If you are a long time reader of the blog, you know that we love sand bags. I mean, what can ruin a shoot better than a piece of gear flying into the talents eye, right? Especially if they are talking about sand bags….
Here is an interesting problem to have. What would you do if you wanna shoot in the middle of the desert, but don’t have any sand bags available? Photographer and Light painter Eric Pare (previously) had just this problem when he was shooting in the Sahara Desert in Morocco. Yes, that thing made out of sand. Having no access to sandbag in the middle of the desert, Eric simply buried his 3LT Keith tripod in the sand. Kinda like having the entire desert as one huge sand bag. The results are totally worth it:
There comes a point at any photographer or videographer’s life where they start using big lights or other big gear and migrate to C-stands. Ok, not every photographer. But if you have never used a C-stand you are definitely in for a treat. The only thing is that C-stands take a little more know-how to use safety than light stands. This is where Eric Jang and his C-Stands 101 comes in.
The movie is only about 10 minutes long, but is highly recommended if you are handling C-stands and even more so if you are doing it near people or in small production spaces. And is a must if you ever consider working as Grip.
Here are just a few tips that I picked up. Some, I already did out of habit or intuition, but hearing them said like rules just helps sort them out in my head.
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.
Earlier this year, southern California was hit with several big storms. Home owners used sand bags to protect their houses from the 14-16 feet high waves. In a wonderful gesture, community volunteers at Seal Beach helped residents fill up sand bags which are used to block the wave’s impact.
CBS local reporter Michele Gile was covering this event on site. Ironically it looks like Gile may have been caught up in a sand bag situation of her own. Youtuber GasperEdits shares an out-take showing why it is so critical to always, always sandbag your C-stands.
P.S. We are giving away karma points if you spot the irony