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Wondering
Old 02-18-2006, 09:53 PM   #1 (permalink)
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I was in a new Lowe's this evening looking for stuff I can use in my studio. I got to the flooring section and saw some 9x12 precut sheets of vinyl flooring. There was a variety of patterns and styles, but I kept looking at the rolls that looked like wood flooring. Anyway, long story shot, I bought a roll of dark wood flooring and have been playing with it all evening to see how it photographs. I have seen lots of images on here of models laying on or standing on or sitting on or surrounded by hardwood floors and I really love the look. So, here's the question. Does everyone but me have hardwood floors in their studios or is everyone faking it like I plan to do? I saw some other patterns I like and will probably end up buying more rolls of this stuff and maybe some pieces of carpet for different looks. I would like more variety than the old painted cement floor.
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Re: Wondering
Old 02-18-2006, 10:35 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Don't know , I don't have a studio
But I bet if you leave it down ontop of the cement even when you use paper or fabrics , it will be appreciated by the models
insulating , cushioning, easier on the feet too !

Just need to keep it flat or taped down for safety
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word of recommendation
Old 02-19-2006, 12:37 AM   #3 (permalink)
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be sure to use a very shallow depth of field, so any sign or sight of the non seems of the fake wood floor are not seen. This also lessens the seem for the wall / floor meeting to each other. I am familiar with the flooring you are talking about, during college I worked at a Lowes.
Other cool things to look for. Bails of straw, broken chain link fencing for backgrounds, venetian blinds, broken windows sometimes sold for 10 bucks. Some of the prefab wall applications are neat. They are less than a 1/4 inch thick sold for 20 bucks for 4x 8 sheets, come in multiple colors applications etc. Scratch and dent bath tubs. In the building materials area there is metal corrugated roofing, fiberglass corrugated roofing. Not always a bad idea to have remnant carpet around to help slow down dirt etc getting onto the backdrops.
PVC piping in plumbing can be used to keep cables that sometimes get stepped on from being stepped on and to protect them. You can also make platforms if you know how with pvc. Its light, strong and cheap.

Clear sheets of plexiglass are a great way to get a shiny floor for models to stand on white or black seemless paper and it cleans up nice. Another cool backdrop is the painters cloth in paint, sometimes you can call painters for used cloth and do an even swop. Large sheets of burlap are pretty cool too, I usually get mine from a concrete supply store, cheaper and bigger. Long large rolls of mylar are fun too, the bounce light alot, its cheap and or it creates unusual backdrops.

Just my 2 cents.
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Re: word of recommendation
Old 02-19-2006, 02:41 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Where do you get the mylar sheets? I have been looking for them for a while and can only come across small sections.
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Mylar can be found
Old 02-19-2006, 11:25 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Mylar can be found at garden centers. It can also be found online, I did a google search and found this http://www.discount-hydro.com/mylar.asp

Mylar is used in the horticulture industry to bounce light so no light is lost back to plants when indoor lights are to be used. It is common to place the mylar on the walls, ceilings and floors for optimized light reflectiveness. As a word of caution I would not suggest purchasing large amounts of Mylar and glow lights at the same time. It causes red flags that you may be growing marijuana. Luckily the cops around here are more worried about Methamphetamine and for good reason.
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Re: Wondering
Old 02-19-2006, 12:14 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Over time, I have purchased several different colors/styles of laminated flooring like the Pergo brand. Depending on the manufacturer, each carton contains ~20 square feet of flooring. I've found that you need at least 2 cartons for shooting single subjects. That gives you approximately 5' x 8' of flooring. You will need 3 or 4 cartons to photograph a subject lying down on the floor.

The nice thing about laminated flooring is that it snaps together. When not in use, you can keep it in the carton it came in. The cartons take up less storage space than vinyl rolls. You also have the flexibility of changing your "floor" by purchasing different styles. You can lay it out on any existing floor, even carpet. It doesn't curl, is durable (at least it has been for me), and looks fantastic because it IS a wood product. The cartons are portable, so you can take them with you.

On the downside, laminate flooring is going to be more expensive than your vinyl product. Laminate flooring runs $1.00 - $5.00 a square foot, depending on the manufacturer. But it's a lot cheaper than actually installing wood floors in your studio, especially if you want a couple of different floor styles. You don't need the real expensive stuff. IIRC I think I averaged ~$140 for ~80 square feet. And though I said "portable" above, it's heavy. It is not fun lugging 4 or 5 cartons on location.

At the end of the day it gives me: the look of a real wood floor, the flexibility to change it out according to customer/client desires, and the ability to set it up and take it down on site.

-Chip
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