Shooting on location, large octabank + wind??

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by thepixies, Dec 26, 2009.

  1. thepixies

    thepixies TPF Noob!

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    Hi,

    I've recently purchased the 72'' elinchrom octabank to use for some outdoors fashion shoots. the light stand its on is old, but a rather heavy duty stand. but when the wind picks up a bit i'm so scared its going to topple over.

    for some shoots i'll have a assistant who can just hold the stand, but does anyone have any advice as to how i can stop the light from going down.

    what has worked best for you? sand bags? ropes to tie it down even?

    thanks
     
  2. MarcAnthonyPhoto

    MarcAnthonyPhoto TPF Noob!

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    I actually found the perfect solution for the same problem. I actually purchased ankle weights from target. I use 3 ten pound weights. They are black so they don't look obtrusive. They have velcro so I attach a ten pound weight to each tripod leg which gives incredible stability. Plus you can purchase more if you need and just attached them as necessary. It works great for me.
     
  3. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    It won't take very much wind on a 72" sail to cause problems.

    In wind I would use all three, weights, tie downs, and an assistant to keep it all from being blown over and getting damaged. Even more problematic would be someone being injured by it blowing over.

    Choose your locations carefully and note the days wind direction relative to the location and placement of your setup so as to minimize the issue, before you get on location.

    Do you have a weather clause in your contract that includes wind? Or are you shooting on spec?
     
  4. thepixies

    thepixies TPF Noob!

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    i'll be able to postpone the shoot if the wind is intense, but it's likely there will be a bit of a breeze. would a more expensive light stands help out with this? or would the weight of the weightbags make the big main difference.

    thanks alot for your help marc and Kmh - your replies were very useful.

    nobody has any photos of big lights on set? would be interested to have a look at some setups on location after shooting in the studio for so long, wind and enviroment has never been an issue.

    cheers
    Dylan
     
  5. thepixies

    thepixies TPF Noob!

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    anymore advice? i took it out today and set it up and its really intense when its up high. is it even possible! the wind was not even that strong
     
  6. GeneralBenson

    GeneralBenson TPF Noob!

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    Wind can be tricky. I live in Boulder, CO, and strong wind a is pretty common thing. I don't have it all figured out yet, and so far I've only done location shooting with speedlights and medium sized umbrellas, but I've figured a few things out. I come from an outdoor adventure background, and I've been able to find a few answers there. Sandbags have no replacement, and should definately be used when you're shooting with that kind of equipment. You've got a $1000 octa, with I don't know what kind of head, but do you want to take any kind of chance with that equipment, let alone the safety of your models. Where I am, even on a completely calm day, the wind can kick up at anytime, and it does no good to put sand on your stand afer they all get blown over. One thing I've found that I keep in my bag, is a super lightweight sil-nylon stuff sack that you can find at any outdoor sporting goods store like REI or EMS. It's like a sand bag without the sand. Since I do alot of shooting in the field that involves hiking first, I'm sure not going to carry 20 pounds of sand in my pack, but I can carry one ofr those for less than an ounce, and I can almost always find somethingto fill with with when I get there (sand, dirt, pebbles, snow...). Another thing is to buy some spare guyline cord from a tent, which is only about 3mm thick, but has a test strngth of about 100 pounds; so it's really small and light, but plenty strong enough to secure lights. Then get a few each of different kind of tent pegs, and you can also secure things that way. As for your question about both, I find that works very well. Enough sand will hold anything down, but what you run into is that the base of your stand is secure, but your light is 9 feet in the air, and it's still all over the place, swaying around like crazy, and you still feel like even if your stand stays put, everything on it might still snap off. So, I'll sometimes use sand for the base, and run three guylines up to somewhere near the top of the stand, to provide upper stability. Works pretty well.

    As for the ankle weight idea, that is totally brilliant! I never thought of it either.
     
  7. inTempus

    inTempus TPF Noob!

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