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studio color

Discussion in 'Studio Equipment and Lighting' started by P'Cola-Roy, May 7, 2007.

  1. i have begun building my garage studio and have a question. It will be 9.5x15ft. what color should i paint the walls/ceiling?

  2. DanWhite


    Jul 10, 2005
    Lansdale PA

    My new Studio has 2 shooting rooms, One is 25' x 35' and the second is 15' 6" X 18'. The larger of the 2 rooms I have painted flat white, while the smaller I have painted 18% grey.
  3. jfrancis


    May 8, 2005
    Orlando, FL
    I would paint it mid-grey or even matt black. I would want to totally control where the light goes.
  4. Thanks guys. Is there a way to specify 18% grey, or just go buy the walmart special flat paint?
  5. Flat Black... floor too.

  6. Woody, I plan to find a piece of remnant carpet to put in there instead of paint on the floor. I'll just look for black.
  7. That'll work, even dark gray... Just be sure it's a neutral color.
  8. DanWhite


    Jul 10, 2005
    Lansdale PA
    What I did was go into the local Lowes or Home depot with a Kodak grey card and asked them to match it. Also you might want to second think carpet. if you use seamless paper as a Backdrop it is a challenge to keep it from tearing on the carpet when people walk on it. Also I agree with Woody about black, and I did have my smaller room back for a while, But when I went int there to work it was depressing as hell. Loke a black hole.


  9. Several good points here Dan... I just assumed he was only going to be doing portraits so your point about carpet is valid.

    I have my studio in a spare room in my house and I painted it two shades of neutral gray which I had mixed from a gray card at Home Depot. I just couldn't bear the thought of having a black room in my house. Studio? That's fine but room in the house... I couldn't bring myself to that.
  10. DanWhite


    Jul 10, 2005
    Lansdale PA
    I had the room black for about 2 months, But it got to the point where we never shot in there it was just plain depressing. So I did the 18% Grey paint from Home depot and now I shoot in there all the time for my basic portrait work.

  11. Thanks Dan & Woody. I dont see myself using paper in the near future, so I'll stick with the carpet for now. As for the black hole... maybe I should go with grey, as my computer will end up in there. That means I'll be spending more time in there than just shooting.
  12. Ray, you could always use a lite color for the walls and then drop a black background over each wall just before shooting, to defray the gloominess Dan was speaking of - just a cheap shade-type or anything you could paint black maybe
  13. Tom Voegeli

    Tom Voegeli Guest

    I would NOT use carpeting. It's impossible or at least impractical to put seamless paper over, and not much better if you ever get a cloth background. Anything set on it will sink in, wrinkling or tearing your background. Then there is the dust and fibers. I would epoxy paint the floor gray.

    I would NOT paint the room black. Nearly every studio I've worked in had at some point tried to make - or started out with - the studio black. Eventually, they were lightened up when remodeled or repainted. I find all-black studios are depressing, and they look smaller than they really are, unless the studio is huge (in which case the walls are so far away - it doen's matter anyway. It takes a lot of ambient light to make a dark studio feel comfortable. Most of your time spent in a studio is used in setting up, taking down, rearranging, or cleaning equipment. Make it comfortable to work in, or you won't want to enter. Light is our friend.

    The most comfortable studios I've worked in had gray or light gray painted floors, high white flat ceilings, with most walls white or light gray. Often, one wall would be painted 18% gray, or with a mottled gray for portaits.

    However, in practical terms, I don't think it ever made a lick of difference what the walls were painted as far as the final images were concerned - except when shooting shiny cars. After most photographers have the walls painted their "dream studio" colors, they cover them up with ladders, light stands, sheets of card board, cables on hooks, framed art, cabinets, computer monitors, desks, cabinets and shelving units, etc. Then, to block all those things from showing up in reflections, the photographer uses a large sheet of white foam board anyway. So much for needing black walls.

    Usually the lighting on the set so overpowers off-set reflected light, it becomes a non-issue. My studio walls are about 80% covered with miscellaneous stuff, and it never matters. Well - once some stuff showed up in a model's sunglasses, myself included. I had to retouch it anyway, regardless of the wall color.
  14. The original poster mentioned that his studio would be 9.5 x 15 feet. A space that small will generate a lot of reflected light that will pollute the color if the walls are not neutral and cause an excessive amount of uncontrolled fill.

    It depends on the size of the studio and I can assure you that a space this small comes with it's unique issues. I went from a large studio to a spare room and my experience is what drives my advice.
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