Gear the Pros Use: Gaffers Tape

by Eric Von Lehmden | October 3, 2012

Even when professional photographers are given most of the information about the shoot, mostly the situation is rarely as it was described. There are always some adjustments required on the set and for this it is important for them to tag along a professional arsenal. One important item is the Gaffer’s tape; regardless you use it for marking where the model stands, tying up the cables or fixing the flash onto a wall.

photo equipment, photo gear, photo shoot, digital photography

Gaffer’s tape might just look like duct tape but is actually the MacGyver of the world of digital photography. For professional photographers, Gaffer’s tape is a savior that helps them out from a photographic quagmire. It comes in a variety of colors such as black, grey, white, pink, orange, yellow and green and sizes up to 2-inch thick rolls. With greater flexibility than duct tape, it can be easily molded and does not leave any sticky residue behind. It is quick fix for many problems because it is both tough and heat resistant, can adhere to a wide variety of surfaces and it comes off without any of that nasty sticky residue.

Here are the MacGyver uses for Gaffer’s tape:

  • Taping Loose Wires

Any extension cords or cables should be tied up to prevent anyone from tripping off them and filing a lawsuit. Gaffer’s tape can be used for taping down the wires!

  • Wrapping The Camera

Gaffer’s tape can also be used to protect cameras from bumps and lens from scratches. Sometimes light leaks occur in cameras that can be sealed. If you want to have a good grip on your camera, you can put on some Gaffer’s tape on the non-rubber areas. For stealth purposes, you can cover up camera’s brand names with Gaffer’s tape!

  • Use As Place Markers

Gaffer’s tape can serve as great place markers. Bright colored versions can serve as colored codes for the placement of various items such as lights and also models. You can even label items by first putting on some Gaffer’s tape and writing on them.

  • Make Sunshades For An LCD Screen

Gaffer’s tape can be used for making the LCD screen visible to strong sunlight.

  • Make Light Grids

To control light, grids can be made by Gaffer’s tape to prevent spillage and reflected light all over the place.

photo equipment, photo gear, photo shoot, digital photography

 

  • Hang Backdrops

Professional photographers shoot subjects in front of different colors and textures. You can even hang backdrops with the help Gaffer’s tape for portrait sessions.

  • Prevent Settings From Being Disturbed

When storing cameras, the settings can be changed by bumps. Secure the settings with some Gaffer’s tape so that you can take out the camera and click instantly.

  • Marking your Gear

Gaffer’s tape is one way you can avoid mixing up your expensive camera equipment with that of others.

  • Light proofing a Room

Put Gaffer’s tape around the door to prevent light from coming in and spoiling the image.

Therefore, Gaffer’s tape is MacGyver for any professional engaged in digital photography with its plethora of uses.

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Tips-n-Tricks #259

If you have a favorite photo that is in a JPG format, save a version of it as a .TIFF file as well. If you open a JPG file over and over again you can start to degrade the file. By saving a .TIFF version you don't have to worry about losing quality in the image.


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