I was attending a workshop last year over at Light Photographic Workshops when Ben Willmore was teaching when I heard a great tip from him about gaffer’s tape. Prior to the class I never heard of the stuff, even though it is quite ubiquitous in the world of photography and even more so in the filming industry. Nevertheless, I’m glad I was introduced to it.
If you are not familiar with gaffer’s tape, it resembles duct tape in size and usefulness, only it is much easier to work with and in my opinion, far more handy for photographers for a few reasons.
First, unlike duct tape it doesn’t leave a sticky residue behind when you remove it, although it’s adhesive is very strong. Second, it is a cloth based tape instead of plastic which has several advantages – it tears with nice clean edges, it is matte black and non-reflective and it can be used in all sorts of lighting situations (making your own snoot, hold gels, etc…). Like duct tape, it is also “waterproof”. The only disadvantage that I can think of is that it is a bit more pricey than duct tape – some brands sell for upwards of $20 per roll.I like to keep a few spare feet of it in my bag at all times. Because I don’t want to carry the whole roll, I just make 2 foot strips and roll them onto my MTX container (as shown) and just peel some off when I need it. It is a lifesaver when you need it and so minimal when you don’t that it is a good idea to always carry some in your camera bag.
What uses have you found for it?