How do you stand with your Lighting


Over a year ago at the 2013 WPPI convention, I bumped into another DC area photographer and our conversation evolved around location lighting.   This young photographer invested into several Paul C Buff Einstein’s flash units.   She was more than pleased with the portability and power of her new flashes.   Then I asked her if she purchased the light stands from Mr. Buff’s site and she responded with, “no I have some old light stands”.

Well nine months later, I get an email from this photographer who was mad as hell at herself. During a photo session along a manmade creek that is also a tourist attraction, she was shooting an engagement session when a gust of wind came up and blow her Einstein and light stand in to this creek. Her five hundred dollar investment was ruined with one gust of wind.   She also confirmed that I was correct when it came to what light stand she should be using during a location shoot, but she did not want to spend the extra money.   During the 2013 WPPI convention we talked about the proper light stand for location work, but her argument was cost and the additional weight of hulling around the type of light stand I was recommending.   Her point was somewhat valid but in the end the extra investment would have saved her the grief of losing such a big investment.

So what did I recommend to this photographer originally, I was telling her that she should invest into Century Stands or C-Stands.


My studio has been replacing our old light stands with new and more robust C-Stands and at least one roller stand for the studio.

So where did the Century Stand get its name, one photographer told me that it was because it take a hundred years to learn how to use them, another photographer told me that century stand got its name because they were built to last a 100 years (and I could see that), but one retired motion picture grip told me that when setting up gobo’s for location filming the most comment gobo stands were 100 inches in total height. He told me that the grip truck would a couple hundred of these stands.   And the name C-Stand or Century stand was associated with the total height of the stand itself.   Then there were Junior Stands, they were exactly like the C-Stands but shorter than 100 inches and the Strato Stand a C-Stand with wheels.

Most if not all C-Stands are made to take a lot of abuse.   Parts and accessories from most other manufactures are all inter changeable. So you have a Avenger C-Stand but use a Matthews Grip Head and Extension Arms, or Kupo Studs and extenders, then there is the Hollywood Box Risers.

C-Stands will cost you a little more money but the insurance of knowing that you have a much heavier and sturdier stand that will most likely out last all of your flash heads is well worth extra investment. And one more item that is a must have with your Century Stands

Sand Bags.



~ by pthomaslambert on April 18, 2014.

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