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Woo-hoo!! I found a $15 solution to a lighting (grip) problem I've had for years.

Tom Mann

Have you ever been called on to photograph someone in an office that is so small, there isn't room to put up even one light stand, let alone two. So, if you can't move them to another location, you fiddle around try to get good lighting angles by laying some small flashes on the tops of bookcases or whatever other surfaces are available. Another "option" in this situation is to not open the legs on your light stands, and just prop them up in the corners, praying constantly to the almighty that they don't fall over and kill someone or break your multi hundred dollar flash unit.

Another related lighting problem is when you are shooting an event where people might knock over conventional light stands. Think: 4 hours into a wedding reception and now half the guests now drunk as sailors on shore leave. Or, think of a BD party for little kids where they are all running around like maniacs on speed, LOL.

On a recent trip to the hardware store, I discovered a type of bar clamp called a "two-headed" or a "claw" bar clamp (see below). With the addition of some standard lighting components (ie, swapped off your regular light stands) one can now easily clamp your lights to immovable, out-of-harm's-way objects like the wall dividers between rooms, the backs of furniture, etc.

The reason this type of clamp is so much better than the standard furniture bar clamp (which I tried years ago) is that even with modest clamping force, the claw type doesn't rotate and doesn't mar the object to which it is clamped.

Anyway, I feel like I just made a major improvement to my photographic life by lightening my lighting kit by a huge amount. A few of these, and you should be ready to handle almost any location!

Tom M

PS - As far as I know (...I looked), not one of the standard lighting supply companies sells anything like this -- you have to cobble it together yourself.


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Retired Administrator
Ingenuity and eye peeled for gadgetry can be the mother of invention.....

Funny but that's something I remember seeing in an engineering shop to clamp down things....

Glad you found something to use at work. I'll keep this in mind the next time I need something to tether/support other equipment.