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Old 21st of March 2007 (Wed)   #1
thekid24
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Default Black or white

Im about 80% done with converting the garage into a studio. Still got to bleach the floors and do some basic cleaning but other than that Im about set.

My dilema is what color should I paint the walls?

I know alot will say white and I understand the reasons behind that but what about black or a darker color?

The reason I ask that is because with white there will be alot of bounce, but with black I will be able to control the light more. Wisely placed reflectors will give the bounce I need.

Or how about white ceiling and black walls?

Id like to hear what color you have your studio walls.
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Old 21st of March 2007 (Wed)   #2
jothefish
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Default Re: Black or white

When I converted my garage into a studio the walls were white and the light bounced everywhere. It was like havign giant reflectors everywhere. I ended up painting it all black, walls and ceiling, and am in much better control of the light now and alot less frustrated. I have a couple of big peices of white foam board that I stand up when I need a big white wall.
You can always repaint it if you find you don't like it anyway...
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Old 21st of March 2007 (Wed)   #3
TMR Design
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Default Re: Black or white

I'm just completing my studio now. I painted my walls a flat gray that is as close as I could get to 18% gray as possible. It came out really good and now I'm working on other cosmetics. I have an 8 ft. matte white ceiling and parkay wood floor and I will probably get a dark area rug. White walls are not desirable because there is just too much reflection, especially in a smaller room. Black walls would certainly absorb the most light but who wants to work in a black room?
From all the research and recommendations I got I made the choice to go with middle gray and I'm glad I did. Most or all of the light returning into my shot is eliminated and the room still has an open warm feel to it. I didn't want anything industrial or that felt like a cave or dungeon.
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Old 21st of March 2007 (Wed)   #4
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Default Re: Black or white

Go to Lowes and check out American Tradition Polar Star 4005-1A.

It is basicly Whibal Card grey.

Word of warning to those painting rooms in thier home. If you have colored wall now and think you may ever bounce light off of them make sure you prime the walls with white several times. If you paint directly over the color you will get the underlying color casting into you shots. Flashes are powerfull enough for the light to penetrate the top coat and add a cast from the underlying paint.

Its kind of like the way a flash will penatrate Spandex material and actually show the skin undernieth.
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Old 21st of March 2007 (Wed)   #5
thekid24
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Default Re: Black or white

Ah yea I forgot about grey. Good idea. The garage walls are white so there is not going to be color bleed through.
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Old 21st of March 2007 (Wed)   #6
TMR Design
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Default Re: Black or white

The paint I used is Behr from Home Depot. It's called Gray Area and the number is 770F-4. I took my gray card with me and it looked to be a close match.
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Old 21st of March 2007 (Wed)   #7
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Default Re: Black or white

I couldnt go to Home Depot for my paint. the wife works for Lowes.
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Old 21st of March 2007 (Wed)   #8
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Default Re: Black or white

Ours were all black, except for the coved background which was sometimes painted 3 times a day.

http://www.stage3.com/webrootfolder/...tudioinfo.html
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Old 21st of March 2007 (Wed)   #9
PacAce
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Default Re: Black or white

If I were doing a studio where I could paint the walls, I would make it flat black. Having the walls painted a flat black would minimize the reflections off the walls to give you better control of the light that's actually falling on the subject (you won't have to worry too much about stray lights reflected off the walls.
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Old 21st of March 2007 (Wed)   #10
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Default Re: Black or white

Black walls are the theorist's studio.

But, you also have to deal with just being in there and having normal room lights allowing you to see things on the floor that you want to pick them up, etc. Or, read things from some diffused light not direct light (remember the black walls will suck up everything so almost all of the light you use to see anything will need to be direct light). You have to use the studio for more time than the instant you take that exposure. Black walls will make all that time a lot harder.

So, white walls are the pragmatist's studio.

Gray walls are for the indecisive's studio; a little bit of both; not enough of either.

Personally I go for white and drape the several black backdrops I have to control light reflections if necessary. Almost all of the time the bounced light is an upside and I do not need a miner's lamp to function. When it is not an upside, those several black backdrops loom.

Enjoy! Lon

Last edited by FlashZebra : 21st of March 2007 (Wed) at 23:00.
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Old 24th of March 2007 (Sat)   #11
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Default Re: Black or white

The photographer's studio for the advertising dept of a retail chain I used to work for had all black walls and floor. The only white and color was in the shooting area, as needed.
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Old 25th of March 2007 (Sun)   #12
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Default Re: Black or white

For reflective surfaced product shots, I'd say that black is the only way to go.
For portraits though, I can see advantages for white? Not least being that a little more light bounced around might help keep people from stumbling into things?
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Old 25th of March 2007 (Sun)   #13
wilvoeka
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Default Re: Black or white

When I was in school, the walls in the Commercial areas were black. The walls in the Portrait areas were lite Grey. For portrais you may want to bounce of the walls for fill, if they are black this will serve no purpose. Plus have a room that has some degree of light to it helps keep the pupils from getting HUGE.
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