Getting Creative With A Master Clamp — Are They The Ultimate Multipurpose Photographers Tool?

master-grip
For about $35, you can purchase a Tether Tools Master Clamp (or a Manfrotto Super Clamp) a multi-purpose gear holder that can be attached to just about anything thanks to it’s incredibly versatile design. The aptly named Master Clamp is the perfect tool to call on when you’re in a bind (or not) and need to figure out a way to rig a difficult or complex  setup, as most photographers and videographers inevitably will. This Clamp, under different brands, has already made a name for itself as a must have item in a lot of professionals gear bags and with good reason–you can use them for a lot of different things.
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Light Tents

tent light standPhotographer Peter Karlsson has it all worked out when it comes to travel light. Peter is a Strobist at heart and as such he is using small flashes quite a bit. The coolness comes in when you see how he places his flashes in space.

Instead of your orthodox light stand solution Peter uses a home brewed light stand made of tent poles. Those are great for travel for several reasons: There are super light-weight, they fold small and they will definitely make your subject go WOW! Luckily for photographers wold wide there are two vids available that shows how those light stands were made. [Read more...]

Balance Your Light Stand On Tough Terrains

Balance Your Light Stand On Tough TerrainsPhotographer Reuben Krabbe, whom you may remember from the landscape bicycle portraits hack, had his flash pull an untethered bungee jump during a session in the mountains. So Reuben came up with a great idea to balance a lightstand on uneven terrains. That figures with all those mountain bicycle trips.

Being the nice chap that he is, Reuben put a video together to explain how it works. Video and some thoughts after the jump.

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Nasty Lil’ Lighting Thing

NastyClampIt is always nice to see a good DIY project turn into a product. It is even better to see a nasty DIY project turn into a product.

This is just what happened with Matthew G. Monroe’s Clamp-It-Anywhere Project A.K.A Nasty Clamps.

In fact he has so many requests to just-make0one-for-me from other photographers that he upgraded the CIY to a full professional grade product. In fact, big part of the production chain is located in Oregon, just near Matt’s house, and the rest of it is done right at Matt’s Garage. Talk about home grown business.

This is why I was so happy to give them Nasty Clamps a go. And they are nasty indeed (in a good way). Read on for the full review.

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The Strobist Corner: Protect Your Strobe With A Frisbee

Free-Style by Iguana JoEver had your light stand taken down along with your precious 5000$ Profoto? Not a fun experience.

Next runner up on the not-so-fun light stands falls is a knocked-down speedlite. While the cost of speedlites is considerably less than the cost of a Profoto, if this is all you have it can still be pretty annoying. Especially if you’re on the beach where it’s sandy. 

Keep reading for a cheap and ingenious solution. 

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Get Your Flash 100% On Axis With Umbrella

Get Your Flash 100% On Axis With Umbrella OK, So if you look at the title and say ??@?#?$%%$@, it’s time for a little umbrella-holder intro.

Umbrella holder AKA umbrella swivel is a piece of equipment that is meant to attach a small strobe to a light stand. They come in verity of prices and flavors, but one thing is common to all. They have a hole on the bottom to connect to the light stand on one end and a metal stud / hot shoe / cold shoe that attaches to a small flash on the other end.

Wait – didn’t you say they are called umbrella holders? Well, yes – this is because they also have a dedicated shaft to insert an umbrella, either reflective or shoot through.

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Voice Activated Lightstands

Ron and Dog - Voice Activated LightstandThere are times when setting up for a shot is not an option. Take the annual family gathering picnic for example. 8 adults, 6 kids and a dog. Everyone is food-focused and no one is photo-op oriented. Also (as you can see on the left) no one is willing to stand still, even for a second.

This is why setting up for a shot is nearly impossible. Well, not impossible – strobes can be tied up (or gaffertaped, or spiderred) to trees. However this solution will provide harsh light. I was looking for something softer.

The obvious option is to shoot with no – trust good old available light. This is a good option and many great moments can be captured using available light. Yet, there is another option, such that will allow you to use off camera flash even in the toughest situations.

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Child Proofing A Lightstand

Child Proofing A LightstandKindergarten teachers are gods. No really. Gods, I tell you.

I just had a really wacky weekend, where I volunteered to shoot thirty something little hurricanes kids at my daughter’s Kindergarten. 

They had a huge custom party and wanted some portraits to remember. As the teacher knows I carry a camera on occasion, she asked. How did I byte into this one could I say no? I’ll post a complete on assignment on this soon. In the meantime, here is a little tip:  How to Child Proof A Lightstand.

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The Light Stand Backdrop Holder Just Got Better

Double Your Light Stand As A Portable Backdrop Mount SystemOne of the simplest mods that were featured in DIYP is the lightstand to backdrop holder mod.

It is fast to make, has some PVC in it – PVC ROCKS – and it is a can be a cheap and easy alternative for on location instant backdrop

Martin Kimeldorf (Flickr) who is the master mind behind this simple-yet-genius contraption has been busy. Taking in the great reader comments on the original post, Martin has improved his original design. I was really happy when I got the note in the mail asking to share the new generation of the Light Stand Backdrop Holder.

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