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Uncle Frank 06-01-2007 03:23 PM

Outdoor lighting kit with safety items
I just put the finishing touches on my lightweight outdoor light kit. I added a carry bag (a $20 bag designed to carry baseball bats and balls), and some very important safety gear.

The working part of this minimalist kit consists of one Speedlight, a lightstand, an umbrella, and a flash/umbrella bracket. The safety gear consists of a framing hammer, a 10" tent spike, and a 20" bungy cord.

One of the biggest risks of outdoor shoots with a modifier is the possibility... make that probability... that your umbrella will catch a gust of wind and blow over. Mine did at a recent shoot. Fortunately, the flash wasn't damaged, but umbrellas spokes were badly bent.

Some folks recommend sandbags, but I'm already pretty loaded down. Benji recommended one of these big corkscrews used to hold doggie leashes, but the ground around here is too hard for it to dig in. My variation on his approach is a collared tent spike. As you can see from the label, it's a 79 cent solution!

I use that big framer's hammer to bang the spike down, loop the bungy cord around it underneath the collar, put the lightstand directly over it, and then hook the loops of the bungy cord over the leg assembly.

Here's what the finished assembly looks like. It feels like it's nailed to the ground. Wait! It is nailed to the ground (h) .

tomrock 06-01-2007 03:59 PM

Re: Outdoor lighting kit with safety items
That's a great idea -- I'm going to get a couple of those spikes.

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