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FORUMS General Gear Talk Flash and Studio Lighting
Thread started 12 Feb 2009 (Thursday) 13:14
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What color should you paint your studio walls

 
mattograph
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I am talking about a small studio (10 x 16). I requested 18% gray, but our art director specified black.

What do you think?

Feb 12, 2009 13:14

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XterraJohn
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I went with medium-gray, but black is probably better. That way, you don't have to worry about light bouncing from unwanted places so much.

Feb 12, 2009 14:10



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mattograph
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Good point. The room is being used for product photography, a product that features lots of detailed chrome. My thinking was, that by filling the family of angles with all that black, we are eating detail that we will have to light back, and adding that light means wrestling with specular highlights. I would rather fill the reflections with the medium gray and hold the detail, and then flag where necessary -- since its tabletop product, its fairly easy to do that.

Besides, I hate caves :)!

Feb 12, 2009 14:14

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m3rdpwr
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The biggest complaint I've heard about an all black room is it can sometimes make it look too dark and dreary for your subjects.

But if you are doing product shots, I don't know...

-Mario

Feb 12, 2009 14:14

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Wilt
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If you shoot people, black is depressing to your subjects (and you). If you shoot products, black permits better lighitng control in small spaces.

Feb 12, 2009 14:15

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TooManyHobbies
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My fine art / editorial fashion home studio is about 18% gray with a light grey ceiling, but if I had to do it over again which I may be doing I'd paint the main wall I shoot against dark grey. I think it would be more versatile for coloring with gels giving me good saturation. It's too easy to blow out the color with medium grey walls. I'd leave the other walls medium grey so the room is not so dreary plus it allows me to shoot against them, use them as a projection screen, etc.

Feb 12, 2009 15:57

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René ­ Damkot
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A few studio's I work have either one gray wall & 3 black walls, or more light walls and black curtains...

Feb 12, 2009 16:38

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bullet33912
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If you ever want to use gells, go with grey. It gells up very nicely.

Feb 12, 2009 16:40

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Yikes, another 18% gray wall thread.

To serve up a old answer.

Black walls and ceiling for purists

White walls and ceiling for pragmatists.

Grey walls for those that cannot make up their mind and think they can have it both ways.

If you have ever worked in a studio (or any room) that is painted all black, you will quickly want to purchase several miners lights and holstered flashlights.

The previous sentence may give a clue to my personal preference.

Enjoy! Lon

Feb 12, 2009 16:49

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Familiaphoto
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FlashZebra wrote in post #7313148external link
Yikes, another 18% gray wall thread.

To serve up a old answer.

Black walls and ceiling for purists

White walls and ceiling for pragmatists.

Grey walls for those that cannot make up their mind and think they can have it both ways.

If you have ever worked in a studio (or any room) that is painted all black, you will quickly want to purchase several miners lights and holstered flashlights.

The previous sentence may give a clue to my personal preference.

Enjoy! Lon


That's great Lon...I would probably be one of those Grey individuals. "Can't we all just love each other?"

Feb 12, 2009 16:54

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PCthug
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I used to have a cinema room, and painted all the walls and ceiling very dark blue.
It worked great as a cinema, but i also done my ironing in there too, and i couldnt see a thing, even in daylight with the lights on.

In hind site, i think paint it almost any colour that looks nice and bright (cream, magnolia etc), but have your studio at one end, covering the whole back wall with your background material, and the 2 joining walls with pull down roller blinds in black (or very dark colours). Do something similar with the ceiling too. That way, you can pull down the blinds to soak up light from bouncing around, or leave the blinds up to bounce light, or use the room as a room again.
Also, invest in a blackout blind for the window too.

Feb 12, 2009 18:21

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mattograph
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Well, it looks like its gonna work out this way. One wall black, the rest 18% grey. The biggest wall is black, so I guess we can call it a compromise! :)

Feb 12, 2009 19:38

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TooManyHobbies
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Another great thing about grey walls is that it is the best for blending in textures to make the wall a diffreent background. There are a lot of technical reasons for this and I'm not saying you can't do it with black or white walls, but it's not as versatile. Blending textures into a wall to change the background is much more realistic looking than background replacement to me, even with a green screen.

Feb 12, 2009 21:20

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FlashZebra
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PCthug wrote in post #7313723external link
I used to have a cinema room, and painted all the walls and ceiling very dark blue.
It worked great as a cinema, but i also done my ironing in there too, and i couldnt see a thing, even in daylight with the lights on.

"If you have ever worked in a studio (or any room) that is painted all black, you will quickly want to purchase several miners lights and holstered flashlights."

When as a human being, all the light you have to function in the room is absolute direct light, you will not be a happy human.

Drop a paper clip in a room pained all black and the only way you find the paper clip is if you point a light directly at the paper clip. Ordinary function becomes very tedious.

Enjoy! Lon

Feb 12, 2009 21:48

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roman_t
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i have medium gray walls and i use them as background.

Feb 12, 2009 22:14



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What color should you paint your studio walls
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