May 11, 2017

Watch: 5 Ways You Can Put Foam Board to Work on Your Film Set

Find out how to utilize this versatile light modifier in several different ways.

Foam board, poster board, foam core—whatever you like to call it—is such a great tool to have in your lighting kit. Not only can you pick them up just about anywhere for a few dollars (at most), but you can also use them for a wide range of tasks when lighting a scene. In this video from the ever-informative Caleb Pike of DSLR Video Shooter, you get to learn five different ways you can put foam board to work on your film set.

Foam board (I call it poster board) is something I always have on hand when shooting a project. It's light enough to be flown/mounted anywhere, can cut it down to the size you need relatively simply, and can be picked up at any store that has a craft section for about $1 to $5 depending on its size and weight.

As Pike says in the video, this stuff can be used as a:

  • Fill: Easily add a little light to one side of your subject's face.
  • Bounce: Don't add another light. Try bouncing light using foam board.
  • Flag: If your foam board has a black side, you can use it to swallow up and block any light you don't want on your subject or background. 
  • Background: Foam board makes a great solid white (or any color, really) background for product shots.
  • Cookie: Because foam board is so easily modifiable, you can use them as cookies to produce interesting lighting effects.

What are some other ways you utilize foam board? (I've been known to use them as giant fans and shades while roasting away on a hot shoot.) Let us know in the comments below.      

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