V flats

Ok, I actually started this post about 3 weeks ago, but I have been super busy with with finishing up school so a had to put things on hold for a little bit. There has been a whole lot of talk on the internet about solutions for correcting light spill and flairs in the studio. This is the sort of thing that you never really worry about when you are using speedlights, and the solution there is a quick piece of cinefoil or cardboard taped to the flash it self, no big deal. The real problem is when you start using big lights or halogen video lights, tape and cardboard is not only no longer effective, it's not safe. On the video side of things there are a multitude of different light control products available, but the tend to be SPENDY when you start adding them up. The photographer's solution has long been something called V flats or foam core cutters. Scott Kelby's blog has a nice little post about them HERE. The only problem with constructing them out of the standard foam core is that it is cost prohibitive to have shipped, so if you can't pick it up locally you are out of luck.

My solution was to use bi fold closet doors that I picked up second had at a used building material store, cheap, sturdy and very effective. They are super easy to build and you only need a few basic tools. I wound do a step by step here, because you probably can figure it out fairly easily, but I tried to include a lot of pictures for you visual learners.

A lot of the stuff that I have build/converted in the past was only economical if you already had the tools. This is not one of those projects, technically you only need a paintbrush and some paint. I took the hinges off before painting so I used a drill but a screwdriver would work just fine. The doors that I bought had metal pins in the ends to mount on a track, so I used a pliers as well. I already had the necessary paint leftover from a previous project, but I bought the cheapest interior that I could find, about $10 perĀ  gallon if I remember correctly. You probably won't find a color chip for black paint but just ask and any place that sells paint should be able to mix some up for you. The white is easy, just go with a "high hide" pure white. Some landfills even safe old paint that people dump and give it away free, worth checking out.