to make the $0 2-in-1 backdrop and gobo
Are you in search of festive, sparkly backdrops? And you have some cardboard lying around from a bunch of Christmas gifts you bought or packages you ordered? Well, here’s an idea. In this video from Adorama, Gavin Hoey shows how to create stunning photographic lighting effects with a humble piece of cardboard and a dash of creativity. He transforms this everyday material into a DIY gobo (or cookie) and a backdrop with a sparkly, festive glow.
With Chloe as his model, Gavin shows you examples of using a piece of cardboard in your photos. He crafts holes in the cardboard, and it becomes your latest photo prop. Sparkly bokeh background? Check! Dazzling points of light transformed into twinkling stars with a star filter? Yes, sir! You can even make your own star filter. You’ll need a light behind your cardboard background to get the little glowing dots in your image, of course. Other than portraits, you can use this setup for product photography, too. I also see it as a great backdrop for things like wedding rings.
Gavin also turns his backdrop into a gobo or cookie. He moves it to the side, and projects light directly through the cardboard, casting intricate patterns onto Chloe.
Of course, the video isn’t just a spectacle of cardboard wizardry. As always, Gavin guides you through every step of the process. He emphasizes the importance of adjusting distances, playing with lenses, and manipulating light sources to achieve the desired effects. Of course, there are also some examples in the video, so make sure to watch it.
So, go ahead and grab that spare cardboard box. You can also use it for a few other DIY photo projects. And if you need extra ideas for sparkly backdrops, check out these ideas with tinfoil and emergency blankets. I guess anything can be a photo prop if you’re creative enough.
Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.