The Sleeping Giant's Sea Lion

by Jakub

submit your photo


Hall of Fame
View past winners from this year

Please participate in Meta
and help us grow.

Take the 2-minute tour ×
Photography Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for professional, enthusiast and amateur photographers. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I am shopping for a light stand and find that while 6'4" (200cm) stands are affordable, 8' (240cm) and 9' (260cm) stands are double the price.

Have you used any alternatives? I just want to be ready for (group) full-length standing poses with Rembrandt lighting, yet not buy a larger stand and carry it all the time. Thanks.

share|improve this question

3 Answers 3

up vote 1 down vote accepted

One option used by many photographers is a second person (assistant) holding an extension pole or monopod that has the light on the end. With an average-height person holding a six foot pole, you can easily get up to the height you need.

share|improve this answer

I used an extending painter/decorator's pole which has twist-lock grips at the section joins to allow you set the height you need. I used rubber end-pieces for a Zimmer frame bought cheaply from a local supplier to put on the ends (it's a tight fit) and these stop the pole from slipping on the floor/ceiling. I've found that the pole is string enough to support a couple of small lamps using Manfrotto clamps.

See it in action on my Flickr page

share|improve this answer

These workarounds are not universal, but applicable in some cases:

  • You could create a "virtual soft box" by bouncing your flash off the ceiling or a wall where you'd otherwise like to put a softbox (usually not above your head or above subject). This approach requires the ceiling/wall to be close enough. Beware of strongly colored walls/ceiling, these will eat your flash power and add color cast. I often use such bouncing with TTL on events and get quite good light.

  • In some locations, you could use your car as an extension for light stand; in others, a (camping) table might do the trick.
    Disclaimer: it's just an idea, my stand is 7 feet and hasn't needed extending yet.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.