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Thread: Weighing down lightstands and tripods and cabling

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    Weighing down lightstands and tripods and cabling

    Just wondering if anyone has any advice, i'm going to be doing some long shoots and the last thing I want to do is knock my gear down or trip on cables.

    One mate suggested water bags instead of sandbagds for portability, just not sure that's a good idea since electricity is involved (using continuous lighting).

    One thing I thought of was that I could place some cheap floor mats over the cables and this would hopefully stop people tripping.

    Any advice on brands or in general would be helpful though!

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    Quote Originally Posted by ryanbarlin View Post
    Just wondering if anyone has any advice, i'm going to be doing some long shoots and the last thing I want to do is knock my gear down or trip on cables.
    Reading that in context makes me ask if you are naturally clumsy and prone to destroying gear or if you are worried about others damaging themselves and the gear.

    If it is you that tends to break things my advice is train mentally and physically until you overcome the problem and if you are worried about others damaging stuff then you need to prepare, prepare and prepare some more with the aid of verbal and written warnings about people NOT to go anywhere near your carefully laid cables, of course, the sensible option is to have several assistants minding all that sort of thing while you concentrate on photographing instead of worrying about crispy fried clumsy people.

    As for ballast for the stands, assuming that you have very good quality units that won't buckle bend or break under the load of lights plus counterweights then a simple sand bag should suffice. Fill it at the start of the event and dump the contents in the garden outside at the end. A few kilos of sand in a bag or three is far from unportable. Problem solved.
    Andrew
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    Dont know why you would substitute sand bags for water ballasts, which if spilled or get knocked over - can cause electric shocks and other damages if one is not careful. Sand is favoured because its easy to carry and doesnt cause as much damage.

    If indoors in studio or somewhere, if using strobes powered from wall sockets, best to duct tape the cables to the ground so they dont get tripped up easily.
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    Quote Originally Posted by I @ M View Post
    Reading that in context makes me ask if you are naturally clumsy and prone to destroying gear or if you are worried about others damaging themselves and the gear.

    If it is you that tends to break things my advice is train mentally and physically until you overcome the problem and if you are worried about others damaging stuff then you need to prepare, prepare and prepare some more with the aid of verbal and written warnings about people NOT to go anywhere near your carefully laid cables, of course, the sensible option is to have several assistants minding all that sort of thing while you concentrate on photographing instead of worrying about crispy fried clumsy people.

    As for ballast for the stands, assuming that you have very good quality units that won't buckle bend or break under the load of lights plus counterweights then a simple sand bag should suffice. Fill it at the start of the event and dump the contents in the garden outside at the end. A few kilos of sand in a bag or three is far from unportable. Problem solved.
    Short answer: it's not me that's going to be clumsy. I am a fat man, but I am a careful fat man.
    The bigger shoot is a small room and there's going to be kids there. These kids are pretty unpredictable and I am not lucky enough to have assistants. Thanks for the advice though, sandbags filled at the start and end it is!

    Dont know why you would substitute sand bags for water ballasts, which if spilled or get knocked over - can cause electric shocks and other damages if one is not careful. Sand is favoured because its easy to carry and doesnt cause as much damage.

    If indoors in studio or somewhere, if using strobes powered from wall sockets, best to duct tape the cables to the ground so they dont get tripped up easily.
    This is great advice, particularly the duct tape which I had not thought of. Thank you!

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    Gaffer tape is pretty much stock in trade when rigging for many kinds of setups though a downside is heavier gum residue at pull down.
    Velcro is handy for strapping cables in looms or onto stands. It doesn't leave a mess and is re-usable.

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    At large chain hardware store go to the marquee section where you can buy 4 sandbags that have Velcro attached so you can secure them to what ever you need to. Might be useful.

    Danny

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    All great advice! Bought some velcro, tape and sandbags. Should be good to go, I reckon.

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