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Thread: How can I construct an inexpensive accent-light holder?

  1. #1

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    How can I construct an inexpensive accent-light holder?

    Some of the small, inexpensive LED flashlights have gotten sufficiently powerful that I have ordered a couple to use as accent lights in interior location portraiture. They can be focused from flood to spot, and a little selection of light diffusion materials can round out the package. I have been trying to stick to natural lighting, but there are settings in which just a bit more shaping could help a lot, but a reflector won't do it. (I have an eye on the SmallRig 120 daylight, but that's a heftier price tag, another bulky package, and far more power than I need for this.)

    But now I'll need to be able to aim them and have them stay put. If I can get away with one of my old bare aluminum 6' PIC stands (remember them?), I will, though I have a variety of stands from my pro days, up to 14 feet. Just trying to travel light. The top extension of the PIC is only about 5/16" in diameter. I need a device -- the lighter the better -- to clamp onto, or slide securely over, that and hold the flashlight at any chosen, finely adjusted angle. Maybe some way to attach a suitable hose clamp to the stand via a rotating widget? Or maybe some PVC pipe assemblage?

    I'm a worse-than-terrible builder; I know some of you creative folks will have some elegant solution that even I can assemble. I can potentially get some help from a friend if needed.

    Thank you in advance for you imaginative expertise.
    Philip Ulanowsky

    Sine scientia ars nihil est. (Without science/knowledge, art is nothing.)
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/156933346@N07/

  2. #2

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    Re: How can I construct an inexpensive accent-light holder?

    A convenient way to hold the flashlights are using the "clam shell" type of clips used to hold microphones to stands (the clam shell type has spring jaws that will hold a variety of mic sizes and shapes)... They swivel, but need the larger thread common on mic stands... But the good news is decent tall mic boom stands are useful and inexpensive... They are sold at large music stores like Guitar Center, or I also find them at thrift stores and even in dumpsters from time to time...

    I use these extensively for table top set-ups, and as a work light...

    Steve K

  3. #3
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Re: How can I construct an inexpensive accent-light holder?

    Tinfoil

    Gaff tape, both black and white

    Small bounce cards from foam core

    Backdrops

    I often shoot on my clothes dryer, as it has overhead light and window

    I am using my covered porch more
    Tin Can

  4. #4

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    Re: How can I construct an inexpensive accent-light holder?

    Gaffers' tape; endlessly adjustable, cheap, small, low-tech.

  5. #5

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    Re: How can I construct an inexpensive accent-light holder?

    Well, I am a fan of gaffers' tape, but I will have to chalk up to my lack of mechanical prowess my long experience with tape of any such kind, that items awkwardly taped, such as a flashlight on a thin cylindrical pole, inevitably sag or slip, which is a considerable distraction, or worse. The last thing I want my accent light to do is move after I have set it, nor do I wish to tape it so thoroughly that moving it for a new positioning will require additional time unwrapping and re-wrapping. If you have better luck or your skill is simply greater than mine (which would take very little), tape on.

    I have a marvelous device, a -- FLASH! I just looked up lab clamp and it appears that something like one of these may solve my problem:
    https://www.amazon.com/Best-Sellers-...ial/7656052011

    I was about to say I had bought a similar such device from Spiratone decades ago, which I still use, but which is not large enough for the flashlight I ordered. Maybe I have found what I need.
    Philip Ulanowsky

    Sine scientia ars nihil est. (Without science/knowledge, art is nothing.)
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/156933346@N07/

  6. #6

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    Re: How can I construct an inexpensive accent-light holder?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tin Can View Post

    I am using my covered porch more
    Covered porches on a sunny day with a black trash bag for some negative fill is a fantastically affordable way to get that "Avedon In the American West" look. Porches aren't that portable, but they are just about everywhere.

    For holding the flashlights, you might try something like this. There's bound to be a cheaper version, that was just the first one I saw.

  7. #7

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    Re: How can I construct an inexpensive accent-light holder?

    Thank you. Graeme. As indicated in my original post, I will use the flashlights for accent lights in interiors, so the porch light will be for other occasions. I am not in any way a fan of Avedon, but I understand what you're getting at respecting light quality.

    I received the flashlights (pack of 2) today and the optics are such that, with just a frost diffusion gel wrapped over the light lens, the beam is nicely diffused. I'll post back when I have something to show.
    Philip Ulanowsky

    Sine scientia ars nihil est. (Without science/knowledge, art is nothing.)
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/156933346@N07/

  8. #8

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    Re: How can I construct an inexpensive accent-light holder?

    Lowel made various types of grip gear that would suit your needs, as did Bogen/Manfrotto. Super Clamps and the like... I have a bunch of that stuff, most of it owned for so long that I don't remember where I found it. The old Calumet used to advertise useful grip gear too... there must be companies that supply cinema grip gear too.
    i suppose a ramble through the B&H site might find you a few things.

  9. #9
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Re: How can I construct an inexpensive accent-light holder?

    I bought 3 of these last year when they were $20

    I like them, not perfect, but work for me

    https://www.amazon.com/ULANZI-Photog...%2C102&sr=8-15
    Tin Can

  10. #10

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    Re: How can I construct an inexpensive accent-light holder?


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