In our recent review of Tether Tools‘ RapidMounts we wrote about how we used several of the mounts as options for our off-camera flash needs. Overall, we found the mounts to be extremely useful, and practical additions to our kit. Despite being prime lens, off-camera flash wedding photographers, we try not to be gear heavy, and we don’t like complicated. Tether Tools is right there with us in the respect that their RapidMounts make things easier. The designs and quality are legit; the myraid of options is impressive, and at a range of $36.95 – $89.90, there’s really a mount for every budget.
All that said, we didn’t touch on the PowrGrip Kit in that review because we found the Rock Solid PwrGrip 4.5 to be quite extraordinary and wanted to highlight it and demonstrate how we used it across the course of several weddings. From capturing our clients getting ready to lighting receptions, the PowrGrip allowed us to get the light where we needed it, despite challenging environments and situations.
The RapidMount PowrGrip Kit ($67.90) mounts speedlight flashes securely to any non-porous surface. It’s particularly useful for glass surfaces like windows and mirrors, but we also stuck it to a DJ’s speakers when we needed to mount a light in a specific location in order to safely get the shot we wanted at a reception. Its uses are pretty endless, depending upon your own creativity and needs.
The PowrGrip isn’t just a suction cup, though, because while a standard suction cup presses against a surface and then creates a seal by pulling away from the surface, the PowrGrip has a vacuum cup that uses a spring-balanced, hand-actuated pump to efficiently remove air from between the rubber pad and the attaching surface. Thus, it creates a longer-lasting hold; it’s the same tech used for transporting large pieces of glass and mirrors. And the PowrGrip is enhanced with a red-line indicator that warns if there is a drop in its holding power. That’s smart.
The PowrGrip has a ¼”-20 thread for mounting not just speedlights but cameras and a variety of other gear as well (tablets, e.g.). It supports weights up to 10lbs and includes the Tether Tools’ Lifetime Warranty. It has a 4.5″ diameter mounting pad, a removable bullhead assembly, comes in non-reflective black, and includes a pad protector (the red piece on the bottom).
How We Shot It: Getting Ready
Because our lighting assistant can’t always stand on a dresser while also holding a “kicker light”, and because we can’t always cram a light stand into small places, we love to use a variety of mounting systems in our kit. On one occasion, we attached the PowrGrip to a mirror to help us out while chasing the infamous hairspray/perfume/mist image. We mounted the PowrGrip to a mirror, threw a MagMod MagGrid on our SB-910, and had at it. If you look closely, you’ll see our lighting assistant crouched down behind our bride.
How We Shot It: The GONDOLA Lift
Very recently, we photographed a wedding in Telluride, Colorado. We knew we were going to have the opportunity to get in a gondola lift with our clients and wanted to create some memorable portraits inside the gondola lift itself. PowrGrip to the rescue, along with a bit of help from a MagMod MagGrid and A & M Film and Photo’s Prism!
How We Shot It: Reception Lighting
One of our absolute favorite parts of a wedding is the reception because we love a party: the dancing, the joy, and all that celebrating well into the late night/early hours of the morning are right up our alley. And while our favorite option for securing our off camera flash at a reception is our lighting assistant + a softbox (we prefer the Westcott Rapid Box – 26” Octa Softbox), it’s not always practical and not always best practice to throw up a stand when people are dancing and children are running about. In the case of this reception, we got creative and used the PowrGrip to mount our light to one of the DJ’s speakers.
And here’s one of our favorite images from that reception:
Tether Tools has many, many mounting options, and the PowrGrip is one of our favorites because of it’s ability to get our light in tight spaces; it truly works with us to be a solution and not just another option.
We’d love for you to weigh in on your experiences or thoughts about this particular mount, so leave a comment below! And, as always, feel free to show us some of the shots you’ve grabbed using what you already have from Tether Tools and/or continue the conversation over at Facebook on our every-growing SLR Lounge Photography Community page.