The Fill Card Tutorial

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This tutorial is about fill cards and why photographers use them. It starts off be explaining the differences between how the human eye works and sees thing versus how a len’s aperture works and how the camera sees things. It goes on to illustrate how the placement of a single fill card can alter the look of a resulting image when a fill card is used. Next, it describes a way to construct a simple fixture that will allow photographers to position a fill card exactly where they want it quickly and easily. With that out of the way, offers three specific and different ways to use fill cards. These include changing a fill card to a primary light source that drastically affects the catch lights reflected in the subject, surrounding a subject with fill cards, and finally how not using a fill card, changing the color of a fill card, reflecting a light source in a subject, compared to using a more traditional fill card affect how that subject is rendered in the final image.

Tutorial Supplies Checklist

  • Showcards
    Due to the fragile nature of most showcards a 5 card minimum (mix and match allowed) is required when ordering for Shipping. This ensures that your cards can be packed adequately and make it to your location in the best shape possible. For local pick up or delivery any quantity is accepted.

    Foamcore
    Due to the fragile nature of most showcards a 5 card minimum (mix and match allowed) is required when ordering for Shipping. This ensures that your cards can be packed adequately and make it to your location in the best shape possible. For local pick up or delivery any quantity is accepted.

    Armature Wire
    This economical aluminum wire is light weight and fully pliable for making large size sculptural armatures. Non-staining and non-corrosive.

    Gaffers Tape
    All of our professional gaffer tape comes from Shuretape formerly known as Permacel.

    Rosco Tough Lux Diffusion
    A dense diffuser that creates an even field of soft, "shadowless" light. Excellent for combining multiple lighting fixtures into a single, large area source. Tough, heat resistant base.

    SETPAPER 53" Wide
    Every great photograph deserves Setpaper, Acid Free. Available in 50 colors, these rolls are 53" wide by 36 feet long. Sold by the full roll only with no core.

    Manfrotto Light Stand
    A workhorse 6ft. light stand at an unbeatable price! Compact, light weight and tough – the basic stand features impact resistant ABS plastic locking collars and castings, with aluminum risers and leg braces.

    Fun Tack
    Fun Tack is not a wax, but this man-made nontoxic putty-like material behaves a lot like wax. It does not melt or leave any waxy residue and it can be reused over and over again. Great for modeling and model making. This is the real Blue Tak by DAP not the imitation (Also sold in a box of 12)

    A Clamps
    Classic metal "A" clamps with orange grips.

    Manfrotto Clips
    Great for creating quick flexible joints on showcards or foamcore.

    X-ACTO Gripster Knife
    The X-ACTO Gripster Soft Grip knife is the precision knife for those who are looking for the epitome in comfort. Hobbyists and graphics artists who spend hours at a time with their work need two things they can count on: comfort and precision. This cutting and trimming tool maximizes both of these features. It's the same engineering that has allowed the X-ACTO precision knife set to make precision cuts and trims consistently and with confidence for more than 50 years.

Steve Sint

Digital Still Life Photography: Art, Business, and Style

Steve Sint has spent a great deal of his life walking down aisles backwards. Over a 40 year career, he has photographed over 4,000 weddings, taken over 2 million photographs, and shot over 1 million portraits for his own studio and others in the New York metropolitan area. As a commercial photographer he has photographed thousands of executives and still life subjects. His client list includes, or has included, the American Broadcasting Company, Time Inc., Hearst Publications, Yves St. Laurent, AT&T, NCR, National Semiconductor, Miller Freeman Publishing, MacGroupUS, and Hachette-Filipacchi Magazines. His photographs have appeared on the covers of over 60 national magazines including LIFE, Omni, Stereo Review, and Modern Photography.

As a columnist and contributor his words and photographs have also appeared in Studio Photography, Lens Magazine, Modern Photography, Popular Photography, View Camera Magazine, Railroad Model Craftsman, and he has authored 7 books on photography. In his most recently published book, Digital Wedding Photography: Art, Business, and Style, he shares his experience with his readers in the breezy, knowledgeable, and accessible style his writing is known for. At this point in his career he limits his assignments to 50 per year for a select New York clientele, photographs and writes about things he enjoys, and still finds time to lecture on professional photography, create and produce tutorial videos, conduct workshops on wedding, portrait, and still life photography, while still finding time to work on his model railroad.

His newest book, Digital Still Life Photography: Art, Business, and Style, was released in January 2013.