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Umbrellas
Old 06-21-2004, 05:50 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Does anyone know of a sturdy photographic umbrella?

It seems every time I shoot on location and user my Vivitar 283s shooting into umbrellas a rogue gust of wind eventually knocks one of the stands over and every time the umbrella is broken. It would be nice if there was an umbrella with fiberglass rods or something with that is both rigid enough yet can withstand a minimal impact. At this point I just about have to budget a new umbrella for every extended outdoor location shoot.

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Re: Umbrellas
Old 06-21-2004, 07:39 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Have you tried sand bags to weigh down the stands, or some other type of weight to keep that from happening? I know a strong gust will probably take it over but a good weight will, more often than not, save it from going the way of Mary Poppins. Just a thought. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

Other than that or tying it down with tent spikes and rope, I'm not sure what else you can do except get a couple of assistants to hold them.

Good day!

Mike
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Re: Umbrellas
Old 06-21-2004, 12:50 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks for the reply Mike.

I am hoping not to add anything heavy to my location bag.

I carry a camera bag, a laptop with an extra long run battery (get about 8 hours out of it), a couple of reflectors, and an Eddie Bauer golf bag that contains a good 95lbs of light stands, flash batteries, tripods, reflector arms, clamps, tape, etc.

I thought I was going to die carrying all that back to my car yesterday. And I have a huge bruise on my left shoulder from the golf bag strap.
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Re: Umbrellas
Old 06-22-2004, 11:12 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Bummer about lugging around the body bag full of toys. I know it can be difficult. I had neck surgery two years ago that put me flat on my back for 6 months (blew out two discs in my neck) and when I have to lug just my Tamrac bag around with my F100, an 80-200mm f2.8, my Metz flash, 20 or so rolls of film and some model releases, it hurts my neck and shoulder. My neurosurgeon would have me drawn and quartered if he saw me humping around a 95-pound load. I'm not supposed to lift any more than 50 pounds lest I blow my neck out again. No thanks. Did I mention that Vicadin is really good stuff? [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/tongue.gif[/img]

Anyway, being that I can't lug around a s**tload of gear, I'm limited to my camera bag and a collapsible 48" disc reflector. Even with that I can only use my tripod to support it. It's a good thing I'm a runner because the wind can do wonders with a 48" disc. hehehe

Good day and best wishes!

Mike

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Re: Umbrellas
Old 06-22-2004, 04:56 PM   #5 (permalink)
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How about one of the heavy duty water bags if your shooting near a stream. Just fill it up and when finished pull the plug and roll it back up.

Outdoors I've also used a heavy duty garbage bag and just loaded it with rocks that I find around the location or sand at the beach. I guess you could even use a couple of the plastic tent pegs to hold down the stand, but then you would also need a hammer.
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Re: Umbrellas
Old 06-22-2004, 07:40 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Tent spikes? Maybe ones long enough to hook over the struts of the lightstands or maybe modify the feet of the stands with a hole or a lug so you and use shorter spikes.

Otherwise I'd try hanging your camera bag from low on the stand.

Bob Jensen

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I like to use softboxes outside....
Old 06-22-2004, 10:55 PM   #7 (permalink)
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....as well as inside....for the very reason you mention... I have had to replace umbrellas which soften the fall of a monolight....like the way they make cars these days with crumple zones......

Try using a soft box instead...when they fall over....and they can even when weighted down with strong enough winds....or clumbsy photographers or their assistants [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img] who's feet get in the way of the legs of the stands they sit on..

The best thing you can do is weight them down... be sure to have a heavy duty enough stand to withstand the weight of a counterweight and your light with box X 2... it is best to "overkill" rather than barely having enough support in your light stand because the stresses it will endure under all that weight and wind and make it a bendy-pod......which is not what you want to have happen.....nope!

JP
 
 
Carrying gear...
Old 06-22-2004, 11:36 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Putting 95 pounds of stuff on your shoulder is nuts.

A medical problem from years ago limits my carrying to about 25 pounds. I have a few of the foldup luggage carts travelers use. I keep one in the car most of the time. If it's over 25 pounds, it goes on the cart.

In your case, if you are already using a golf bag (I presume it's one of the traveling bags that zips up around a normal golf bag.) why not get a fold up golf bag cart and load all your stuff on it? You can modify it to strap your bag on it. The big wheels go over grass and relatively rough terrain with ease.

Another trick you can do is mount a cheapy monopod on the cart and use the cart as the light stand. With a 3 foot wheel base and loaded with gear, it's not likely to blow over. You can leave one light stand at home and lighten the load, and you can be ready to shoot almost instantaneously. Heck, you can mount all sorts of things on it, modify it to your own needs, whatever. I see the carts in the thrift stores frequently for $5 to $15. I have a neat one I am customizing to do just as I've said - cost $5.
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Re: Carrying gear...
Old 06-23-2004, 06:30 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Al,

FANTASTIC IDEA!!!

I will have to give that a try.

Thanks,
Daryl
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Re: I like to use softboxes outside....
Old 06-23-2004, 06:32 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Hey JP,

I will have to give the softbox idea a try since I need to buy a new umbrella anyhow.

Thanks,
Daryl
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