Rubber Bands, Velcro, and Tidbits
Rubber Bands, Velcro, and Tidbits
After reviewing the post I put up last Sunday, I realized I left out a couple of bits of information that I wanted to add and there is one item in my gear kit that I have updated and I want to mention it too.
First off, I’m a big fan of rubber bands. Some of my equipment has them semi-permanently wrapped around them to hold another piece of equipment in place. This started when my Hasselblads were my money cameras. Most of my lenses had a rubber band over the lens’ barrel and I would pull the band over the PC cord tip to hold it in place. Now that I use as DSLR as my money camera, the one I use in my flash bracket has three wrapped around its body to hold my PC cord in place. I guess some things never change! In truth, the Nikon PC outlet is threaded and there are PC cords available with a threaded tip to keep the cord secure but they were difficult to thread them into place tightly when I tried to use them. And, as an added bonus, rubber bands are a lot less expensive! See photo that follows. Disclaimer: I don’t make anything if you buy a bag of rubber bands at Staples.
I used to have a few bands wrapped around each of my Nikon flash units to hold my fill flaps in place too. But, I needed two hands to put the fill flap in place and two hands to take the fill flap off. Furthermore, the bunch of rubber bands made my flash units slightly wider and made them a tight fit in the section of my camera case where I packed them. Finally, when I was disgusted with how long it took to get a fill flap on and off I realized that all my flash units already had a patch of peel and stick Velcro on them because I often stuck a radio slave onto the flash units. That being the case, I recently added a strip of Velcro to each of the custom fill flaps I showed in my last post and took the rubber bands off the flash units (which made them easier to pack in my case as an extra added benefit!). Like many of the custom things I do to my equipment everything is a “work in progress.” I try out an idea and often, after using the idea for a while I figure out a better way to do it. So, the rubber bands around my flash heads are a thing of the past and I now hold my fill flaps in place with Velcro. I thought you should know that. See the two photos that follow. Disclaimer: I don’t make anything if you buy a roll of peel and stick Velcro at Home Depot.
As people who have read my portrait book (Digital Portrait Photography: Art, Business, and Style) already know, and people who will read my upcoming wedding book (Digital Wedding Photography: Art, Business, and Style) will soon know, I am a sucker for every light modifier that comes on the market. Although I’m also into DSLR cameras and great lenses, if you want the truth, often times I’m more interested in lighting equipment. In fact, I think photography is all about light and, since I have to take and/or make photographs whenever and wherever my clients pay me to do so – whether there is beautiful, available light or not, I believe that light is the real game. So, it should come as no surprise to you, that whenever a manufacturer comes up with a unique product that helps me use or control light better I’m always one of the first ones to put my money on the table! This being the case, when Gary Fong introduced his Fong Dome (my slang nickname for his product) I bought two of them.
Although Gary probably made a gazillion bucks selling them, after using them I began to feel the product was a great idea that was poorly executed. The plastic material they were made of was too hard and it didn’t stick well to my shoe-mounted flash. It was large and bulky to pack and more times than not (if it was bumped into) it fell off and I ended up scrambling around trying to pick it up off the floor while wedding guests danced around me. Lastly, over the few years I used it the plastic it was made of seemed to become more brittle (exacerbating the “it fell off problem”) and worse the color of my two domes started to change from pristine white to a yellowish magenta one. Phooey! Gary must have heard about these problems from a lot of photographers because his next version included a Velcro strap to hold the darn thing on. But, even though it might stay on better, I was really unhappy about the color shift of my original ones so that time around I passed on the second version.
So, to recap the problems I had with the first version were three fold: 1. It fell off, 2. It changed color over time, and 3. It was bulky to pack. A short time ago he introduced a third version that solved more than just the “it fell off” problem. The newest version is collapsible and made of a sticky, rubbery, material that seems to stick to my flash head like Crazy Glue sticks to skin (although not permanently). Since it solved all three problems I had with my first version I put my money on the table and bought one. As of now, I don’t know if it is better than my free Soup Dome. As of now, I don’t know if the sticky, rubbery material it’s made of will stay sticky and rubbery. As of now, I don’t know if it will not change color over time. However, primarily because it fits into my smallest shoulder bag easily, it’s the light modifier I’m using and I thought you’d like to know that. I’ll keep you posted. See the two photos that follow. Disclaimer: I don’t make anything if you buy a collapsible Fong Dome.
In: DIY, My Favorite Things, Tools & Organization, Working with Flash · Tagged with: dome, fill cards, gary fong, Rubber Bands, Velcro