What do people use to set up strobes/light stuff on uneven surfaces?

Gavjenks

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Ran into the problem the other day of shooting on a slight hillside, and my light stands don't have the ability to make one leg shorter in order to stand upright on a slope.

I looked and can't seem to find any that do have this ability. And regular camera tripods don't go high enough for lights (plus they're much flimsier at equal price points).
 

tirediron

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Sandbags. LOTS and lots of sand (or shot) bags. Weight the uphill leg(s) with them and prop them under the downhill ones to raise it up. They do a good job at conforming to the ground underneath and the lightstand leg can sink into the sandbag a little for a firm stance.
 

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I don't often have to set up light stands on uneven ground....but when I do I use my "turtle base" stands...they have the ability to compensate for unlevel ground due to the way the legs spin around the center pole axis, and also are of differing lengths....plus, I can step on any leg and literally sink it into the ground (one of the benefits of being middle-aged and thick...).

As the B&H photo blurb states: "The innovative design on the base allows individual legs to be set at any angle, and can be positioned in locations not possible with classic stands."

Avenger A2016D 5.0' Turtle Base C-Stand (Chrome-plated) A2016D

These are not your average, cheap, tippy, flimsy, spindly little light stands (I have a full set of those tippy-stands, by Manfrotto and a three-stand Speedotron set in black aluminum)...these are LIFETIME stands,made of chrome-plated solid steel, that you can use a lifetime, and pass along to your kids...seriously, not kidding.
 
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Gavjenks

Gavjenks

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Derrel, it's kind of hard to tell from the site, but the impression I get is that those legs can be spun around their individual horizontal axes, so that the foot is angled into the air instead, for example, instead of toward the ground, allowing for slope? Or is it some other mechanism of movement?

Sand bags I guess might work, but that sounds like a huge amount of effort, and dodgy if shooting on a rock face, where you can't find local filler and may need to hike to.
 

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Derrel, it's kind of hard to tell from the site, but the impression I get is that those legs can be spun around their individual horizontal axes, so that the foot is angled into the air instead, for example, instead of toward the ground, allowing for slope? Or is it some other mechanism of movement?

Sand bags I guess might work, but that sounds like a huge amount of effort, and dodgy if shooting on a rock face, where you can't find local filler and may need to hike to.

Yes, that is precisely the way they work. There is one LONG leg, the top leg; a medium-length middle leg, and a short-length leg, the bottom one. All three legs pivot around the center column, and can be placed into equidistant positions, or non-equidistant positions, as needed.

Here is a link to another variant of the C-stand, with a sliding leg setup, shown using two of what are called "apple boxes" (their real name!) Matthews Century C Stand, Double Sliding Leg - 9' (2.7m) 754042

The C-stand has been "the stand" for the movie industry for decades on end. Once you use them, you will see how great they are.

Check this video out to see how the turtle base system works!!![video]http://blog.kupogrip.com/master-c-stand-with-sliding-leg/[/video]
 

tirediron

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Derrel, it's kind of hard to tell from the site, but the impression I get is that those legs can be spun around their individual horizontal axes, so that the foot is angled into the air instead, for example, instead of toward the ground, allowing for slope? Or is it some other mechanism of movement?

Sand bags I guess might work, but that sounds like a huge amount of effort, and dodgy if shooting on a rock face, where you can't find local filler and may need to hike to.
Oh well, if it's a rock face, then this.
 

Mike_E

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Try some short tent stakes and some parachute cord. You don't have to go very far out and if you're in a pretty good wind you can use three per stand and it's not going anywhere.

If you're on a rock face then use pitons instead of the stakes. ;)
 
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Gavjenks

Gavjenks

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Thanks guys! Plenty of good options to work with. A C-stand plus tent stakes would seem nigh unflappable.
 

Geaux

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Or ask someone to come out and be your assistant :)
 

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