The complexities of working on a set are all at once challenging and invigorating when first learning the equipment. The lighting setups eventually become second nature and deliver tried and true results, but all too often the excitement can wane and those setups that once enticed us to keep exploring and creating something new lose their sparkle and become dull.
One of the best ways to reignite that passion and/or overcome a creative block is by delving into something new; whether it be a new piece of equipment, a new setup or a new process altogether. Clinton Lubbe with DPHOG suggests adding several hollow core doors to the array of studio props.
Hollow core doors are relatively inexpensive and can be picked up at a local hardware store for about $35. Doors are easily balanced against a ladder to stand up tall and take up minimal storage space when not in use. They can be utilized as a V-flat by painting one side white and the other black, however, their functionality extends far beyond merely bouncing or absorbing light. The doors can be staggered, angled or placed together to create a traditional corner or “V”. Simply adding one door changes the perspective of a traditional lifestyle space.
Strategic placement of the doors adds depth and dimension to a one dimensional set, therefore some of the traditional single light studio setups fail to properly light the scene and a second light is required. There is a learning curve in regard to seeing how the light funnels through the doors and falls upon the subject.
In this video, Clinton demonstrates a number of different placements of the doors in relation to the key and fill lights and the subject, adding an element of intrigue to an otherwise monochromatic scene. Additionally, they can be painted any color and can be paired with other props to create innovative set designs.
Playing around with these new props facilitates a fun learning environment and inspires photographers to get creative, which usually opens up a new wave of ideas and delivers unexpected results.