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Using duct tape and zip ties in the field

From: The Practicing Photographer

Video: Using duct tape and zip ties in the field

This week on The Practicing Photographer, I want to talk to If you're not working in TTL mode, if And it may not be pretty, but it'll stay there.

Using duct tape and zip ties in the field

This week on The Practicing Photographer, I want to talk to you about being prepared for those times when you're not prepared. My name is Ben Long, and I am very fortunate to get to work with this incredible Lynda crew that's always prepared for anything. It's really fun to just watch, they always have exactly the right mount to pull out for something, or bracket to pull out for something else. I'm not like that. I routinely head off to go camping in the middle of nowhere and I forget my tent poles. Or I go driving and I forget my map. Whatever. So, it's not unusual for me to get out to shoot something and lack a critical piece of gear.

I want to talk about some very quick and easy things you can do if you get out and you're trying to use your flash, and you find that you don't have what you need to get your flash mounted on a flash stand. I have a stand here, and I have a flash. The stand, though, only has a quarter inch screw on the end, because I forgot to bring the thing that gives me a shoe to put the flash in. There's no there's no socket on the bottom of the flash, so there's nothing I can do, until I go back to my flash case, and remember that the flash came with this little foot.

These things are really cool. They go on the bottom of your flash and screw down, and they then allow it to stand upright. So first of all, if I can just find something that's sitting at the same level as, that I want my flash, it can actually just stand there. But if not, if I really need to use the flash stand, that's okay because the foot has a socket on the bottom. So I can actually just screw this directly into the flash stand and have a way of holding my flash. So that's a piece of gear you probably have with you that will work with a quarter inch thread. That means it'll probably work on your tripod, or other pieces of gear that you might have that have that kind of screw on the end.

Now, if you don't have one of these, or if you have one and it doesn't have a socket on the end, all is not lost, you've still got this nice, sturdy, vertical contraption here that you can attach your flash to, you just need a way to attach it. Now, I know you spent a lot of money on your flash, and it's all clean and shiny and new. And so you may be thinking, oh, it's a very sophisticated, high-tech piece of gear, I have to work through its official interface. Nah, that's what duct tape is for. There's no reason you can't just latch your flash to the stand using duct tape or gaffer's tape. And if you think, oh, if I do that, I'm going to leave sticky goo all over my flash.

Gaffer's tape is very expensive, but the great advantage of it is when you pull the tape off, it doesn't leave stuff on your flash. Now when you're taping your flash to something, you do need to give a little consideration to the fact that there's communication with your flash here, that if you're working in TTL mode, you don't want to cover this up. If you're not working in TTL mode, if you're working manually, then you've got the problem of you're going to want to get access to the controls on the back of the flash. So, maybe you want to try and tape it this way. You may have to work at it a little bit. If you don't have duct tape with you, consider the might zip tie.

I'm a big fan of zip ties for all sorts of inappropriate repairs and modifications to things. And for this one, I'm actually going to leave the foot on here because it gives me something to loop the tie around. Zip ties are very simple. They, you just thread them together like this and they, and they lock. Now before you go and put a zip tie on something, be sure you have a way with you to get it off. A pair of wire cutters or a knife or something like that, because you don't want to get it on there and then... I shouldn't have put that on first. Anyway, you don't want to get it on there and not be able to get it off.

So all I'm going to do is stick that on there, thread it down real tight. And it may not be pretty, but it'll stay there. If I've got a couple more, I can lash it on even more sturdy. Now you may be thinking, right, you brought a light stand, but you didn't bring all the other stuff? If I, if I don't, if I, if I have a light stand, why wouldn't I have all of the other stuff? Well, if you're like me, just because. But you don't have to do this with just a light stand, this will work with any tall, vertical structure. You can do this with like stoplight poles and street light poles and saplings and skinny people.

Anything that stands tall and straight in a sturdy manner, you can just try and fix your flash to it. The big lesson here is not necessarily about any of these particular ways of fixing it, but to not think of this piece of gear as so precious that you can't improvise a method to get it stuck to something. This may not look pretty, but it's going to get the light where I want it, and that's what I need when I'm ready to take a shot.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for The Practicing Photographer
The Practicing Photographer

70 video lessons · 43845 viewers

Ben Long
Author

 
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  1. 5m 59s
    1. Canon wireless flash with built in radio control
      5m 59s
  2. 1m 35s
    1. Introducing The Practicing Photographer
      1m 35s
  3. 6h 54m
    1. Choosing a camera
      5m 27s
    2. Looking at light as a subject
      2m 22s
    3. Using a small reflector to add fill light
      5m 45s
    4. Editing photo metadata with PhotosInfo Pro for iPad
      6m 30s
    5. Let your lens reshape you
      7m 26s
    6. Compositing street photography images with Photoshop
      7m 44s
    7. Expand your filter options with step-up and step-down rings
      3m 56s
    8. Shooting without a memory card
      3m 6s
    9. Give yourself a year-long assignment
      5m 28s
    10. Working with reflections
      1m 26s
    11. Exploring mirrorless cameras
      7m 25s
    12. Batch processing photos with the Adobe Image Processor
      7m 30s
    13. Limiting yourself to a fixed-focal-length lens
      2m 13s
    14. Creating tiny worlds: Shooting technique
      4m 15s
    15. Creating tiny worlds: Post-processing techniques
      11m 41s
    16. Shooting macro shots on an iPhone
      3m 18s
    17. Using a tripod
      3m 33s
    18. Wildlife and staying present
      5m 58s
    19. Batch exposure adjustments on raw files
      6m 52s
    20. Why Shoot Polaroid
      11m 12s
    21. Seizing an opportunity
      4m 4s
    22. Four photographers do a light-as-subject exercise
      12m 24s
    23. Shooting macro bug photos with a reversed lens
      4m 54s
    24. Varnishing a photo for a painterly effect
      13m 36s
    25. Shooting wildlife
      7m 24s
    26. Discussion on how to shoot architecture
      12m 27s
    27. Using a lens hood
      4m 48s
    28. Working with themes
      2m 48s
    29. Setting up an HDR time lapse
      7m 55s
    30. Processing an HDR time lapse
      7m 55s
    31. Two perspectives on travel photography
      12m 28s
    32. Scanning Photos
      5m 37s
    33. Photo assignment: shooting an egg
      3m 13s
    34. Reviewing the egg shot images
      6m 47s
    35. Shooting in your own backyard
      4m 38s
    36. Jpeg iPad import process
      3m 17s
    37. Shooting a product shot in open shade
      9m 34s
    38. Reviewing the product shot images
      4m 5s
    39. Warming up
      3m 26s
    40. Taking a panning action shot
      10m 17s
    41. Scanning polaroid negatives and processing in Photoshop
      8m 17s
    42. Shooting a silhouette
      3m 9s
    43. Going with an ultra-light gear configuration
      5m 29s
    44. Working with masks and calculations in Photoshop
      12m 38s
    45. Working with flash for macro photography
      4m 55s
    46. Colorizing a black and white photo in Photoshop
      5m 10s
    47. Using duct tape and zip ties in the field
      4m 14s
    48. When the on camera flash is casting a shadow
      3m 4s
    49. Using Lightroom on the road
      6m 28s
    50. Listening to your camera to get good exposure
      2m 20s
    51. Shooting a successful self portrait with a phone
      7m 18s
    52. Switching to Lightroom from another application
      9m 48s
    53. Photographing animals in wildlife refuges
      6m 41s
    54. Shooting level
      2m 42s
    55. Photoshop and Automator
      8m 54s
    56. Shooting when the light is flat
      3m 23s
    57. Discussing the business of stock photography
      9m 48s
    58. Shooting tethered to a monitor
      3m 21s
    59. Making a 360 degree panorama on the iPhone
      4m 45s
    60. Understanding the three flash setup
      3m 34s
    61. Shooting a three flash portrait
      4m 6s
    62. Understanding the differences with third party lenses
      4m 43s
    63. Understanding why files look different on depending on device
      5m 25s
    64. Working with a geotagging app on the iPhone
      4m 43s
    65. Using high speed flash sync to dim ambient light
      7m 29s
    66. Using your iPad as a second monitor
      5m 46s
    67. Understanding exposure with a leaf shutter camera
      3m 28s
    68. Photography practice through mimicry
      8m 8s

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