12 Mounting and Must-Have Lighting Accessories | Transcription
Let’s start from the top. We basically separate these out in terms of mounting solutions. We have must have purchase anywhere-type lighting accessories down here below.
Starting with mounting solutions, we have a lot of extra tripod plates just around the studio. We have tons of spares. One, because we lose them frequently and two, because pretty much everything in this entire industry uses the quarter-twenty screw-mount as basically the standard. That means it’s a quarter-inch in diameter and it basically has 20 threads, so we call them quarter-twenties. That’s what you find on your tripod plates.
This is basically the standard plate you’d find, like say, the Benro S4 mono-pod with the video head, as well as Manfrotto Tripods and so forth. This is the Arca-Swiss plate. They call these DP-70s. You can pick these up off of Amazon, but this is just a standard Arca-Swiss plate that’s $10. We have lots of these around the studio because we use them with our Benro. Sorry, not our Benro, our B photo tripods.
We have a bunch of these. Why? Because they’re useful for mounting your camera. They’re also incredibly useful for mounting lighting accessories. For example, let’s say I forgot my light stand, but I do happen to have my Benro tripod and the Benro tripod has this little guy on it. Well, I can grab this. This is a, basically, the quarter-twenty brass spigot. It’s a spigot that I can stick right onto here to basically adapt us. Actually what I’ll do is I’ll use … So I can pop this right onto the end of my plate and now I can actually mount the lighting accessory right onto my tripod. I can put an umbrella bracket right onto this. It makes for a very handy kind of device just to have around. These tripod plates and so forth.
Let’s talk about the next item, which was the item that I just mounted on there. This little brass spigot. Now these spigots are, again, one of those items we just have an entire bin of. We have a whole variety of these different spigots basically. We have, like, usually most stands will have a slightly larger mount to it, so it’s basically a larger thread size and you can mount these spigots to that. Then it adapts it to a quarter-twenty. This is a female quarter-twenty on this side. This is adapting to a male quarter-twenty on this side.
For example, I can use one of these spigots to adapt this and now it can fit any quarter-twenty. If I wanted to, I could put a camera directly onto this. Let’s say for example, this Cheetah head, this Cheetah 3 hot shoe little bracket, this has a quarter-twenty on the bottom of it. I can take that and attach it directly to my light stand. Brass spigots are handy, handy devices. You are going to find that you oftentimes are going to need to convert these little threads to whatever size you need. More often than not, it’s going to be to a quarter-twenty. I’m going to go ahead and pop this off.
Next, another handy-dandy item to have are these Westcott Umbrella brackets. You can buy general brackets for $10, they do tend to break, but like I said, I’m not going to beat you over the head with this. We buy the Westcott $30 ones because they’re very well made. This is actually one of the cheap ones that we had lying around the studio that I happened to grab. That’s all right. We’re trying to finish breaking them all so we can just start using only the Westcotts. So this just mounts directly to any standard stand. You can also put this directly onto a C-stand. You can put it wherever you want. It’ll basically allow to now mount a flash, an umbrella bracket. You can put the Westcott Apollo softbox onto it or an umbrella onto it, whatever you need to onto this guy.
Next we have two little items here that are similar in function. We have a Westcott Triple Threat and we have the Cheetah three light hot shoe. This is the Cheetah three light hot shoe bracket and we have the Westcott Triple Threat, which is a cold shoe bracket. These two items are virtually identical. They’re going to mount to a quarter-twenty, so basically you can put them right here on the end of a stand with a quarter-twenty adapter and they’re going to allow you to mount up to three flashes. We can have three flashes on each side of these.
Now, the difference between these two is this one’s $30 and this one’s $50. Why is this one $50? Because this guy is what we refer to as a hot shoe bracket meaning there is a little port on here. Let me just show you. I can grab one of my hot shoe cables. Whatever, we’ll grab this guy. Is that the guy I wanted? Yeah, whatever. It’s not the cable I wanted, but it still has a 3.5 millimeter. I can put this onto a stand, put three flashes onto this, and then I can pop a cable right here into the 3.5 millimeter port. I can hook this up now to a pocket wizard and now it’s going to fire all three flashes with a single pocket wizard. Now I don’t need 3 pocket wizards for all three of these flashes, I just need one and it’s going to fire all of them. That’s why it’s known as a hot shoe bracket whereas this one is a cold shoe bracket because it doesn’t do any hot shoe triggering basically.
If you’re using … Let’s say we’re using the Phottix Mitros Plus. Those have their own built-in radios. If you have a flash system that has their own built-in radios, you don’t need this guy, and so, therefore, just save the $20 and get the Westcott Triple Threat. If you do use pocket wizards, then grab this guy because for the $50 it’s going to save you from having to have three pocket wizards, which is $450 of pocket wizard basically.
Let’s go on to the next thing I have. Logan is going to give me my Profoto RFi speedring. This is another fantastic little item and we’re going to show you a full setup with this later on in this chapter. This is our favorite medium strobe adapter ring. Why? We can adapt to any Profoto modifier. It fits onto a standard stand, it fits onto a C-stand, we can put it onto a little light stand like this, we can fit it onto anything. It has this adjustability or flexibility in where we place the flashes. It’ll basically … This can accommodate the Bolt VB-22s. These gigantic flashes. It can accommodate two of them or we can also have smaller flashes. I have this little T-ring setup where basically we can place the flashes right here, I can adjust the height of them, and then I can adjust these in and out to make sure that they fit completely inside of the modifier. It’s a fantastic modifier an it’s $175, but this one of those items that you only buy once. You don’t need to ever buy this again because it’s extremely well made.
There’s certain items that we’d always say, “You know, with an umbrella bracket fine, buy a $10 one because who care if it breaks?” Although I’d still recommend buying something nicer because who cares? If it’s $30, what’s the difference? If it lasts you and saves you the headache from having to buy it again. With certain items like this, treat them as investments because these are things you only buy once and they’re going to stay and work for you for a very long time.
Let’s keep going. We have our A Clamps. A Clamps you can pick up from Home Depot. These guys are $2 to $3 a piece. They have them in varying sizes. We have a few different sizes. This is a standard size that we buy. We also buy one smaller version because the smaller variants of this are fantastic for clothing. They’re really great to pin your clothing. I forgot to pin my shirt right now because this shirt is too big. With A Clamps … They’re just amazing devices for attaching modifiers to whatever you need to attach it to.
Logan, why don’t you hand me one of these little gobos and let me raise this guy up just a bit. Let’s say I don’t have a specific stand that I can mount this guy to. Let’s say I don’t have that reflector stand, right? I do happen to have a light stand and I want to place this in a certain position and shoot through it. I can just use my A Clamp to just basically clamp right to the rod and now I’m good to go. They can hold quite a bit of weight. They’re very, very functional and we’ll have roughly 8 to 16 of them anywhere on set. We keep 16 to 30 of them inside the studio because we use them for virtually everything. Have A Clamps. They’re very inexpensive, very worthwhile, and definitely worth having.
The next thing, this should go without saying, is gaffer’s tape. Gaffer’s tape is a type of masking tape that is used on production sets. Why? Because it doesn’t leave residue. I can tape down cables, I can tape things too, I can tape modifiers up to stands, it’s not going to leave residue on those stands when I pull the tape off like, say, duct tape would. Fantastic little device. Fantastic little tape here.
Let’s go on to sandbags. Logan, while I’m on this. Can you prep the diffusion cloth, the black cloth, and I think we’re all out of mylar. If we can have those guys ready.
So a sandbag. sandbags are, again, a must have item especially when you’re dealing with larger modifiers, when you’re working outdoors, even when you’re working indoors, you need to place sandbags on the legs of your stands to make sure that they’re not going to tip over. Now this is even more important when you’re working in locations like near the beach because anything that you set up, any modifier that you put up, is going to act like a giant sail. You might need multiple sandbags. This sandbag is currently empty. This is just a spare one that we had lying around.
What I’d recommend when you fill your sandbags is use a double-bagged Ziploc bag, so when you go to the beach, or whenever you go somewhere to fill up your sand, put your sand into a Ziploc bag. Put another Ziploc bag in that and then place them inside of the zipper pockets on these guys. Why? Because when that sand … If one of those bags breaks, you don’t necessarily want sand leaking out of these bags and it’s also a pain in the butt to clean up if you ever want to take the sand out for some particular reason. If you ever want to go and take these to a location shoot, like you’re traveling somewhere, you’re most likely going to empty this because why would you carry 30 pounds of sand in your luggage? You’ll empty this, then once you get there, you’ll fill it back up. Having the Ziploc bags keep it more clean. It’s just cleaner. This is just a tip from me to you. My house to your house.
Here you go, Logan. Catch buddy. That was a terrible catch. Let’s get the diffusion cloth. We talked about this in the last video. Diffusion cloth, again one of those things you can pick up at any local craft store. Craft, cloth, whatever store. We mentioned it here. We mentioned diffusion cloth, black cloth, and mylar blankets because they are light modifiers so they could have gone in the last video, but they’re also not necessarily the most portable light modifiers. The last video was really all about ultra-portable light modifiers. When you’re dealing with stuff like this, you’re going to need stands. You’re going to need a lot of stands to be able to mount and hold these things up, so they become not the most portable solutions, but they’re still fantastic light modifiers. We have white for diffusion and reflection if we need to. We also have black.
Do we have black anywhere? Let’s see. Where is our black? Oh, we’ve hung our black over here to block off the background basically. Black cloth is great for flagging. Flagging is when you need to stop light. We no longer want light to travel to certain areas of our image, so we’d flag off that light.
Also we have the Mylar blanket. Hand me that gobo right there. With the mylar blanket, you can use it as a reflective source. You can use it in a whole number of ways, or you can cut it up and make things like this, our DIY gobo. Mylar blankets, again, are fantastic to have around the studio. These guys are, like, $10 from Home Depot. Very inexpensive items that you’ll find are very useful when it comes to mounting lights or when it comes to modifying lights.