Light Traveling With A Bass Case
It's amazing how a new gear bag can brighten up your day. And my new bag is certainly doing wonders for my mood.
Up until recently, I had two modes of operation: Light - in which I traveled with my Bazooka kit - Westcott shoot through umbrella and mini lightstand bunjeed together and held with an M16 strap and Loaded - where I used an old trade-show-stand-bag for an additional stand and umbrella, my softlighter II, and my Apollo box.
It was OK for lagging stuff around, but not very comfy when it comes to packing and unpacking - there was only a top opening, which made it hard to grab the right modifier or to place everything back in.
On my last session with Tomer Jacobson I picked up his little trick. He uses a bass guitar case for lagging his lighting stuff around. I got one today for 35 USD (it was listed 40, but when the store person heard that I'll be using it for lighting gear, he took 5 dollars off. cool!).
Just before my rumble about the bag, I'd love to hear what you're using to carry your light stuff. Share it in the comments.
Why a Guitar Case?
For several reasons. First, it is long which allows plenty of space for light stands, long umbrellas, lengthy softboxes rods and the ubersized Apollo big mama. (I don't have one, but Tomer lags his in the case).
Second, the good cases have lots of carrying options. Think about it for a sec. Whoever is hauling a fender bass is facing the same problems as the photographer who is carrying stands and modifiers. They need to move a long shaped object over a distance; insert and remove stuff from the bag and move it just from here to there.
So the bag that I am now using has three holding points: two straps for backpacking. a side handle for moving it "around the room" and another handle on the front, not really sure why.
Inside the bag, the bass should not move, so there are Velcroes on top (for the bass neck) and a pocket on the bottom. Just perfect to keep the stands from moving and making obnoxious sounds.
Last thing about the case is that it has lots of pouches and pockets on the outside. Only instead of picks and Capo they can hold snoots, grids, swivels, nasty clamps, Gels Gaffertape and all those other goodies.
Why Bass? since bass is a little bit longer than regular guitars and will give you those precious inches which can make all the difference between fitting and not fitting a light stand in the case.
My New Setup
Here is the case open. This is what I have inside:
- Stands: 2 Manfrotto 5001B 74-Inch Nano Stands
- Umbrellas: 2 Westcott 43" Collapsible White Umbrellas
- Soft light: Photex 46" Softlighter II and Westcott Apollo 28 x 28" Softbox
- Hard Light: cardboard snoot, Saxon PC Grid, Gel book.
- Support: NastyClamp, Double Flash Bracket, Swivels, Gaffer.
How are you carrying your lighting gear?