After my Lighting a Dungeon (Without a Fire Breathing Dragon) post last week I received several emails asking for more information on the gear that I used and how I packed for an industrial shoot. If you remember a few weeks back I posted about the new Subaru Forester I’d purchased to make lugging my gear a bit easier on my back. The Forester is a great little SUV and gets 25 mpg running around town. It holds all my normal on-location gear in the rear compartment and the back seats will fold down perfectly flat to accommodate my nine foot stands and a roll or two of seamless background paper.
My normal grip kit for an industrial shoot like last week’s consists of my Gitzo 2541 tripod and Really Right Stuff BH-40LR ball head. I always bring three Manfrotto 6′ light stands (3373 or 5001B) with umbrella adapters, an Avenger collapsible reflector holder, and a 60″ Westcott shoot-thru umbrella, three Photoflex water/sand bags, all of which fits perfectly in a Hakuba 37″ tripod case.
I also carry four essential light modifiers wherever I go; the 24″ Lastolite Ezybox Hot Shoe softbox, the new Grin & Stir FourSquare 30″ QuadRing Softbox (a new acquisition), three 36″ (David Ziser) Shoot-Thru Zumbrellas and a Lastolite 38″ Diffuser/Reflector kit. Between the soft boxes, umbrellas and reflectors, I generally have everything covered for a normal shoot. All this gear plus my Think Tank Airport Security roller with cameras & lenses fits easily into my Subaru Forester and the rear cargo cover hides it from the prying eyes of would-be thieves.
And when the job is just too big for small strobes there’s always the Profoto Acute 2R Kit from my friends at LensRentals.com. Renting gear you don’t use all the time is always a great option, especially when your cash flow (and common sense) won’t allow plunking down $4000 for these big lights. This 1200 watt-second kit (2 strobes, stands, umbrellas & battery pack) can be rented weekly for about $188 plus shipping. Even if the economy does begin to improve this year, renting your lighting and grip gear is something every photographer should consider.