C-Stand for your Next On Location Shoot
Posted on May 19 2017
Certainty in a Stand
If you are used to shooting with traditional folding light stands, C-stands can look big, unmanageable, and a little heavy. However, they are worth their weight in gold when it comes to usefulness for videographers and photographers alike. Alexandre Godinho, fashion, architecture, and advertising photographer, says it is the only piece of equipment he trusts. He shows us the final product of its use and we quickly see the natural bond of the strobe and C-Stand duo.
The Juice is Worth the Squeeze
The “C” stands for “century,” which was the name of the most common size of reflector held by these stands in the early days of film making. Now these stands come in a variety of sizes and are used to hold and position light modifiers. C-stands are usually heavy; a StudioPRO C-Stand weighs in at approximately 22 pounds. If you add on the 8 pounds of monolight SDX 600 mounted on top, you are now looking at 30 pounds of equipment. So why would a photographer go through the trouble to pack this item first?
"The C-Stand leaves me carefree to simply focus on the requirements of the clients and attention that each job requires." - Alexandre Godinho
Stability and higher weight capacity attract many photographers to the heavier C-Stands over the handy regular light stands. Unlike a regular light stand, the legs flow out horizontally, making it possible to hold up to 30 pounds in weight. This leg style further concentrates that weight at the base when compared to a regular light stand, resulting in a very low center of gravity. Adding sandbags increases the stability of a loaded C-stand. The flexibility of the boom arm [or extended arm] allows you to fine tune your strobe or flash angle at almost any angle. C-stands have the ability to rig heavy lighting equipment, such as a monolight with a large softbox or a strobe with a heavy parabolic umbrella, at angles and heights that are impossible for regular light stands.
Great photos are made when you have more versatile equipment to enhance your shots. The all metal C-Stand, including two adjustable grips, and a 4’2” (50 inch) boom arm makes it easy to elevate a strobe over 13 feet off of the ground. The boom makes it possible to float a light out, over, or in front of your subject and allows you to shoot under it with an unobstructed view. Use the boom arm to add an additional light above or behind your subject, or to create a clamshell lighting set up with two light sources. The image below was captured with staged "rain" as Anderson Silva revs up in his gym.
A few words from the experienced:
- Always set the arm slightly higher than where you want the light source to hit
- Remember your stability sandbag! Place sandbags on the side of the stand that is opposite from your attached weight as a counterbalance
- When positioning the base, use the highest leg to support the direction of the weight. This will enable the weight to lean on a longer leg and increase overall stability. Likewise, when you add an accessory that extends far beyond the base of the stand, make sure the lead leg is positioned toward the accessory
Images that often go unnoticed in the rush of everyday life, are only some of what Alexandre Godinho captures. Featured as one of the fifty photographers, you may recognize his name from the book, Light and Shoot: 50 Fashion Photographers of the World by Chris Gatcum. Known as the gaucho of Rio Grande and photographer of fashion, architecture, and advertising, he is an expert in blending multiple types of studio lighting, whether he working with fashion models or still life. Working with tight shooting schedules in makeshift studio environments, Alexandre delivers results that appeal to both local and international modeling markets. Saying we are honored to have Alexandre work with us is an understatement. Thank you for sharing your talent with the world.