Hello Jim Fitzgerald,

Seems that a more current trend with some high end interiors shooters is to only use available light. One way to help that situation is what Roger suggested using foam sheets. However, to avoid the crumbs you could substitute art board instead. To get even more light, you need a shiny material, but with a surface that scatters the light a bit; what I do is get a large roll of aluminum foil, wrinkle it slightly, and wrap it around the art board.

The suggestion about Polaroid tests is one thing that will help you a great deal. Even if you are shooting in colour for your final film shots, you can proof and check with a B/W Polaroid film (or Fuji instant B/W film). The room and space will not need to be bright, just relatively even lighting.

A simple flash/strobe technique I sometimes use involves a wired Nikon Speedlight, and another one or two slaved Speedlights positioned to knockdown any harsh shadows or too dark spots. Keeping them on very low power settings, checked with my Sekonic, then a Polaroid shot or three. Position those in relationship to the art boards, either using the foil covered side, a grey board, or the white side as needed. Collapsible reflectors are another choice, especially those nice large five in one oblong ones.

Usually I would recommend using a film in which you have prior experience. It can be tough to go cold to a shoot with a film you have not previously used. However, if you want to try something different maybe a Tungsten film would be an interesting choice. If you have any flourescant lighting, or strange heating type of bathroom lamps, you might just want to leave them off, if possible.

Without knowing and seeing the various surface colours, it is tough for me to recommend anything more specific. It is good to be prepared for many different interiors, so the more versatile your gear the smoother it should go. Don't get in a hurry, be sure you and the gear don't throw a shadow nor a reflection into the final images. Best of luck.


Gordon Moat
A G Studio