It’s all about Light, and dark
Photography is all about light, right?
But, what about the dark?…
Sometimes, when I’m taking photos in my studio, I want to have total control of the light.
This means, NO extraneous light coming in from the North-facing window in the studio.
Well, looking online for room-darkening blinds and shades reveals a lot of options. What with the popularity of home-theaters right now, you have a big selection of shades, including motorized gizmos that you can control right at your fingertips!
Obviously, the more complex the shade, the more it’ll cost you to buy and install. Prices start (for the most basic “pull-shade” types) at about $75 for my 45″ x 45″ window and go up (considerably) from there.
So, what’s a person to do?
Many of these solutions seemed like overkill with wiring, channels and tracks to install and align (the better to seal every last bit of stray light), overkill, at least, for what I needed.
I simply needed a way to quickly block the incoming light from my window so I can control all the light in the room (including intensity, direction and color-temp).
My only other option was to only shoot after the sun set, limiting my shooting time.
Well, Elmer the Cow to the rescue!
I went to Joann’s fabrics and found the Elmers Display Board (remember the ones from your Science-projects?).
Singly, at 36 high x 48″ wide it wasn’t an exact fit for my window, so I bought 2 and taped the second one to the bottom of the first, making sure to align the scores where the cardbord is meant to fold.
Then it was merely a matter of trimming it to fit (a slight interference fit) on the inside of my window pane and “Voila!” as the Russians say, no more light!
I bought the corrugated version (they also make a foam-core one) and at about $3.50 each, it was a cost effective (if not “sexy”) solution.
It’s thin (which is why I passed on the foam-core version), lightweight (interference is enough to block the light and keep it in place) and folds nicely for storage when I’m done.
I also bought it in dark-blue (they didn’t have the balck ones in stock) to keep reflected light down, which could be an issue with a lighter color or white.
Now I can shoot all day like it’s night and no one (except you) will be the wiser.