September 22, 2011

Photo 1. Gatorfoam, the brand name of gatorboard, is lightweight and comes in white or black finishes.

Somewhere along my journey as a professional photographer I was introduced to gator-board, which goes by the brand name Gatorfoam. If you call up your local art supply store or do a web search for gatorboard, you’ll come up with plenty of options to purchase some. Like the more traditional foam-core boards (brand name Fome-Cor), gator-board is available in white or black. The black gatorboard can be used as a gobo or to cut a “cookie” for still or video lighting. If you simply need a sturdy surface that it easy to cut to size, white gatorboard will probably do very well. (See Photo 1.)


Photo 2. Gatorboard is both durable and lightweight, and can be easily cut.

Gatorboard has a foam interior similar to foam-core boards, but the surface is actually made from wood pulp, making the board exceptionally strong. Gatorboard is a staple for framing and silk screening, but for photographers Gatorfoam and its easier-to-cut sibling Gatorlite offer an excellent solution for work surfaces and set surfaces, and they are lighter and easier to cut than plywood, and sturdier than matte board or foam core. (See Photo 2.)

Category: Studio Tools