productive day

today was quite the productive day. so many things have just been thrown by the wayside lately and many things have been piling up to do. this morning i finally went to home depot to pick up some things to build out the storage gear for my lighting equipment. paul has been pondering about what equipment to get and that finally prompted me to finalize on what i wanted to do about my lighting gear.

you see, transporting my lighting gear has always been a bit of a hassle. the lighting stands i have are too tall to fit in my backpacking backpack and it is not big enough to carry the stands, my umbrellas, flashes, and other such nonesense. so i’ve been looking around trying to find a bag big enough to hold everything i have. this actually is harder than it seems.

i did find a golf bag cover for $10 at sportsmart, but the prospect of having to lug all of that heavy gear on my shoulder scared me, regardless of how cheap the bag was.

i did contemplate briefly making my own bag, but i’m not so nimble with cloth-like materials. i am, however, reasonably decent with PVC pipes.

my original idea was to build canisters out of PVC pipes that will hold my lighting stands and umbrellas. it turns out, however, that i would have needed a 5″ PVC pipe to hold the lighting stands and those pipes start to get pretty heavy and thick. so i opted not to make canisters for the lighting stands and just let them be in the cardboard boxes that they came in.

now, my umbrellas are a different story. they came in a cheap flimsy soft plastic shell and it offers no protection at all. i wanted to get 2.5″ PVC pipes for this, but home depot didn’t have it. (i doubt that they even make any of this size, actually, in home depot’s defense. the 3″ PVC pipes just looked HUGE though and a little too heavy to really make it worthwhile, so i crossed my fingers and bought 2″ pipes and caps.

i got home, measured the pipes, cut them, and cemented one of the caps on each and let them set. now i’ve got two containers that the umbrellas *JUST BARELY* fit into.

next was finding the bag. i went to sportsmart to check out their duffle bag selection. most of the duffle bags were just too small and couldn’t fit the 36″ light stands. i was disheartened and about to go home when i spied a wheeled duffle made by alpine design. they are probably some generic brand nobody has heard of, but they offer everything that i could want in a duffle bag. reinforced bottom, wheeled base, and an extending handle so you can comfortable roll the duffle bag anywhere you need to. it is GREAT. and it fell in my budget. (i had sworn that i would not pay the outlandish costs of specialized bags made to hold lighting gear that start at around $80. that’s ridiculous! it’s just a bag, people.

AND the wheeled duffle has this extra compartment on the top that is separate from the rest of the duffle bag. it UNZIPS from the duffle bag to become a separate backpack! how cool is that?!

so this bag now carries everything i need to become a portable studio: 2 light stands, 2 umbrellas, 2 flash brackets, my tripod, 2 reflectors, 2 optical slaves, 2 slave flashes, and enough batteries to light up a christmas tree.

so this is what i ended up with:

[imgthumb=/images/2005/0312/IMG_8344.jpg] [imgthumb=/images/2005/0312/IMG_8347.jpg] [imgthumb=/images/2005/0312/IMG_8348.jpg]

[imgthumb=/images/2005/0312/IMG_8353.jpg] [imgthumb=/images/2005/0312/IMG_8355.jpg] [imgthumb=/images/2005/0312/IMG_8354.jpg]

[imgthumb=/images/2005/0312/IMG_8357.jpg] [imgthumb=/images/2005/0312/IMG_8359.jpg]