DIY Photo surface

Updated: Mar 7, 2019

As most photographers will tell you, we tend to be big into DIY! Maybe its because photography is such an expensive endeavor and there is a need to be frugal whenever possible, or maybe its because we are creatives at heart and just love an excuse to make something. Today's post is about one of my favorite photo surfaces. This project was done for $0 dollars with just what we had laying around in the yard and the tool shed and several manhours and woman hours.

It started out as a fence. Jim has been replacing our backyard fence in sections at a time.

The finished wood surface

The old 6 foot long boards were stacked in the back yard. Since they had been out in the elements, they were damp and needed to be dried out. I brought four of the boards into the garage for several days so they could dry out. I then asked Jim to cut them in 1/2. Now I had eight 3- foot boards, but they were covered in that green algae that comes from years of exposure to moisture.

Before Sanding

So we (and by we, I mean Jim with me watching) set up some saw horses and clamped the wood to them so they could be sanded. I used Jim's belt sander to sand the boards on all sides. (Yes I really did do all the sanding!) I highly recommend using a face mask or respirator and eye protection while sanding. (you can get these from your local hardware store). I wear eye glasses, but I did not wear a face mask, and probably breathed in more wood dust that I should have.

Once the boards were all sanded, my plan was to paint them or stain them, but I loved the ruggedness of the wood and decided not to stain it.

After Sanding

I also had initially planned to join them together, but decided not to, this way I can stack as many or as few as I need. Here is a photo with the boards being used as a rugged surface.

And thats it. Everything used was what we already had on hand. I ate through about 3 pieces of sand paper and I burned a few calories sanding that wood down, but was very pleased with how they came out. The beer photo above was created by laying several of the boards on a small parson's table.

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