Circle W Photography and other interests

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Lighting 101, Lesson 3 – Light Stands

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In this the third lesson from the Lighting 101 from David Hobby over at we will discuss Light stands as we get the equipment together for our lighting.  Please download the pdf version of David Hobby’s Lighting 101 from  So you can go along as I give my input on each lesson and expand on it.   One thing I will be comparing notes to what Kirt Tuck says in his “Minimalist Lighting, Professional Techniques for Location Photography” as I just received it the mail today.  I will also pull information for the GOD of using small lights, Mr. Joe McNally and his books and Blog.  I am reading his latest book “The Hot Shoe Diaries, Big Light From Small Flashes”.  I also will pull info from several other sources.  My Idea of this Lighting 101 is to start small and expand from there.  When I use a source I will always post a footnote so that credit is given where it is deserved.  Now on to todays lesson on light stands.

Now we have our flash that has the two important features, manual settings and a pc connection or we have a work around for the later, the pc to hotshoe adapter.  Thinking about the last lesson traveling light we need to find the right light stand for our needs.

Bogen makes fine light stands, I have three of them right now and in the process of buying five more next week two of the are Avenger C-Stands with booms.  The C-Stand is thought to be the best stands for the studio.    Light Stands come with air cushion  or without.  The former are to help protect your studio lights.  It isn’t needed for hotshoe flashes since they are more durable than the studio variety.  A photojournalist will probably look for a stand that will reach around 6ft high and compact down to a small stand of around 18 inches.  If you do go with this style they run more than the normal stands that does everything except shrink down so small.  If size matters expect to pay for it.

We use the stands to position and hold our flashes.   If you have an assistant you can use them as a Voice Controlled Lightstand (VCL).  If you are like me you work alone and need a stand for every flash you plan yo use.  You may not use every stand every time but it is better ti have it and not need it that not to have it and need it.  Later we will get in to other ways to secure you flash is space is limited or doesn’t allow for light stands.

Some lightstands are designed for specific uses while others are of a general design.  One such special design is those that are used with a boom for getting your light in the right place and still keep the stand out of view.  Another is called the Quik Stand.  It is designed for the Wedding and event shooters who are constantly moving and need to reposition their lights.  When you pick up the Quik Stand the legs collapse to assist you in moving through tight places and then when you set it down the feet automatically extend to secure the stand.

In our next lesson we will cover Bogen Super Clamps.


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