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September 14 , 2011

Building my own Light Stands

September 16 , 2011 08:32 PM
 
The other day I was contracted to take pictures of Baby Bags to post on their E-commerce site. Everything was going fine until I noticed that my background lightst and legs wouldn't fit between my 'platform' and the backdrop. So, I had to get creative, set my flash on its stand and pile up a bunch of books until it was high enough to work
 
It was obvious I needed more light stands. However, even at $30.00 bucks light stands are kind of expensive and the feet require some space to extend. So I decided to build my own
 
I took my camera and my Cactus Remotes to Home Depot and tried different screws until I found one that would fit: 1/4 coarse screw. I bought several lengths but the ones that would work are 3 1/2 inches long. For the 'stand' I ended up picking 3 2x2 3 feet long. For the 'base' I got a Quickcrete bag and some of my baby's empty formula cans.
 
Including a soda (for me) and a chocolate bar for my assistant we spent about $15.00 bucks or something like that
 
I cut one of the posts and made it two: 1 feet and 2 feet long. From corner to corner I drew an 'X' and with a 1/16 bit drilled a hole in the center; replaced the bit with 1/8 and then with a 1/4 until it was 3 inches deep. By beginning small I made sure I didn't split the post
 
 
Light Stand
 
 
With a ruler and a sharpie I measured the screws and marked 3 1/4. Then with dremel I cut the heads off
 
Light Stand
 
 
Finally, we attached a level to the post (using a rubber band), placed the posts in the empty cans, filled them with quickcrete and poured water...then waited for the cement to dry. Home Depot's web site says it takes a couple of hours to dry but we let them dry overnight just to make sure. We made three stands: 1, 2 and 3 feet long (the picture shows 1 and 2, the longest stand is holding the reflector)
 
Light Stand
 
Light Stand
 
My beautiful assistant and I were happy with our little project and to celebrate we took some pictures for this post. Here she is with the 2 feet light stand right behind her head
 
Backlit Model