Whenever you are using heavy gear on your set, you risk the stands tipping over and causing damage. This is certainly something you want to avoid, and this is why you should use sandbags. Some photographers and videographers don’t use it, and some do – but in a wrong way. In this video, Jay P. Morgan tells you all you should know about sandbags – different types you can get, what they are for and how to use them properly.
The humble three legged light stand is a fantastic thing. But it’s not always best suited to every situation. If, like John Decker, you’re trying to start up a new YouTube channel in your workshop, they can quickly get in the way. And they’re kind of a catch 22 design. Mostly they’re lightweight, for ease of moving them around. But with a big light on top, they get top heavy. If you make the base heavier, they’re more difficult to move.
After taking a little tumble in his workshop which resulted in one of the lights falling over on top of him as he landed, John decided to design and build his own. He needed something with a smaller footprint, a lower centre of gravity, but still easy to move around the shop.
Unless you have a dedicated boom arm, or a voice activated lightstand (an assistant) to do the job for you, booming microphones and lights overhead can prove to be a little tricky. Good boom arm stands can be expensive, especially if you want stability.
This solution from the Frugal Filmmaker couldn’t have come at a better time for me, as I’ve been in the market for something to hold my microphone boom pole for a little while now. Being able to utilise a tripod I already own and would already be taking on shoots with me anyway will make life much easier.
C-Stands have been a staple support system in the photography and film industries for longer than many of us can remember, but there’s more to this seemingly simple tool than one might assume at first glance.
Chimera have just announced a pair of new self-levelling lighting boom arms, allowing you to quickly raise and lower your lights without having to adjust the hight of your light stand, or readjust the angle of your light & modifier.
If your first thought, like mine, was “Awesome, cheap camera jib!”, then I would suggest you brace yourself. The “Compact” version costs $550 and the “Standard” version has a price tag of $700.
If you are doing a lot of outdoor shooting using hot shoe strobes, you need to find a way to place them in three dimensional space. Of course, the trivial way is to use a light stand. But if you shoot in anything other than an open space, photographer Chris Cameron has a nice tip to mount your strobe on any object you can wrap a strap around.
The idea is to use a strap and a 3D printed dog bone, the strap wraps around, say a tree trunk, while the bone provides an anchor for a small clamp.
A clamp is one of those few pieces of gear that will divide your life in two; before and after you got one.
Ok, that might be a bit of an exaggeration but it really is a must-have piece of kit in any photographer’s or filmmaker’s camera bag.
In this next video Griffith Hammond shares with us nine of the ways he uses the ‘most versatile piece of gear’, the clamp.
Rather than just compile a list Griffin shares with us examples from various assignments, including some he did for Bloomberg. These are all real life scenarios that will help you realize you need one (or another one) of these in your bag as well.
DIYP reader Maor Cohen of Kaveret sent us this sweet tip about using suction pads for securing light stands. It has some huge benefits over carrying several kilos per stand in sand bags. Of course they are easier to carry, not as messy, and provide more security.
The idea is kinda self explanatory from the photo, but Maor sent us some more details about this hack. The suction pad used is a triple suction cup capable of carrying up to 309lb, and originally intended for lifting glass or fixing car dents. (you can also use a smaller double cup version which will support up to 130lb). Next you will have to secure the base of the stand to the suction mount and make sure it is tight and this is it.
With the advance of photography we are seeing smarter lighting, smarter tripods and smarter light stands (to the extent of having them voice activated), but one thing I thought that could not be evolved is the sand bag. Guess I was wrong.
The folks from Inspired Photo Gear just came up with a nifty new invention simply called the WaterWeight, but to make the concept clearer I suggest calling it the Bagel Water Weight. There are two new things that the bag brings to the table (or on location) – when closed it is incredibly small – maybe about an iPhone 5c big and only 7 grams heavier (139g vs 132g). This means that you can pack two of those when going on a shoot and they don’t really take any space in the bag.
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.